Feb 13, 2020

How to Make Homemade Jell-O from Scratch

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Every six weeks or so, when I take my boys to the orthodontist, I find myself making homemade Jell-O because one or both of them is in pain. Supposedly you can use almost any fruit juice for this process, but I like to use fresh or frozen strawberries. I don't know if my homemade Jell-O is healthier, but I like that it doesn't contain anything artificial.

I like to refer to David Lebovitz's post on gelatin for the liquid to gelatin ratio. My kids and I prefer a medium consistency - not too loose but not too firm - so I've found my ideal ratio to be 1 tablespoon of gelatin to 2 1/2 cups of liquid. If you don't have loose powdered gelatin (I use this brand), refer to Lebovitz's post for conversions.

How to Make Homemade Jell-O from Scratch

Homemade Strawberry Jell-O
makes 2 1/2 cups

2 pounds fresh or frozen strawberries
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon gelatin
1/3 cup cold water plus more if needed

1. Combine the strawberries and sugar in a medium pot with a heavy bottom. Turn heat to medium and stir frequently to prevent burning. Cook for 15 to 30 minutes if strawberries are fresh, and up to an hour if strawberries are frozen, until the sugar is dissolved and the strawberries are very soft. Mash with a potato masher or fork.

2. While the strawberries are cooking, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water, making sure all of the gelatin is absorbed. Let stand until the strawberries are done.

3. While the strawberries are still hot, line a fine sieve with cheesecloth and strain the juice from the strawberries into a medium bowl, pressing down to extract as much juice as possible. (If you don't have cheesecloth, you can use a coffee filter. Or, if you don't mind the seeds, just strain with your finest sieve.)

4. Transfer the strawberry juice into a large measuring cup and add the gelatin, stirring to dissolve the gelatin. If necessary, add enough water to bring the liquid level to 2 1/2 cups. Pour the gelatin mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least six hours.

Put the strawberries and sugar in a pan and cook until soft.

Mash the strawberries.

Strain the strawberries.

Combine the strawberry juice and prepared gelatin.

The final product looks something like this!

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