Pro Chef Recreates Retro Tomato Aspic Recipe From Vintage BHG Cook Book


One of the most popular food trends of the 1950s, aspics are savory gelatin dishes.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs
8 to 10

In this episode of Then & Now, chef Alexis deBoschnek takes on the infamous aspic. This tomato aspic in a classic Better Homes & Gardens cook book reminds deBoschnek of a bloody mary cocktail. "I love a bloody mary, so I think this could actually be really delicious," she says.

Aspics can host numerous ingredients, but most contain veggies and meat.

While creating the tomato aspic, the chef says the smell is reminiscent of the classic tomato cocktail. Once the mixture is ready, she prepares it in a circular ring mold. "I think this shape is so fun," she says. "It feels so fun and retro to me."

The original directions did not specify how long to chill the retro aspic, but the chef found hers to be ready after a few hours in the fridge.


  • 4 cups tomato juice

  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped

  • 1/4 cup celery leaves, chopped

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 leaf bay leaves

  • 4 clove whole cloves

  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped


tomato aspic ring

Shirley Cheng

  1. Mix 2 cups of tomato juice with next 6 ingredients. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Strain.

  2. Meanwhile, soften gelatin in 1 cup of remaining cold tomato juice; dissolve in hot mixture. Add remaining tomato juice and lemon juice. Chill until partially set, about 30 minutes.

  3. Add celery. Pour into 5-cup ring mold. Chill until firm, approximately 3 hours or overnight. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

34 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8 to 10
Calories 33.6
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.3g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 492.1mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 7.1g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0.8g 3%
Total Sugars 5.2g
Protein 1.6g
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Vitamin C 69.6mg 348%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 0.5mg 3%
Potassium 265mg 6%
Fatty acids, total trans 0g
Vitamin D 0IU
Alanine 0.1g
Arginine 0.1g
Ash 1.8g
Aspartic acid 0.1g
Caffeine 0mg
Carotene, alpha 0mcg
Choline, total 8.5mg
Copper, Cu 0.1mg
Cystine 0g
Energy 141.6kJ
Fluoride, F 7.2mcg
Folate, total 25.8mcg
Glutamic acid 0.1g
Glycine 0.1g
Histidine 0g
Isoleucine 0g
Leucine 0g
Lysine 0g
Methionine 0g
Magnesium, Mg 13.8mg
Manganese, Mn 0.1mg
Niacin 0.7mg
Phosphorus, P 25mg
Pantothenic acid 0mg
Phenylalanine 0g
Phytosterols 2.3mg
Proline 0.1g
Retinol 0mcg
Selenium, Se 0.9mcg
Serine 0g
Starch 0g
Theobromine 0mg
Threonine 0g
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.4mg
Tryptophan 0g
Tyrosine 0g
Valine 0g
Vitamin A, IU 498.3IU
Vitamin A, RAE 25.4mcg
Vitamin B-12 0mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 6.1mcg
Water 114.5g
Zinc, Zn 0.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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