Back in the 60s, layered Jello was a big deal. My mother bought the boxes of artificial colour, sugar, artificial flavours and gelatin, and it was a thrill, especially when she mastered the art of the Striped Jello. For my family dinner, celebrating what would have been her hundredth birthday, I did my best to pull off a home made, natural food version.
After hunting around on Google, I could only come up with mixes involving not only the boxes of chemicals, but advice to mix them with either whipped edible petroleum product, or better, yet, powdered coffee ‘whitener’. So relying on memory as best as I could for the striping procedure, I went ahead and trusted that my cooking angels would guide my hand. They did.
This is so simple, it’s silly!
This recipe serves eight to ten, is prepared in ten minutes, but has to set for at least four hours.
3 tablespoons vanilla sugar
|Vanilla extract darkened juice, so I added colour.|
2 packets gelatin powder, (two tablespoons gelatin powder)
4 cups boiling water
2 organic lemons, carefully washed, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
3 tablespoons honey (or to taste)
1 drop yellow food colouring (so optional!)
½ teaspoon orange flower water (optional)
2 cups vanilla icecream
In a big container, sprinkle sugar and gelatin powder. I went with vanilla sugar, despite my usual raw Indian sugar, because I wanted to keep a pale yellow colour. Pour the boiling water over the sugar and gelatin powder, stir and let dissolve.
Add lemon juice and zest, and honey. Taste for sweetness and lemon flavour. It needs to taste right to you now, so add more honey if needed.
At this point I also added vanilla, immediately darkening my mix, my angel howling, ‘you might as well have used the raw Indian sugar!’ True, and then I could have added the vanilla, and since the mix was already darkish, it wouldn’t have shocked me. But I was shocked, so, as my mom would have done, I dug around in the cupboard for yellow food colouring, and restored the colour. (Countertops needed bleaching later…)
Because I love all flavours floral, I added the orange blossom water, but this is also an optional step. Ice-cream was stirred in next. Make sure the ice-cream fully melts into the warm water, before you set it into the fridge to chill. If I owned a jello mold, I would have poured the mix into that mold, which I’d have waiting in the fridge. Instead, I poured it into a big pretty glass bowl, but as I was moving the bowl into the fridge, it waved around a bit and splattered the bowl. Next time, I’ll put the bowl in the fridge first, and pour oh so carefully.
|Next steps involve stirring in ice-cream.|
Anyway, the work was done! The ice-cream molecules swim up to the surface, leaving a bottom layer of clear lemon jelly, and a thick and creamy layer of lemony deliciousness.
My faintest memories of making this at the age of thirteen involved ice-cream that perfectly separated into layers, and the memories were right.
Although a few family members griped and grouched about being served Jello for dessert, they all grabbed at the Home Made Dad’sCookies served with the layered jello, so I got away with it. I find the taste of homemade jello done with organic lemons, vanilla and honey intensely delicious. It’s fresh, light and sweetly fragrant. To me, it’s a perfect end to a heavy meal!
|How easy is that?|