Out of Helen’s kitchen - Jell-o


Helen Drysdale
The Neepawa Banner

Delicate, delightful and dainty. That was on JELL-O’s boxes many years ago. And one always had room for JELL-O! The trade mark name JELL-O began in 1897, in  New York, by Perl B Wait a cough syrup manufacturer. He and his wife May added flavouring to granulated gelatin and sugar and May named it JELL-O. The first four Jell-O flavours were orange, lemon, strawberry, and raspberry. 

In 1899, Jell-O was sold to Orator Francis Woodward for $450. With skilled marketing and the distribution of free Jell-O cookbooks it took off in The United States and came to Canada. Mr. Woodward made millions!! Within a decade, three new flavours, chocolate , cherry and peach, were added. During the Great Depression, the introduction of lime-flavoured Jell-O gave gelatin centerpieces a way to stretch other ingredients as far as possible. The 1940’s saw cola flavoured JELL-O for a short time. In the 50’s and 60’s Jell-O released savory flavours such as celery and Italian. Popular Jell-O recipes of the day included ingredients like tuna, cabbage, celery, shredded carrots and pineapple. Cookbooks were devoted solely to JELL-O recipes. Today we still find JELL-O salads at our community and family gatherings. My 1962 “Joys of Jell-O” declares “JELL-O Gelatin is so light it seems to make any meal sit a little lighter.” From this book I will share my very favorite JELL-O recipe, Crown Jewel dessert or better known as Broken Window Glass dessert. At the bottom is my version of this yummy dessert.

Crown Jewel dessert

A spectacular dessert that fits busy schedules- the gelatin for the cubes may be made one day, remainder of the dessert can wait until the next day.
1 package each orange, cherry and lime JELL-O (85g)
3 cups boiling water
2 cups cold water
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 package lemon JELL-O (85g)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
2 envelopes Dream Whip or 2 cups whipping cream

Prepare the three flavours of gelatin separately, using 1 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup cold water for each. Pour each flavour into an 8-inch square pan. Chill until firm or overnight. Then mix pineapple juice and sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Dissolve lemon gelatin in hot juice; then add 1/2 cup cold water. Chill until slightly thickened. Meanwhile, mix butter and crumbs, press into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Cut the first gelatins into 1/2 inch cubes. Then prepare whipped topping mix as directed on package; blend with slightly thickened lemon gelatin. Fold in gelatin cubes. Pour into pan. Chill at least 5 hours, or overnight. Run knife between sides of dessert and pan, and remove sides of pan before serving.

Helen’s way
I use 5 flavours of JELL-O and do not bother with the pineapple juice in the whipped topping. I also prefer Cool Whip instead of Dream Whip. If you use real cream make it the original way. The gelatin helps keep the whipped cream firm.