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Recipe for JELL-O ... no, I mean making actual JELL-O

Is it possible to make your own fruit-flavored gelatin ... JELL-O ... but using fresh fruit juices rather than the lab in the box that is JELL-O?

Obviously Googling JELL-O recipe isn't going to get me what I want, only recipes using the boxed stuff.

It seems like it should be simple ... fruit juice and Knox and maybe some sugar or honey.

Has anyone tried it and have a recipe?

I like JELL-O, but it seems it would be so much better and nutritional to use fresh fruit juices ... and tastier.

Can this be done?

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  1. Of course this can be done. I love Jell-O and gelatin desserts, BTW.

    I haven't tried these recipes, but I searched Martha Stewart's website since her mags often have these types of desserts. Here are the results:

    I'm thinking that the blackberry-red wine gelatin sounds like the perfect adult summertime treat. The canteloupe and honeydew one looks really pretty too...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Carb Lover

      You gotta love Martha. Who else would make their own jello.

      Yes, that blackberry-red wine thing is just what I'm looking for ... actually better than I imagined. Loved the recipe using cherry jam ... gee, I know a gazillion great jams and jellies I could use.

      The canteloupe and honeydew thing is what I'm not looking for. I don't want pieces of fruit suspended in gelatin.

      Thanks so much for the Martha link.

      1. re: Carb Lover

        Hey everyone,
        Your post and replies were super helpful to me... I'm trying the low-carb thing (sorry, carblover), and JELL-O is a great go-to dessert, but I'm opposed to artificial sweeteners. I wanted to try a recipe that uses all natural Stevia instead, and stays low carb... This is what I've found:

        1/2 cup cold water
        1 packet gelatin
        combine, allow to bloom 3-5 mins

        1/2 cups
        1 - 1 1/2 tsp flavoring (I've tried coconut and maple so far)
        1/8-1/4 tsp Stevia extract to taste
        Combine, bring to a boil.

        Mix the hot with the cold, stir until dissolved, and allow to set in your favorite jello pan! I use foil baking cups in a muffin tin for portability.

        1 serving= 1 baking cup
        calories: 3.5
        sugar: 0 g
        carbs: 0 g

      2. I found some recipes from the first edition of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. She calls them jellies but they turn out the same consistency as the Kraft product.

        Orange Jelly

        1/2 box or 2-1/2 Tbsp granulated gelatin
        1/2 C cold water
        1-1/2 C boiling water
        1 C sugar
        1-1/2 C orange juice
        3 Tbsp lemon juice

        Soak gelatin 20 minutes in cold water, dissolve in boiling water, strain. Add to sugar, orange, and lemon juice. Turn into bowl or mold and chill until set.

        I imagine you could use any type of fruit juice you like, though you might need to adjust the amounts of sugar and lemon juice to taste. [Edit: NB, Pineapple juice will not work.]

        FYI, many historic American cookbooks are available at the Historic American Cookbook Project http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/c...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Euonymous

          Many thanks. That is JUST what I want. God bless Fanny Farmer.

          I'm really jazzed about this idea. I guess there are some juices that can't be jelled like pineapple juice. I wonder if guava juice has that same problem.

          I was thinking this probably has some fancy cooking term like gellee, but those are usually more solid. I'm looking for something with the consistancy of jello. This should do it.

          Watermelon jello ... I wonder if that would work.

          1. re: rworange

            I think watermelon jello would be delicious!


        2. If you google "gelatin recipes" you'll get a number of hits.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Darren72

            No, that is no different than googling jello recipes. You get all those awful molds and quivery things.

            1. re: rworange

              I googled "fruit gelatin recipe" (w/o the quotes) and got a fairly basic recipe for "gelatin squares" using fruit juice concentrate, Knox powder and sugar: http://busycooks.about.com/od/dessert...

              Another basic recipe, courtesy of Whole Foods: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recip...

              But, yeah, the rest of the results seem to use Jell-O, "peach gelatin" or "4 1⁄2 lb DSRT PWD STRAWBERRY" (the last from an Army cookbook, apparently! :-) )

              1. re: rworange

                Yes, that true. If you google "gelatin recipes" you will have to do a little of your own work after that to find exactly what you are looking for.

                "Jell-O" is a brand name, and "jello" comes from that. "gelatin" is the ingredient.

            2. Wow. What an evil recipe idea.

              You might search for "gelatin" or "jelly" (UL) recipes. Martha Stewart has several. I remember a mint and blackberry combo being good.

              Panna cotta of course is gelatin-based.

              I've heard that a "gin n' tonic" recipe by Nigella Lawson is good as well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JudiAU

                Yeah, the words panna cotta scare me and seems like really cooking rather than throwing some gelatin and fruit juice together and boiling.

                Along the alcoholic line, Martha Stewart has a recipe for Mint Julep gelatin


                I found this recipe for gin and tonic gelatin (not Nigella). The whole thing is more elaborate that I would be capable of. There is no way I am going to ... make a milfuille with the gelatin and caramel tile.

                HOWEVER, the first paragraph does have simple directions for making gin and tonic jello. Woo-hoo ... gin shooters. Kind of defeats my objective of a more healthy dessert than boxed jello, but well, gee, it sounds good. And gin is natural, eh?


              2. This Jello recipe is one that I want to try....
                from Everyday Italian on the Food TV network....
                it really looks good !

                1 (6-ounce) package raspberry-flavored gelatin
                1 cup boiling water
                2 cups Prosecco or other sparkling wine, chilled
                1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries, not thawed
                1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
                1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

                Whisk the gelatin and boiling water in a medium bowl until the gelatin is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate until lukewarm, about 25 minutes. Stir in the Prosecco. Cover and refrigerate until the gelatin thickens but does not set, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Stir in the raspberries (bubbles will form in the gelatin mixture). Divide the gelatin among 6 Champagne flutes or individual dessert bowls. Cover and refrigerate until the gelatin is set, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
                Dollop the mascarpone cheese atop each serving, then sprinkle the walnuts over and serve.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Marilyn

                  Sounds good, but that is what I'm trying to avoid. I want to know how to make the raspberry gelatin rather than use raspberry flavored boxed gelatin.

                  However, this sounds so delicious, that I started a separate topic for using boxed jello in recipies. Thanks. I'll store this away.


                2. rworange,

                  The box of Knox Gelatine that I have has a recipe on the back of the box:

                  Natural Fruit Juice Knox Blox
                  4 envelopes Knox Unflavored Gelatine
                  1 cup cold fruit juice
                  3 cups fruit juice, heated to boiling

                  In bowl, sprinkle Gelatine over cold juice. Let sit for one minute. Add hot juice and stir until gelatine is dissolved. Pour into 13x9 inch baking pan. Chill until firm. Cut into 1" squares. Makes about 9 dozen.

                  Now, from some of your comments above, I'm not sure if you are trying to make a fruit gelatin without the gelatin mix. You can do that if you have access to, say, collagen. Gelatine (a brand of gelatin) is made from collegan. While I certainly understand your inclination to use gelatin and fruit juice, rather than Jell-O mix and water, there is nothing anti-chowish, so to speak, about using the gelatin powder in place of actual collegan.

                  Maybe it would help if you could be a little more clear about what you are after here.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Darren72

                    Yeah, I see how the wording in my OP was unclear, so I edited it. I want to use unflavored Knox gelatin and fruit juice to produce a dessert like Jello ... but healthier.

                    Boxed Jello is nothing but artificial flavor and sugar. A dessert that uses fresh fruit juices seems like it would taste so much better while giving a refreshing light dessert like jello.

                    That Fannie Farmer recipe at the top of the post was the info I was looking for.

                    These two Martha Stewart recipes also are what I'm looking for.

                    Blackberry red wine gelatin.

                    Cherry jam gelatin

                    Both the recipe from the Knox box and the busycook fruit squares are a more solid result than I'm looking for. I know boxed jello can be used to make those firmer squares by upping the gelatin content


                    The Whole Foods recipe is just fruit encased in gelatin.

                    However, the gelatin square recipies give me an idea about how much gelatin to use so that I don't get too firm a product.

                    The other thing I probably need to play with is the juice quantity and intensity. Maybe I should reduce some of the juices to have a more intense flavor.

                    If I come up with some brilliant recipes that work, I'll post back.

                    Thank goodness for the edit function. The word colegan threw me. I edited this so that it makes more sense, I hope.

                    1. re: rworange

                      You might be right about the reducing but if "healthful" is what you're looking for, you've pretty much eliminated the vitimins by boiling the fruit juice - especially anything citrus.

                  2. Look to this site. It is what you want. I don't want to just copy it to this site because The Ogre will eat my post. The trouble is that you may have to buy another cookbook. I know we all hate that.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: yayadave

                      Wow ! That is perfect. You are the search king. I never would have found that. It even mentions using guava juice ... thank you, thank you, thank you.

                    2. That's it? When I saw your subject heading, I thought you wanted to learn how to start from scratch to extract gelatin by boiliing calves feet, tendons, etc.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        First, duck confit. Then cassoulet. Next year, "boiliing calves feet, tendons, etc."

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          Thanks to the ability to edit, you missed my meltdown about collagen. I was having an axiety attack about collecting bones and making my own version of Knox.

                        2. Regarding pineapple - when I saw your post I immediately remembered making pineapple gelatin from scratch - one of the first things I tried making from my Joy of Cooking back when I was about 15. If you have Joy of Cooking, it should be in there - I'm not that old - they actually have a bunch of "gelatin" recipes, using Knox or similar. Oh, getting back to the pineapple - their recipe says if you use fresh pineapple it must be poached before adding to any gelatin. But you can use canned no problem. I haven't made it in ages but I do remember the pineapple gelatine as being delicious.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Angel Food

                            Cool. Thanks. Once I master Jello 101, I'll give this a try.

                            1. One of the reasons it's next to impossible to find a gelatin recipe from scratch is: Kraft wants you to buy Jello [1000% or more profit for them] and the other reason is that people today are just LAZY. ie. buy a few boxes of junk, heat, stir and it's done in minutes. I'm with you. The ingredients on Jello and other "stuff" reads more like my prescription medication than a food product. I love the term "Natural flavor and spices". MSG is considered a spice. end of rant.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Remag

                                Ok,now that the rant's over, let's see your recipe for what the OP asked for. Surely you're not too LAZY to make your own jello?

                                1. re: rjbh20

                                  I'll show you mine when you show me yours.

                                  1. re: Remag

                                    I "show mine" fairly regularly around here -- do a search if you're not too lazy. And BTW - I wasn't the one ranting about lazy cooks -- you were.