Fresh Berry Terrine
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This fresh berry terrine with mixed berries suspended in white grape jell-o is the perfect light summer dessert.
This fresh berry terrine was originally slated for my cookbook, and it got rave reviews from my recipe testers, but I pulled it at the last minute because I worried it might be perceived too much like a retro Jell-O mold dessert. I had completely forgotten about it but, a few weeks ago, I attended a ladies luncheon hosted by one of my recipe testers and was pleasantly surprised to see this dessert on the menu. The chef had adapted the recipe to serve 150 ladies!
When everyone oohed and aahed over dessert, I realized that I should’ve just left it in the book. It’s so darn pretty, and it’s the perfect light summer dessert. What’s more, it’s a breeze to make and can be prepared several days ahead of time. The gelatin acts as a preservative; berries that can quickly languish in the fridge keep for days on end when suspended in grape-flavored “Jell-O.”
Feel free to mix up the fruit but avoid pineapple, kiwi, mango, papaya, figs or guava, as they contain enzymes that will prevent the gelatin from solidifying. I love this terrine with shortbread, sugar cookies, or toffee almond sandies on the side.
What you’ll need to make fresh berry terrine
To begin, pour 1/2 cup of the grape juice in a large bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin in a thin, even layer over top (no need to stir) and let sit for 5 minutes. The powder will absorb into the juice and become very thick.
Meanwhile, bring the remaining 1-1/2 cups juice and the sugar to a boil in a small saucepan; whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour the mixture over the thickened gelatin.
Whisk to combine.
Carefully pour the warm gelatin mixture over the berries, and then chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours, or until very firm.
To unmold, quickly run hot water over the sides of the pan (tilting it so that the inside of the pan doesn’t get wet).
Invert an oblong platter over the pan and flip over. The terrine should slide right out; if it doesn’t, try running a blunt knife along the edges of the pan to loosen, or run the pan under hot water briefly again.
Blot any excess liquid on the platter with a paper towel. Refrigerate the terrine until ready to serve. Slice with a sharp knife.
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Fresh Berry Terrine
This fresh berry terrine with mixed berries suspended in white grape jell-o is the perfect light summer dessert.
- 1¼ pound mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries (cut the strawberries in half)
- 2 cups white grape juice, best quality
- 2 (¼-oz) packets unflavored gelatin
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Place the berries in an 8x4-inch loaf pan. Distribute them around evenly.
- Pour ½ cup of the grape juice in a large bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin in a thin, even layer over top (no need to stir) and let sit for 5 minutes. The powder will absorb into the juice and become very thick.
- Meanwhile, bring the remaining 1½ cups juice and the sugar to a boil in a small saucepan; whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture over the thickened gelatin and whisk to combine.
- Carefully pour the warm gelatin mixture over the berries. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours, or until very firm.
- To unmold, quickly run hot water over the sides of the pan (tilting it so that the inside of the pan doesn't get wet). Invert an oblong platter over the pan and flip over. The terrine should slide right out; if it doesn’t, try running a blunt knife along the edges of the pan to loosen, or run the pan under hot water briefly again. Blot any excess liquid on the platter with a paper towel. Refrigerate the terrine until ready to serve. Cut into 1-inch slices with a sharp knife.
- Make Ahead: The terrine can be made up to three days ahead of time. Once set, cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Unmold before serving.
- Per serving (8 servings)
- Serving size: 1 slice
- Calories: 85
- Fat: 0 g
- Saturated fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 20 g
- Sugar: 17 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Sodium: 10 g
- Cholesterol: 0 g
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
First time attempt and the family was super impressed. Making another for the weekend and will be adding very finely sliced peaches to the terrine as the first layer. I live in South Africa.
I would like to make the recipe but I can’t find white grape juice…:(
What would be the best substitute ? Diluted apple juice to get the transparency?
Apple juice will work and I don’t think it’s necessary to dilute it. Enjoy!
I made this for the first time tonight. Made it as posted, was very delicious, healthy and unbelievably easy to make. It was even nice not to have to turn on my oven an hour 100° weather. This will definitely go into my rotation. I love sweet treats, and this is a great alternative. I’ve made many of your goodies, and they are all amazing!
Random question but can pectin be used as a substitute for unflavored gelatin? I’ve had pectin waiting to be used in my pantry and would love an excuse to use it….
