Sunday, October 7, 2018

Desserts From the 1950's

A frequent commenter on this blog and I have been talking about old time Jello dessert recipes.  My Mother was the Queen of the Jello  refrigerator type dessert recipes and I have several of those recipes in my possession.  Thing is, I couldn't find them. 

I have Mother's old recipe box.  I think it is actually Dad's recipe box.  Mother's would have been organized and alphabetized.  This one is full of clippings from magazines and newspapers, recipes written on the backs of old envelopes, recipes written on pieces of notebook paper and recipes cut from the backs of boxes and labels.  I went through, piece by piece but no dessert recipes.

I carefully looked through all of my old cookbooks.  No luck.

Then the light bulb went on and I remembered I had moved those recipes to my own recipe box.  Sure enough.  There they were.

As it turns out, only one of these recipes uses Jello.  But if memory serves, the rest are so good that I am including them as well.

The following are written here as they appeared on the original recipe cards.  Notes in parenthesis are mine in the hope of making instructions more clear.

Lime Dessert

Dissolve 1 pkg. (small size) lime Jello in 1/2 cup boiling water.  Add 2/3 cup sugar.  Stir until dissolved.
Beat 3 egg whites until stiff.  Add 1 tsp. vanilla.
Fold Jello into egg whites.  Fold in 1 pint whipped cream (I think this means start with 1 pint of whipping cream - then whip) into mixture.
Crush 25 Hydrox (or Oreo) cookies.  Butter pan (I don't know what size) and spread 2/3 of the crumbs on bottom.  Pour in lime mixture.  Top with remaining cookie crumbs.  Chill 12 hours.

Cherry Dessert

18 - 20 graham crackers
1/2 lb. marshmallows
1/2 lb. butter
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1 can cherry pie filling

Crush crackers.  Place 1/2 in 7 x 12 inch pan.  Melt butter, add milk and marshmallows.  Cook until marshmallows are melted.  Cool.
Add cream which has been whipped.
Place 1/2 mixture over crumbs, then pie filling, then rest of marshmallow mixture.
Sprinkle with remaining crumbs.  Refrigerate overnight.

Strawberry Chiffon Dessert

30 marshmallows
1 - 1/4 cup milk
1 pkg. frozen strawberries  (Many brands of frozen strawberries come in 10 oz. packages.  Back when this recipe was used by my Mother, the berries came in 16 oz. packages.  I would go with more berries rather than less.)
1 pint cream, whipped
1 loaf angel food cake

Melt in double boiler marshmallows in the milk.  Cool.
Drain juice from berries and save.
Whip cream and add berries and marshmallow mixture.
Tear cake into bite sized pieces and put in loaf pan.
Pour mixture over cake.  Chill.

1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. corn starch
reserved juice plus 1 cup water

Cook until thick and chill.  Spoon over pieces of dessert when served.

 Lemon Freeze

 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
 1/4 cup lemon juice
 1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
 1/8 tsp salt
 1/2 cup sugar
 3 eggs, separated
 1 can (6 oz.) evaporated milk, chilled

 Line refrigerator tray (I'm not sure what a refrigerator tray is, but I would use a pie tin or a 9x9 inch pan.)  with 1/2 the crumbs.
 Blend lemon juice, rind, salt and sugar into well-beaten egg yolks.  Stir over low heat until mixture thickens.  Cool.
 Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
 Whip chilled milk.
 Fold egg whites and whipped milk into lemon mixture.
 Turn into crumb-lined pan.  Top with remaining crumbs and freeze.

 Fluffy 2-Step Cheesecake

 1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
 1/3 cup sugar
 1 8-oz. tub Cool Whip, thawed
 1 prepared graham cracker crust
 1 can cherry pie filling

 Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth (use wire whisk).
 Gently stir in Cool Whip.
 Spoon into crust.  Refrigerate 3 hours.
 Top with pie filling just before serving.

 Raspberry Revel

 1/2 lb. vanilla wafers
 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
 3/4 cup butter
 2 eggs, well beaten
 1 box frozen raspberries, drained
 1/2 pint whipping cream

 Crush wafers and line a lightly buttered 9-inch pie pan with half the crumbs.
 Cream the sugar and butter well.  Add eggs and blend.
 Pour over the crumbs.  Add a layer of berries.  Cover with whipped cream.  Top with remaining crumbs.
 Refrigerate 24 hours. 
 May garnish with additional berries.

 So there you go, SJ.  :)
 These are the recipes I remember from the 50's and 60's.  None of them are fat free or sugar free or anything free.  They are what we ate before we were supposed to be skinny.  Personally, I am not fond of all those 'free of everything good' foods, which is probably why I love these desserts. 

 So go ahead.  Live dangerously.  And above all, enjoy.


  1. Replies
    1. You are welcome, Kristina...Just my little trip down memory lane. :)

  2. Success. So happy you found these.
    I wrote them all down and can't wait to go shopping. And eating!
    Cheers, SJ

    1. SJ...I'm ordering some of the ingredients this week so I can make a couple of them. Good memories.

  3. I don't think Mama made any of those desserts. The thing we liked was a box of banana strawberry and black cherry jello with diced apples, sliced bananas, and fruit cocktail. The apples and banana were so thick. I still make it to this day just because.

    1. Linda...That's the kind of Jello my Grandma used to make. I think there was more fruit than Jello and it was wonderful!!

  4. The weather turning seemed to have caught up with me. Even for me, I was wiped out. So I took myself off to a walk in clinic yesterday and turns out I have a sinus infection and somewhat elevated temp. So I'll be home except walking MrDog for the next few days.
    Just thought I'd pop by to say Hi.

    1. SJ...Get some rest - plenty of fluids - you know the drill. Sorry you are under the weather. Get better soon!!

      Me...just nothing to write about lately. It rains and then it rains some more. I have forgotten what the sun looks like. Duane is coming over tonite to share a big pot of beef stew with biscuits. That should perk me right up. :)

      Glad you pop in now and then. Give Mr. Dog a good ear scratch for me.

    2. The sun is out and that makes it hard to take it easy. But here I am with under my cozy fleece blanket and MrDog snoozing next to me on the couch. He keeps bunny kicking me as he dreams.
      Beef stew and biscuits sound yummy. And always fun to have your son's company I'm sure. For me, I'm working on a red curry soup I made a few days ago in the Instant Pot. I have the smallest IP and it's the perfect size.
      Cheers, SJ

    3. SJ...Send some of that sunshine our way. I'm getting ready to look for plans to build an ark. :)

      Cozy fleece blankets are the best thing invented since sliced bread!! Sounds like you have one contented dog.

      Stew is bubbling on the stove and biscuits are ready for the oven. I haven't made up my mind on getting an Instant Pot yet, but am leaning toward it. I have never had curry soup, but maybe I should live dangerously and try it. We Minnesotans tend to go for bland. :)

  5. Oh I remember those at the holidays and family picnics.

    1. Rob...That's when my family had those desserts, too. Lots of memories.