Recipe: the easiest, most retro dessert ever
(Other than ordering a milkshake to share with your date at the local diner, that is)
1950s and '60s cuisine in the United States was all about gelatin, specifically name brand Jello. It wasn't limited to only desserts, but was used with main meals too. Savory foods like ham, lamb, tuna, mayonnaise, and even sauerkraut were all encased in an ornate Jello mold and served to victims... er, guests. But don't lose sleep, because I won't be recreating any of those. Ever.
The gelatin desserts were fine! Plain Jello was a delicacy, especially with canned fruit added to it. If you've never had lime Jello with pineapple bits in it, you should add it to your next shopping list. Here is a super easy gelatin dessert made with cream cheese. That's really it.
I first made this a few years ago on a sweltering hot and humid night here in Pennsylvania. The first week of September is like that. This dessert is refreshing – the perfect light and airy treat for a hot summer evening.
Try it for yourself!
- 1 package (3 ounces) of lime flavored Jello powder mix, sweetened
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 3/4 cup cold water
- Prepare a gelatin mold or glass dish by coating it in a little vegetable oil on a paper towel, so that your dessert won't stick (I used a shallow glass bowl).
- Pour the Jello powder into a regular bowl (salad/cereal bowl or similar is fine). Add 3/4 cup boiling water, and dissolve the Jello completely. Stir regularly for 2 minutes.
- In a blender, add the cream cheese and dissolved Jello. Blend until smooth, about a minute.
- Add 3/4 cup ice cold water to the blender, and blend again until smooth.
- Pour the concoction into your prepared dish, cover with plastic wrap, and let it set overnight. Or, if you prepared this in the morning, then it should be set by dinner time.
- Serve with a spritz of whipped cream or a scoop of Cool Whip!
Use any flavor Jello you like – cherry, strawberry, raspberry, orange, lemon, grape... whatever you like!