Hi Val, I haven’t tried this with pectin but from what I read online, it doesn’t sound like pectin would be a perfect substitute for gelatin so, for the best results, I’d stick with gelatin. Sorry!
I’d like to bring this to a seder, but would ideally like to remove it from the pan and place on serving platter several hours in advance, kept in my refrigerator, and then for about 15min. in the car. Can I do this without risking that it will get watery? How long can it stay refrigerated and remain ‘intact’? Thank you.
Hi Anna, I’d suggest you keep this in the pan until right before leaving home. It’s fine to remove the pan before you head to Seder. I don’t think it will leak at all but if it does, just use a paper towel to clean off any liquid that accumulates on the plate. Hope that helps!
A perfect summer dessert made with blueberries, raspberries and blackberries and sparkling grape juice. Just the right amount of sweetness and chock full of peak season berries to satisfy the cravings and still be light enough to have a second piece. I can see where it would be a great dessert to serve for a crowd, easy to make ahead but it’s also a great way to use up berries and it keeps for days. It may not have made it into the cookbook but it is in my favs category and from the reviews, I am not alone.
Made this twice in a week. It is so refreshing on hot summer days. Super easy and quick as well.
What brand white grape juice did you use? Also, is it ok to use silicon loaf pan instead of metal? I’m planning to make this for Christmas.
Thanks in advance!
Hi Diane, I honestly don’t recall what brand of grape juice I used but don’t think it matters a ton. And as long as your silicone pan is fairly sturdy, I think it would be OK to use. Please LMK how it turns out!
Hi Jen, I love all your recipes! Thank you so much for these foolproof options. I’m planning on making this terrine for this weekend and was wondering if I could use sliced bananas and/or peeled and chopped Fuji Apples. Let me know – Thank you!
Glad you like the recipes! To be honest, I’m not sure if they will oxidize/brown. I’d stick with berries.
I don’t eat gelatin because of dietary reasons. I was wondering if I could use agar agar instead?
What is your recommendation?
Hi Jamuna, I wasn’t familiar with agar agar — I just googled it. Based on what I read, it sounds like you could use it, but I can’t say for sure without trying it myself. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!
I made this three times last August when I was entertaining almost every weekend. It is such an elegant dessert I am so glad you shared it even though it didn’t make the cut for the book. I now stock unflavored gelatin in my pantry so I can make this anytime. Thank you Jenn!
This is a really wonderful dessert that kids universally love! One tip though is that if you use frozen berries, when they thaw they might ooze some color, so your gelatin won’t quite be as clear. Might look a little different but still delicious!
Fantastic, colorful,simple, flavorful.
I tried making this recipe twice and it never solidified. First time I thought it was my mistake using Walmart brand gelatin. Second time I used Knox brand and same result. I followed the recipe to the T both times and wasted roughly $20 in fresh fruit.
So sorry you had a problem with this (twice)! Did you by any chance include pineapple, kiwi, mango, papaya, figs or guava in it? They all contain enzymes that will prevent the gelatin from solidifying.
Jen a couple of comments above this you mentioned using mango but here you are saying not to use mango as it might stop the gelatin from setting. Am I misreading? Thanks for sharing all your recipes.
Hi Barbara, sorry for the confusion! It’s accurate that you should not use mango here – I just had a brief moment where I forgot that! 🙂 Thanks for pointing it out – I’ve tweaked that answer so it doesn’t confuse anyone else.
Hi Jenn! I love your recipes and everything I have tried out so far has turned out perfectly. I was wondering what other fruits I can use for this terrine as I would like to use fresh summer fruits that I can easily find here. Would any combination of melon, peaches, apricots, cherries, plums, kiwis, pineapple work for example instead of berries? If yes, would you still recommend white grape juice, apple juice or prosecco?
Hi Sophia, It’s perfectly fine to mix up the fruit here but I’d avoid pineapple and kiwi because they contain enzymes that will prevent the gelatin from solidifying. Other ones to avoid are mango, papaya, figs, and guava. Hope you enjoy!
Thank you! Will make it this weekend for a family lunch.
Can I substitute Prosecco for the apple juice?
Hi! Are there any alternative recommendations for juice? We don’t have white grape juice where I live.
Hi Adrienne, I think apple juice would also work nicely here. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you make it!
Should we still do the saucepan step if we don’t use the sugar?
Hi Ben, Yes you’d still need to heat the juice.
If I make this a day in advance should I keep it in a covered container in the fridge or cover it tightly with plastic wrap? I can’t wait to make this! Thank you!
