Widgets Magazine

Nov 25, 2011

Food for Thought Guest Blogger: Bossy's 14-Layer Jello

Much like she hinted last Friday about me doing a guest blog about Taco, Mom has been telling me since mid-March she wanted to do a food for thought with 14-Layer Jell-o.  I had intentions of doing it for St. Patrick’s Day, I even bought the yogurt, but I just couldn’t find the time to do it. 

Jell-o and toast are two things I just can’t cook well.  I can cook a mean stir fry and Gamer loves my Cajun Chicken.  But I have never been able to fully "set" a Jell-o, so five years or so ago Mom asked me to make the 14-Layer Jell-o for Thanksgiving.  We all thought it would be a disaster!  I am pretty sure my Dad was laughing and Mom thought it was a great way to kill a very time and fridge space consuming Thanksgiving tradition. (The tradition came from Mom’s big sister.)

As it turns out, with this Jell-o the individual layers only have to set 1/8 inch at a time: perfect for those of us who always make Jell-o Soup.  It takes an entire shelf to make the 2 9x13 pans we need to feed our crew, so my fridge is relegated for Jell-o.

*Disclaimer* I only make this once a year, so the first couple of layers are usually rocky.  This time I tried to discover what caused the mistakes and I think I have it perfected.  That being said there was no way I was going to make a third pan just for perfect pictures.  I discovered the side of my fridge the clear pan was on wasn’t getting cold in the middle of the shelf so I had to balance it on the blue pan and in the groove of the shelf to the back wall.  Be prepared for the unexpected. And try to ignore the ugliness in the clear pan.

14-Layer Jell-o 

Seven to Eight flavors of Jell-o in different colors 2 boxes each.
(For 2 9x13 pans use large boxes of Jell-o or 1 9x13 use small boxes.  If you choose to use large boxes for one pan be prepared to split each box in half as you mix. )

2 quarts of vanilla yogurt.

First line up your Jell-o in the order you wish to prepare it.  Layers look better if they are ordered dark to light.  When I make it, it usually goes like this:
All the Jello I used

1-     Black cherry or Grape
2-     Raspberry or Cherry
3-     Strawberry Banana (my favorite smelling Jell-o)
4-     Orange
5-     Peach or Orange-Pineapple (If I can’t find these I skip this and add Strawberry Kiwi as the final layer.)
6-     Lemon
7-     Lime

Have a spare flavor just in case.  I always have a box of blue just in case. (We use sugar free Jell-o because I am diabetic.  Berry Blue does not come in sugar-free so I save this as an emergency flavor and for the top so it can be easily removed.)

*If you chose to use full sugared Jell-o you need a measuring cup that is at least 3 cups.*

Each flavor has two parts, a “normal” layer and a yogurt layer.  Always start with the “normal” layer.

For one 9x13 (with small boxes) use 1 cup boiling ¼ cup cold and ¼ c yogurt.
For two 9x13 (with large boxes) use 2 cup boiling ½ c cold and ½ c yogurt.

All whisked up!
Heat 2 cups of water to boiling.  We use a tea kettle and a Pyrex measuring cup.  In fact, this jello is the only reason I own my tea kettle.  This way I can keep heating the water without measuring first.

Whisk one large box of Jell-o into the 2 cups boiling water. (If you are making one pan with a large box, at this point you want to split your Jell-o into 2 parts.  Then add the cold water to one and add the yogurt to the other.)

Adding Yogurt
Add ½ c cold water and whisk well.  Allow to sit on the counter for 5 minutes.  (This is very important, and I discovered it to be my biggest problem in wrecking layers.  If you pour the boiling Jell-o onto the softest layer below it will break through and mix the layers.  Allowing the layer to cool on the counter also helps reduce the time it takes layers to set.  Because of this I usually start my next layer about halfway into the set time.)

This should make roughly 2 ½ cups of Jell-o.  Pour ½ of the Jell-o into your first pan.  Pour directly into the fridge pouring carefully and slowly.  This will become important on other layers.  Try to pour it only on the sloped side of the pan and not directly onto the layer below as that creates holes in the Jell-o. (My aunt likes to pour it onto a spoon. That works too.) Pour the remaining Jell-o into the second pan.

Allow layer to set.  The first layer will be the longest.  The pans are probably not chilled to the fridge yet and you can pour this layer boiling.  Plan on 30 minutes for this layer and 20 minutes for each subsequent layer.  (20 x 13 + 30 = 290 or nearly 5 hours so plan accordingly.  My husband and I stay up late and play a game together.)

Up to Layer 8!

Repeat until your pan it full.  Set to firm.  Since Thanksgiving always means a full fridge at my mother's house, we turn the fridge on full blast and try to get the jello mostly frozen.  Then it can sit in the car until we are ready to serve.  Cut into squares and serve on plates.  Some of us peel off individual layers to eat and some of us eat it by the spoonful.  Enjoy!

Drama Queen says : Mom left me in charge of getting this up while she and Dad went shopping, so I apologize in advance if the formatting is off.  I'll see if I can convince Teach to adding some pictures of the finished jello and us all eating it up!  Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Dog-Walker said...

Rainbow!!! Beautiful!!!

Emma Frances said...

I want to see a picture of the finished product! What a cool treat!


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