To the Jello Molds of My Youth

For many years, anytime I threw a house partyfor a birthday or a housewarming or just becauseI'd make a jello mold and pull it out of the fridge later in the evening to surprised oohs and ahhhs. Nobody expects a jello mold.

My mom, a true child of the 1950s and 60s when jello salad was all the rage, rarely cooked anything that didn't come from a box when I was a kid, but she'd gladly spend hours perfecting her extravagant jello molds with multiple flavors and layers of walnuts, mandarin oranges, and sometimes even sour cream.

While I'm not quite as meticulous about my jello creations as my mom was about hers, I've tried to carry on this strange tradition in my own way. I never got around to buying a proper mold, so instead I've adapted a tin cake mold for the job.

Rummaging around my cupboards in this time of social distancing, I spied a box of almond dofu (basically Chinese jello) and a can of fruit cocktail, which conjured up visions of the dessert tray at dim sum. There may be no parties or dim sum for a while, but at least we'll always have jello.

What you need:
1 package almond dofu delight (I've only ever found this at the Chinese supermarket, so if you don't have this specific mix, you can experiment with other kinds of fruit + any kind of jello)
1 8.5 oz can of fruit cocktail
Knox unflavored gelatin
3 1/2 cups cold water
1 1/2 cups of milk (soy milk, almond milk, or water can also be substituted)
Jello mold (any container reallyyou can use a cake pan, pyrex, or a Tupperware container)
Mixing bowl

1. Drain the fruit cocktail and then place in your desired mold. You can use one mold or pan or pour the mixture into multiple small bowls or containers if you want individual servings.

2. Pour the packet of almond dofu powder into a saucepan with 3 1/2 cups of cold water. Stir over medium heat and bring to a "gentle" boil. 
3. While the almond mixture is heating up, mix 1-2 packets of Knox plain gelatin (depending on how firm you want the jello to be) with the 1 1/2 cups of milk (I used almond milk because, well, almond dofu) and set aside.
4. Once you see those little bubbles in the saucepan that tell you the jello is boiling, cook for another 30 seconds, then remove from heat.
5. Add the gelatin-milk to the saucepan and stir well to mix.
6. Pour the mixture into the mold with the fruit cocktail and let cool to room temperature.
7. Place in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours to set before eating.


  1. I love almond tofu and this is exactly how we are it growing up

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