Traditionally, this recipe is prepared in a 9x13 cake pan, cut in squares, and served on a salad plate with a dab of whipped cream. I have once been served this salad where the dab of whipped cream was mixed with mayonnaise. It was awful, be sure to use powdered sugar and vanilla in the whipped cream, if you decide to go that route. I made four bowls of Christmas Jell-O for a church supper. These bowls hold about 2 1/2 quarts and were full to the brim of their fluted sides. For that reason, I am going to recommend using a three quart bowl for this recipe.
It takes three 3 ounce packages of Jell-O. These are what I think of as the standard Jell-O flavors, cherry, lime and lemon, They would be gross in both color and flavor if you mixed them all together, but layered they are really delicious.
Start by mixing the bottom layer. This can be red or green, your choice. However, most people prefer the red on the top which would mean that you mix the package of green Jell-O according to the package directions.
After it is well mixed, it needs to cool for an hour or two.
Place the bowls containing the bottom layer into the refrigerator and leave it there until it is firmly set.
Starting the second layer too soon will ruin the jeweled layering we so love in this recipe. Remember what Grandma said, "Be patient."
The creamy lemon layer is in the middle. I use pineapple tidbits, because it takes less patience to drain the 20 ounce can. From this you will get about 3/4 cup of pineapple juice. If there is less than 3/4 cup, add water to make up the difference. More juice is fine, up to one cup.
Mix the juice with 16-18 large or 2 cups miniature marshmallows and melt together. I use a microwave, stopping every 30 seconds or so to stir. You may also use a double boiler, stirring constantly.
The mixture should be boiling hot and the marshmallows completely melted.
Then add the package of lemon Jell-O and stir until completely dissolved.
To this hot mixture, first add the cream cheese. I use the low fat version.
In order to make the layer creamy, I use a hand mixer. Mix until the cream cheese in completely incorporated into the Jell-O mixture.
Then mix in the cream and mayonnaise.
Finally stir in the drained pineapple. Don't use a mixer for that. A spoon or a mixing fork will work to distribute the pineapple into the mixture.
Pouring the Jell-O mixture onto the set Jell-O can be tricky. Be sure the bottom layer is completely cool and set. The second layer should be cool, but not set.
Pour slowly and as close to the surface as possible. Pouring closer to the edge is usually better than aiming for the middle.
Chill this layer until completely set, then top with the opposite flavor of Jell-O mixed according to the package directions.
1 3-ounce package each cherry, lime and lemon Jell-O
16-18 large or 2 cups miniature marshmallow
3/4-1 cup pineapple juice
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 20-ounce can pineapple tidbits
1 cup whipping cream or half and half
2/3 cup mayonnaise
First layer: Prepare lime Jell-O according to the package directions. Pour into a 2 1/2 to 3 quart bowl.
Chill to set.
Second layer: Melt marshmallows with pineapple juice. Stir in lemon Jell-O until completely dissolved. Add cream cheese and beat with a mixer or whip until completely incorporated. Add cream and mayonnaise and mix well. Stir in pineapple. