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I would like to make the below recipe for a bridal shower, but it is at a church which forbids alcohol and alcoholic products on premises. What can I use for a substitute for the white wine, to still achieve the desired effect?-

Also, there is a lemon and lime allergy, so nothing lemon or lime-y.

Strawberries and Wine Flower Cheesecake

(abbreviated recipe with only relevant steps/ingredients. For full recipe, visit the link above)

  • Three 1/4-ounce packages unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups white cranberry juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups chilled sweet white wine, such as Riesling
  • 1 quart medium strawberries (about 20 total)
  • 10 to 12 canned mandarin orange segments (from an 11-ounce can), drained well

    1. Once the cheesecake is set, prepare the white wine gelatin. Pour the white cranberry juice into a medium saucepan and sprinkle over the remaining 3 packages of gelatin. Let sit until the gelatin is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and heat over low heat, whisking occasionally, just until the gelatin and sugar dissolve, 1 to 2 minutes.
    2. Pour the gelatin mixture into a large bowl and stir in the white wine. Use a spoon to scoop away any bubbles at the surface. Refrigerate, stirring every 10 minutes, until the gelatin just begins to thicken and is the consistency of thin fruit jelly, 30 to 45 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, trim away the green tops from the strawberries. The trimmed strawberries should be no longer than 1 1/2 inches tall (1 inch is ideal). Slice the strawberries into 1/4-inch-thick pieces, saving any small end pieces for another use.
    4. Starting from the outside edge of the cheesecake, shingle the strawberries (pointed side outward and upward) in a circular pattern, leaning the tips of the strawberries against the edge of the pan, about 26 strawberry slices total. Continue this pattern, working inward and making 3 additional concentric circles with the strawberries overlapping each other, leaving at least 2 1/2 inches of empty space in the center of the cheesecake. (You may have strawberries left over.) Arrange the mandarin oranges in the center (rounded side outward and upward) so that the cheesecake is completely covered.
    5. Use a large spoon to stir the gelatin until mostly smooth. Gently spoon the mixture evenly on top of the fruit, then use the back of an offset spatula to smooth out the top as much as possible. (For a really smooth top, dip the offset spatula into boiling water, wipe it dry and smooth out the top further.) Refrigerate the cheesecake until the gelatin is completely set, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
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Since the recipe call for sweet riesling, I'd replace the wine with white grape juice.

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Make a lateral move to passion fruit juice. It has a unique flavor that would really go well with the rest of this dessert. It will bring something not present in the original but since you are ditching sweet wine and lemon, you need some razzamatazz and passion fruit has got it.

Plus the passion in passion fruit actually refers to the passion of Christ, so maybe the church people will dig that!

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It looks like the wine is used in the gelatin topping, where it is used as a flavoring. You could substitute any fruit-flavored essence (note many of these are dissolved in alcohol), though you would need to substitute water for most of the volume as concentrated essences are very strong.

As white cranberry juice is the base for this layer, you could just use that to fill the full volume (4 cups - 1.5 cranberry + 2.5 wine). You could also use white or red grape-juice, or indeed any clear/transparent fruit-juice, such as pear or apple, substituting 1:1 for the wine. If you wanted to be super-fancy you could make 3 or so different jelly layers using different juices resulting in a layered appearance of different colors.

If you wanted one for the kids, just use a couple of packets of Jello/Jelly mix as you might buy at the supermarket.

As you have someone with what appears to be a citrus allergy - make sure you avoid the mandarin segments, as these are from the citrus family.

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