My grandmother had a set of molded Tupperware containers that she used to make a variety of Jell-O salad dishes around the holidays. They were a colorful presence on the holiday table and the intricate designs of those molds always looked lovely – even if the various salads weren’t exactly the stars of the table (in fairness, some were much tastier than others). I still like a little bit of tradition and the pop of color from a gelatin mold, but I prefer to stick to cranberry sauce when it comes to gelatinized holiday side dishes. Jellied cranberry sauce has a great flavor and texture, and they add a very festive element to a holiday dinner – without the mystery of a Jell-O salad.
I don’t have those neat Tupperware molds that my grandmother had, but they were made of stiff plastic and it was difficult to get things out of them in one piece. I usually make my Homemade Jellied Cranberry Sauce in a loaf pan, which is very easy to work with even though it lacks the impact of a fancier mold. This Silicone Cranberry Ring Mold from Williams Sonoma is even better than either of those options. The flexible silicone mold is easy to work with because it is easy to get gelatin (or even firm mousses) to release from its nonstick surface. It holds about 4 cups of sauce and has a simple, but elegant, design that will give your jelly plenty of height. And if you want to make your grandma’s Jell-O salad in it, you can do that, too. The mold is also oven-safe up to 450F, and while I am not a big fan of baking with silicone pans, you can also use this for small holiday quick breads and cakes.