Introduction: Fresh Strawberry Terrine (Cranberry Sauce Alternative!)

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If you love strawberries, this recipe is for you! The berries stay very juicy. It's a great way to add a fruit side dish that looks extra special and tastes delicious. I'll show you how to adjust the sweetness to your preference, and also how to bloom gelatin, which is super-fun.

Also, if you feel obligated to have cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, but your family doesn't really like it, try this instead!

Step 1: Ingredients

2 cups cherry (or other) fruit juice

1/2 cup of unflavored gelatin (grass fed, if you can)

1.5 - 2 lbs fresh, washed strawberries (can be over, or under ripe)

Optional sweetener - 1/14 cup sugar, honey, or sugar free equivalent

1-2 cups water

Step 2: Slice Berries

Trim off stems and slice the strawberries. (Don't worry about any parts that are over or under ripe as long as they are still firm enough to be cut and there is no mold.)

Step 3: Sliced Berries

Cut up bout 4 cups sliced berries and set aside.

Step 4: Begin the Gelatin Base

In a separate heat proof container - I use a 8 cup rectangular pyrex - add the cherry juice.

Step 5: Blooming Gelatin!

This is the best part! Blooming gelatin is really fun - at least for me, though I'm kind of a nerd.

Measure out the gelatin and SLOWLY sprinkle it over the juice. Move around a lot so the gelatin doesn't build up in one spot.

Step 6: Bloom

As you sprinkle, the gelatin will absorb the juice (bloom).

Step 7: Keep It Moving

Let the gelatin absorb fully in one spot before adding more to that spot.

Step 8: Done Blooming

When all the gelatin has been added, you will see wavy shapes form. Wait until all of the gelatin has absorbed the juice (bloomed) before the next step.

Step 9: H2O

Add about 2 cups of water and stir.

(You can juice instead of water, if you prefer.)

Step 10: Mix in Berries

Now add the the berries and mix well.

Step 11: Sweetness Optional

I prefer the tartness of the juice and berries, but I'm probably in the minority here.

You can taste the juice part and decide how sweet you want it.

If you want to add sweetness, start with about a 1/8 cup of sugar or honey, or 2 Splenda, or 1/2 tsp of stevia. Stir very well and taste again. Add sweetener until your taste buds are happy.

NOTE:You can add more sweetener after the gelatin is heated as well. So, err on the side of less sweet, if you're not sure.

Step 12: Heat

Microwave the berry mixture on high for 5 minutes. (Or whatever it takes to get it boiling hot in your microwave.)

Let the mixture cool a little and remove from the oven.

Step 13: Stir

Stir gently and really well, so that the mixture is perfectly uniform and you don't see any undissolved gelatin.

Let it cool a little more, until it's no longer piping hot.

You can taste the mixture, and add more sweetener now if you want.

Step 14: Refrigerate

Put the warm berry mixture in the frig until firm - at least 3-4 hours. Overnight is best.

Covered or uncovered.

Step 15: Enjoy!

The terrine be very firm. Cut slices and serve it up!

Keep the uneaten terrine slices covered so the berries stay juicy.

Makes a great fruit side dish, snack, or serve as dessert with whipped cream : )

The photo of the slice is made with lemon juice, so it's pink instead of red. But you can really see the berries!

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