I love the fancy jello desserts of the 1950’s. The tiered layers in brilliant and bright colours, and the promise of fruity flavours. Making pretty desserts with fruit juice jello is an easy and healthy alternative.
In fact, fruit juice jello is every bit as easy to make as those “instant jello” boxes. The result is a healthy, naturally sugar-free dessert that is wiggly and fun!
Fun with flavour
The best part about making jello from scratch is that you get to CHOOSE exactly what goes into your jello!
In the recipe below, I don’t dictate whether you should use pectin or gelatin. I’ve used both organic gelatin powder and Pomona’s pectin and the jello has come out perfectly. Just follow the jelling instructions on the package for 4 cups of liquid.
The recipe below has three layers: a juice jello layer, a fruit layer and a layer of flavoured cream. Exactly which flavours you use is entirely up to you.
Here are some fun suggestions:
- Berry Bash: Use grape, apple or a mixed berry juice for the jello, then add blueberries, raspberries or sliced strawberries. (This is what I made in the photos for this blog.)
- Raspberry Tea: Use 1 cup of strong brewed black tea instead of cream and mix it with 3 cups of grape juice. Add in 1 cup of raspberries.
- Coconut Cream: This is a vegan version of creamy jello. Make the jello with berry juice and add in 1 cup of raspberries. Then use coconut cream instead of the whipping cream.
- Apple Ginger: Mix homemade ginger ale with apple juice. For a probiotic boost follow the instructions below for making probiotic jello. Add in thinly sliced apples sprinkled with 1 tsp of cinnamon. Feel free to mix with whipping cream or just use 4 cups of juice and ginger ale.
- Orange Julius: Use orange juice mixed with 1 1/2 tsp of orange zest and Add in 1 cup of chopped banana. I recommend making the whipping cream layer.
Adding a bit of cultured liquid into your jello is a fun way to get your daily dose of probiotics. Since both gelatin and pectin need to be stirred into boiling hot liquid, a few extra steps are required to make probiotic jello.
- Heat up 1 cup of juice to boiling.
- Stir in enough pectin or gelatin to gel 2 cups of liquid.
- Allow the concentrated jello to cool to just above room temperature. This can take between 30 to 90 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes so that the jello doesn’t harden on the outside of the dish while remaining soft in the middle of the dish.
- Once the jello has cooled to around 40 C (104 F) stir in 1 cup of a cultured beverage. The exact temperature isn’t important. It should just feel slightly warm to the touch, but not hot.
- Probiotic beverages can include water kefir, kombucha, ginger bug or cultured whipping cream. Use any flavour combination that you want, or try one of my suggestions above.
Fun Fruit Juice Jello
This 1950’s inspired recipe can be made with vegan-friendly pectin or gelatin. It can also be made with all sorts of fun different flavours. See the section above for some flavour suggestions and options for making probiotic jello.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6–8 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Cuisine: Vintage
- Pectin or gelatin (see notes)
- 3 cups of juice
- 1 cup of cream (either whipping cream or coconut cream)
- 1 cup of fresh fruit
- Bring 2 cups of juice to a boil.
- Stir in enough pectin or gelatin to set 4 cups of liquid. Follow the proportions on the package because it changes depending on exactly what brand your are using. Stir until the crystals are dissolved.
- Remove the boiling juice from the heat. Pour 1 cup of jellied juice into a 6 cup jello mold. Mix in 1 cup of cold juice.
- Add in the prepared fruit. It will float on top of the liquid creating a single layer.
- Place the jello mold in the fridge and leave it to cool until it is starting to set (about 30 to 60 minutes).
- Leave the second cup of jellied juice out on the counter so that it will only cool slightly.
- After 30 minutes, whip the cream until it thickens and forms nice peaks.
- Gently mix whipping cream into the second cup of jello, then spread it over the set jello layer in the fridge.
- Refridgerate for at least 4 hours before serving so that everything can set up nicely.
- See the sections above for flavour suggestions, including a creamy vegan coconut jello and a probiotic apple ginger jello. Raspberry tea is one of my favourites!
- I have made this recipe with organic gelatin powder and Pomona’s pectin. They both worked perfectly. Regardless just follow the jello recipe on the package.
- Avoid using fresh pineapple, kiwi, peaches, figs, mango or papaya, which all contain an enzyme that will prevent the jello from setting properly. If you really want to use one of these fruits then either used processed juice or canned fruit, which won’t contain the enzymes.
Keywords: 1950’s, vintage recipe, probiotic, sugar-free, vegan, gluten free, keto, kombucha, ginger bug, water kefir, milk kefir