Marian’s Cranberry Jell-O

My friend Marian used to make this for Thanksgiving. I still make it and think of her every time.

I love Jell-O (technically it needs the hyphen) because my mom never made it, so it’s a treat for me. This one is not hard to make, and the bitterness of the cranberries adds a whole new dimension to the Jell-O.

  • 1 6 oz package of dark red Jell-O (cherry, black cherry, whatever)
  • 1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
  • About 1/2 cup walnut halves or pieces
  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange

This takes a bit of prep. Dump the cranberries in a colander and rinse them. PIck out the bad ones and get rid of them. Put half of them in a 2 qt or larger saucepan. Cut the rest of the cranberries in half and add them to the saucepan too. Add the amount of water that the Jell-O package says to boil- usually 2 cups- and turn the burner on.

(The package also says to add cold water- put that water in the refrigerator while you cook the cranberries. )

Keep an eye on the cranberries, stirring once in a while. Let them boil til they start seriously popping. Take the pan off the stove and stir the Jell-O mix in per instructions, for THE FULL TWO MINUTES. Then add the cold water and stir.

Put it in a pretty serving bowl at this point, but make sure to leave a couple of inches of room.

Chill for an hour to an hour and a half. Just before then, core and chop the apple into 1/2 inch pieces, and peel, seed and chop the orange into 1/2 inch pieces.

Take out the Jell-O, mix in the fruit and walnuts, put back in the fridge for several hours til it gels hard.

Remember, Jell-O is NOT vegetarian. You can make this with the vegetarian carrageenan version, but it doesn’t gel hard, it stays kind of soft. Still tasty, just not the same.