Hi T, you can store it right in the loaf pan covered with plastic wrap. Just unmold it before serving. Hope you enjoy!
Hi Jenn – i know this is a silly question but if I used frozen berries, should I defrost first?
Hi Mia, Not a silly question — and, yes, I’d defrost first.
Could you make this in mini bundt pans and serve it with whipped cream in the center hole? If so, what kind of flavored whipped cream would you suggest?
Sure, Paddy. I think vanilla-flavored sweetened whipped cream would be perfect. Please send me a photo if you try it!
I bought the same gelatin you show in your picture. Your recipe states use 2 1/4oz. packets but the box in your photo, as does my box, says there are 4 1 oz. envelopes. I am into this recipe and fear I am going to ruin it, but I am guessing you mean to use 2 1oz. packets or you wouldn’t specify “2”?
Hi Mary, Actually the whole package of four packets is a total of 1 ounce, so each packet is 1/4 ounce. The recipe calls for two 1/4 ounce packets. Hope that clarifies and that you enjoy the terrine!
Thank you for your reply. I was thinking that and then looked on the side of the box where it states there are 16 servings total in the box. I should have gone with my first instinct which is what you said. If you have any gelatin, look on the side where they state the nutritional information. It’s a little confusing! Thank you again, the terrine is delicious, and very pretty.
Looks gorgeous, but how would you go about serving it to a larger group? Or how did the chef that prepared it for 150 do it? Thanks!
Hi Jordan, How many people?
How much do you think you could reduce the sugar in this and have it still turn into gelatin?
Could just fruit juice and no sugar at all be used?
Sure Lisa – it’s fine to omit the sugar if you don’t think you’ll miss it.
I made this Berry Tirrene over the weekend and it turned out great It was just as easy as you said I am a 86 yr old who got into the cooking world when I became a caregivcr for my wife who had ALZ and I do enjoy the it very much. A few weeks back I was surprised to see you on WGNTV Chicago noon news show It looks like I am going to have to buy your cookbook Good luck with your newsletter
So happy it turned out well, Richard. 😊
will it work with sugar free jell-o?
Hi Catharine, I haven’t tried it this way, but I suspect it should work. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it!
My family and I absolutely love your recipes (and wonderful cookbook), and find that making them always turns out a “success story”! Just a quick question, would you know of any vegetarian-friendly “gelatins”, available, that will work to create this recipe? Thank you, again!
Hi Karen, So happy you’re having success with the recipes :). Unfortunately, I don’t have any first-hand experience cooking with vegetarian gelatins, but you might try Unflavored Vegan Jel by Natural Desserts as recommended here. I’m guessing you could skip the step of heating the juice and just mix the gel into the juice. Hope that helps!
Agar agar is made from seaweed, I believe. It’s considered vegan.
OK, a silly question: this looks beautiful, but how long can it stay out? For example, can I put it out on the table while I serve lunch to my family? Or it it like ice cream, which should be taken out right before I serve it?
A great question! It can sit out at room temperature for a few hours no problem – just don’t leave it in the sun.
Maybe kosher????Remember from my childhood, Mom would not use jello because she said it was made from some animal product which shall not be named…..
Could I make this with lemonade or limeade or apple juice? Where I live it is difficult to find white grape juice. Thanks.
Sure, Liz – I’d love to know how it turns out.
It looks beautiful! What would the recipe measurements look like vegan, using agar agar? Have you tried?
Hi Barbara, I’ve never used anything like Agar Agar (I needed to look it up!) so I can’t guarantee the results, but based on what I read about it, it sounds like it may work. This article provides some tips on how to convert to the amount you’ll need (and also provides some other alternatives to gelatin.) I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!
hi jenn! is there a substitute for the gelatin to make it vegetarian? thanks, cheryl
Hi Cheryl, I don’t have any experience with vegetarian alternatives to gelatin, but you could try Unflavored Vegan Jel as recommended here. I’d guess you could skip the step of heating the juice and just mix the gel into it. Please LMK know how it turns out if you try it!
I made it with vegetarian gelatine and the taste was excellent but the consistency was very runny and it was difficult to cut and a day later.
Can you use sparkling grape juice ?
Hi Lee Ann, Yes definitely but I don’t think the carbonation will hold. I actually tried making this recipe sparkling wine (with more sugar) but it was hard to get the bubbles to stay.