As usual, I am getting ready for the holiday just in the nick of time. I keep telling myself to skip ahead to the next holiday so I have time to do something really wiz bang, but I can’t seem to let a celebration pass me by. So here we are, getting ready for Independence Day at the last minute.
Today, I’m sharing a mash-up recipe. It’s part Jell-O-authored and part by Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman. And FYI, I’m writing at the kitchen counter while my Jell-O sets up in the fridge. This is not a fast process, ladies.
Update: Of course, I took photos of my finished project, and you can see, we had a bit of a sad ending to this project — but don’t let that stop YOU from trying it!
Ree makes this amazing-looking thin layered Christmas Finger Jell-O dish, but I’m making a map of the USA and wanted three thick layers. The Jell-O mold came with its own recipe, but Ree’s sounded better. I mean, who’s going to object to sweetened condensed milk?
All you’re going to do is make three layers: part Jell-O with a touch of Ree, then all Ree, then Jell-O + Ree again. This process was made simpler by the face that the girls were at Vacation Bible School, but slightly more complicated by the adult beverage I enjoyed with dinner. 😉
NOTE: Be sure you give yourself enough time to wait out the refrigeration times: two hours while you wait around to add layer three. It’s really best to make this so it can sit in the fridge overnight. (Why is there a “d” in “fridge” but not in “refrigerator”?)
- Strawberry Jell-O (or cherry, up to you)
- Berry Blue Jell-O
- Knox Unflavored Gelatin (1 box has 4 packets and you need them all)
- Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 oz.)
- USA Map Jell-O Mold
- Cooking Spray
You’ll also need:
- 3 Medium Mixing Bowls
- Liquid Measuring Cup
- 3 Spoons
- Scraper Spatula
- Tea Kettle
Layer One: Red
- This is your red layer, and it goes on the bottom of your mold. Add one packet of Knox Unflavored Gelatin to a bowl. Mix with 1/4 cup of cold water.
- Boil a ton of water. Add the Strawberry Jell-O packet to the mixture. Mix with 1.5 cups of boiling water. Then mix with 3/4 cup of cold water.
- Spray the bottom and sides of the Jell-O mold with cooking spray. Gently pour the Strawberry Jell-O mixture into the mold.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Layer Two: White
- This layer is all Ree. In your liquid measuring cup, mix two packets of Knox Unflavored Gelatin with 1/2 cup of cold water.
- Pour your Sweetened Condensed Milk into a mixing bowl, scraping down the sides of the can. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir.
- Add the Knox Gelatin mixture and stir again.
- Add 1/2 cup more of boiling water and mix again.
- Gently pour in all but about 3/4 cup of the mixture on top of the red layer. Ree says to pop any bubbles with a toothpick.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Layer Three: Blue
- This is your top and final layer. Add one packet of Knox Unflavored Gelatin to a bowl. Mix with 1/4 cup of cold water.
- Boil more water. Add the Berry Blue Jell-O packet to the mixture. Mix with 1.5 cups of boiling water. Then mix with 3/4 cup of cold water.
- Spray the bottom and sides of the Jell-O mold with cooking spray. Gently pour in the Berry Blue Jell-O mixture.
- Refrigerate for three hours or overnight to set completely.
To release Jell-O from the mold, fill your sink part way with warm water. Dip the pan in the water for 15 seconds. (Obviously, do not submerge your Jell-O.) Remove your pan from the water. Lay your platter over the Jell-O. Quickly turn the mold upside down, onto the platter.
And here was my mistake: My map was not centered on my platter and Texas was bent up on the lip of my platter. So I took two super thin and extra wide spatulas and tried to nudge my map over. It worked — for a second. And then a crack started to form down the middle. You have to picture me, wailing to my Jell-O, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” Baby A offered to push the map back together, which was sweet, but not practical. Then two more cracks formed. It was a regular war between the States. But what are you going to do? We were going to eat the stinking Jell-O.