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Kitchen Mailbox: Gelatin-based ice creams refreshing

Thursday, April 13, 2000

By Arlene Burnett, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

We might be rushing the season a bit with our ice cream recipes, but who cares? Ice cream is good all year-round.

We'll begin by telling you that these recipes are at least 50 years old. When you read through the directions, you'll notice it says to fill freezer trays (we assume they mean the old metal ice-cube trays). We doubt if anyone still uses the metal ice-cube trays -- thanks to automatic ice makers. We used plastic containers (7- to 10-cup capacity) instead.

What's so special about these recipes? They're made with just a few ingredients, flavored and unflavored gelatin, milk or cream or evaporated milk and sugar. Even better: You don't need any special equipment such as an ice cream maker.

All the recipes turned out fine. These desserts are more sherbet-like than ice cream. With a dollop of whipped cream, a few nuts and chocolate sauce, they're even better.

You'll notice that the final ice cream recipe is made with Kool-Aid instead of gelatin. We liked how this ice cream transformed itself into a frozen billowy cloud.

Ever heard of Jell-O finger food? Georgia Artuo of Butler lost her recipe for Jello-O Jigglers -- a dish made with Jell-O that's cut into squares and eaten by hand. Our last recipe, Double-Decker Blox, comes close to what Artuo requested.

Mary Kay Saunders of Bovard, Pa., requested a recipe for ice cream made with gelatin and evaporated milk. Jo Ridgway of Edgewood sent in this one.

Philadelphia Vanilla Ice Cream

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold milk
1 3/4 cups scalded milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint light cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Soften gelatin in cold milk. Dissolve in scalded (not boiled) milk with the sugar. Stir until dissolved. Combine with the cream, salt and vanilla extract. Pour into refrigerator trays (see note) and freeze at coldest freezer setting. When mixture has frozen about 1 inch from edge, transfer to a chilled bowl. Beat until smooth. Return to trays and continue freezing. Makes 4 servings.

Notes: We used one plastic, 7-cup capacity container with a lid. If using an ice cream maker, follow manufacturer's directions.

Cynthia M. DeMar of Reserve Township sent in the following recipe.

Creamy Freeze

1 (3-ounce) package flavored gelatin
3/4 cup sugar
Dash salt
1 cup boiling water
2 cups milk
1 envelope whipped topping or 1 cup whipping cream

Dissolve gelatin, sugar and salt in boiling water. Blend in milk (mixture may look curdled but will become smooth). Pour into a freezer tray. Freeze 45 minutes, or until mixture is frozen 1/2 inch around edges of tray.

Meanwhile, prepare whipped topping: Mix as directed on package, or whip the whipping cream. Then beat gelatin mixture until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in prepared whipped topping or cream. Pour into two freezer trays and freeze 30 minutes (see note). Empty into chilled bowl; beat until smooth but not melted. Pour back into trays. Freeze until firm -- at least 3 hours. Makes 5 cups, or 8 servings.

Note: We used one plastic, 7-cup capacity container with a lid.

Here's a recipe from Jean Straub of Shaler. Straub tells us it was a fun thing for her children.

Kool-Aid Cream

1 2/3 cups (12-ounce can) evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 envelope Kool-Aid, any flavor

Chill evaporated milk until almost frozen around the edges. Place milk in a chilled bowl and beat on high speed with cold beaters until fluffy.

Add sugar and Kool-Aid. Beat until stiff. Freeze in a 10-cup capacity plastic container.

Georgia Artuo of Butler requested a recipe for Jell-O Jigglers made with cream cheese. Frances Vrhovac of Clarion thought her recipe is similar to Artuo's request.

Double-Decker Blox

4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
3 (3-ounce) packages flavored gelatin
3 cups boiling water
1 cup whipping cream

In large bowl, combine unflavored gelatin with flavored gelatin. Add boiling water and stir until gelatin mixture is completely dissolved. Stir in cream. Pour into a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Chill until firm. To serve, cut into 1-inch squares. Makes about 100 blox.


Dick Kraft of Bethel Park and Julia Rots, also of Bethel Park, requested a recipe for Boston Market's cole slaw. We didn't come up with the recipe but here's a response from Barbara Pabst of Evans City:

"To answer Julia Rots' and Dick Kraft's inquiries regarding Boston Chicken cole slaw -- they use salad dressing and a pre-packaged packet of herbs and spices. To my surprise, I was told they use malt vinegar. I made an inquiry because of certain food allergies."

We thank Barbara Pabst for her letter. It's not often we receive a response regarding a restaurant. We know more than we knew before.


Lucretia La Ganula would like a recipe for sweet rolls.

Carol Gacesa of Cranberry lost her recipe for turtles (cookies). The recipe called for boiled evaporated milk poured over pecans and a chocolate icing. Can anyone help?

Ruth Jerome of Ellwood City is looking for a recipe for shrimp salad similar to the salad that was served at Klein's Restaurant, Downtown.

Our final request is from Kitchen Mailbox to our readers:

We were eager to test Kathy Jacoby's recipe for Ice Cream Party Dessert, but this recipe called for cake-like ladyfingers, and we were disappointed we couldn't find them. If anyone knows of a local bakery or grocery store that sells old-fashioned ladyfingers (not the hard biscuit types often used in tiramisu), we'd appreciate hearing from you.

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com. Please include a name, neighborhood and a daytime phone number on all correspondence. All recipes are kitchen-tested by the Post-Gazette.

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