Orange Jello

Today’s recipe was the result of picking a jello recipe from the pile based on the ingredients I had on hand. Years ago I never thought I’d have any retro jello ingredients on hand, but here we are.

This one is just called “Orange Jello” to make it nice and easy to distinguish from the other orange jellos.

A Recipe-Dating Tangent

Because I’m a major nerd it’s extremely important to me to date these recipes, or at least comfortably assign them to a decade. I’m pretty confident that this one is from the 60’s and let me tell you why…

The recipe index card is clearly type-written, which tells me nothing because I remember playing with my grandma’s typewriter in like 1992. It’s the paper stapled to it that sent me internet sleuthing.

The paper is greenish-blue with blue dye/ink and there is a clear typewriter-style typo on it. It looks like an old photocopy on a waxy-ish paper and you can see right through the back of it. The recipe is exactly the same as the one on the index card, but has the note “Make two” penciled at the top, which means this was possibly given to my grandma as a church luncheon assignment then maybe she typed her own copy on an index card at home and stapled them together for some reason.

I’m no expert on early photocopy machines and methods but my theory is this was made on a 60’s-era Mimeograph or Stencil Copier that used blue ink. Dittos/Spirit Duplicator copies were usually purple, but it’s possible a Ditto machine was used because they were cheaper and better for making smaller numbers of copies.

Here’s a fun video that explains how a Ditto works, if you’re interested:

Another reason I’m leaning toward 1960’s is because the cursive typewriter font looks almost identical to the Adler Tippa typewriter typeface. But of course, this doesn’t mean the typewriter wasn’t another model or still being used in later decades! However, the fact that the recipe calls for whipping cream and not Cool Whip tells me it’s probably not 70’s. And I know it’s definitely not 50’s because of the can of orange juice.

In the end it doesn’t really matter, but it’s fun to prattle on about it anyway.

The Recipe

Orange Jello

3 Pkg. (3 oz) orange jello
3 cups hot water
1 1/2 cup cold water
1 can (6 oz) orange juice
1 can crushed pineapple, drained, saving juice.
3 bananas, sliced
1 cup mini marshmallows

1 cup pineapple juice
3 T. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 beaten egg
1 cup heavy/whipping cream, whipped

Directions: Dissolve orange jello in hot water. Add cold water, orange juice and let set until partially-set or “soupy.” Mix in crushed pineapple, bananas and marshmallows, put in a mold and let set.

For the sauce, combine ingredients and cook until thick. Let cool. Whip cream, add to the sauce and pour over mixture.

This is one of those pretty self-explanatory recipes that doesn’t need a lot of detail. It is, however, worth mentioning that the sauce needs to be cooked over very low heat, stirring often until thickened so you don’t scramble the egg. And make sure it is completely cool before adding the whipped cream, otherwise the cream will melt.

It makes a pretty large jell-O, probably around 8 or 9 cups would be my guess; enough to fill a cake dish. I’ll be honest, I only had one package of orange jell-O so I just “thirded” it, which filled about 2/3 of one of my smaller (4-cup) vintage molds. I made the sauce with the original measurements above.

If you’re going to mold it rather than let it set in a dish, use a bundt shape or something with grooves to collect all that delicious sauce. Mine ended up looking like a sweet dessert volcano. So beautiful.

The Verdict

This one is a win! If you’re in the mood for a refreshing summer BBQ dessert, give this one a try. If it didn’t have pineapple chunks in it my son would have eaten more than two bites, but everyone else really liked it.

The sauce, in my opinion, is the best part. It’s the same topping used in the Lemon Jello Salad I made back in January. Now I have to figure out what to do with the extra sauce…


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