Jello pies from the 1950s


Ever decide last minute you need to make a dessert but don’t have much of anything in the cupboards, let alone cake ingredients?

I got this.

Recently, my friends Colin and Yeon both had a birthday falling on a craft day my HB decided to host at our apartment. We couldn’t have birthdays without a sweet treat, so I began to dig something up.

Rewind. Yes, Brian hosted a craft party.

I’ll give you a minute to process the effect I have had on his life…


Ok. I was working on a tight edit deadline for work while all of these crafting shananagins were going on next door… but I found fun surprises throughout the apartment later.

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I knew Colin loved bananas and the HB just brought home a ton of produce they were going to toss on his last job.

I also had some stale pretzels and lemon cookies that I have been saving to make crust with.

I had a bit of leftover heavy cream from a soup we made. It passed the smell test.

One random box of banana pudding along with plenty of plain gelatin packets.

We are trying harder not to waste in our home, hence the randomness.

For motivation, I pulled down my mom’s cookbook that has been passed down (originally from the 1930s). It’s full of great things like gelatin molds.

I found a GREAT gelatin recipe that makes it from juices. It turned out super yummy and had a great, non-plasticy texture like Jello from a box has. It was like a whole new Jello experience. I NOW understand the excitement of gelatin molds and why it was such a delicacy. The boxed SH#T really ruined it.


Perfect. Decision made.


coolind pies copy
Citrus Dream Pie & Banana Bonanza

(Makes two half sized pies)

Citrus Dream Pie

pretzels (stale is cool)

Crush up pretzels – cover with melted butter – press down with a fork, covering bottom of pie dish. bake for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Orange Filling: (mix together in order to let dissolve)
1/4 cup cold water
1 TBsp plain gelatin
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup orange juice
6 Tbsp lemon juice
orange rind

Pour gelatin mix right into super cooled pie crust. The crust may mix a bit with the jello. Don’t worry, it’s yummy.
Let set for at least 4 hours. The funny thing is this jello is so jiggly, I thought it wasn’t done for a super long time, but it was. It REALLY jiggles.

Banana Bonanza Pie:
simple cookie (I had lemon)

Crush up cookies – cover with melted butter – press down with a fork, covering bottom of pie dish. bake for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Banana Filling:
1 box instant pudding mix (I had banana)
1 1/2 cups soy milk (or cow milk)
squirt of honey
vanilla extract
2 bananas
all spice

Let crust completely cool.
Cut up banana.
Dust with some cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice.
Sprinkle in coconut flakes.
Whisk together milk, dry pudding mix. Then whisk in honey and vanilla.
Pour over bananas
let set for at least 15 minutes. The longer the better.

Whipped Cream Topping:
Heavy cream

Begin to whip cream. Add vanilla while still a liquid. Whip until fluffy. top on both pies.

Easy as – Pie. Serve as a surprise for a happy birthday!