Sunday, February 12, 2012

In Honor of National Plum Pudding Day: Jell-O Plum Pudding!

I picked up this little cookbook just in time for today! National Plum Pudding Day!

While it doesn't contain a publication date, I'm guessing it came out in the early 1970s. Maybe late 1960s.

As luck would have it, I came across a plum pudding recipe in it. Who woulda thunk it?

Not me. It would never occur to me to put plum pudding and Jell-O together. But turns out it's been a thing for a century.

First, here's the recipe in my booklet:

Jello-O Plum Pudding
A make-ahead holiday dessert that's simple to prepare.

1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O Lemon or Orange Gelatin
Dash of salt
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1cup cold water
3/4 cup finely cut raisins
3/4 cup finely cut cooked prunes
1/4 cup finely cut citron
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
3/4 cup Post Grape-Nuts Cereal

Dissolve Jell-O Gelatin and salt in boiling water. Add spices and cold water. Chill until very thick. Fold in fruits, nuts, and cereal. Spoon into a 1-quart mold. Chill until firm. Un-mold. Serve with a custard or hard sauce, if desired. Makes bout 4 cups, or 8 to 10 servings.

NOTE: If desired, 1/34 cups cooked dried figs may be substituted for the raisins, prunes, and citron, and 3/4 cup crushed vanilla wafers or graham crackers for the cereal.

I found an ad from the early 1900s which highlights Jell-O plum pudding, apparently for children's parties:

And here's one from the 1940s, starring Kate Smith:

Apparently it's her grandmother's recipe. Cool, no?

She uses raspberry Jell-O, which is something I saw in other recipes around the interweb. These versions claim that it makes the pudding a lovely shade of pinkish.

So there you have it. Jell-O Plum Pudding. I only wish I'd had one more day lead time so that you could have made it for today.

What better way to celebrate National Plum Pudding Day? There's always room for Jell-O. Especially when it contains prunes and Grape-Nuts.


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  2. Oh I love vintage cookbooks! Keep on posting! Love your recipe, plan to try it soon! :D God Bless!

  3. Hi VanillaKyle! Thanks for coming by. Let us know how the recipe turns out.

  4. I used that cookbook through high school, graduating 1970, so it was published in the 60's. I thought the only recipe I kept from it was the Crown Jewel Gelatin (a spotted mix of jello chunks in a whipped cream/jello melange) and forgot that's where my plum pudding recipe came from, claiming all this time I had found it on the back of the Grape-Nuts cereal box. Maybe it showed up there, too, but I bet your book is where I found it. It is part of my Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday tradition; I've made that pudding for the past 46 years. I used an Orange-Pineapple gelatin when I could find it, then switched to Knox gelatin with boiling pineapple and cold orange juices instead of water. Who wants pink plum pudding? (after 46 years, not me.)

    1. What a wonderful story! Thank you for commenting. I've been pondering a story about bringing about a gelatin revolution and going back to Knox with juice and other real foods.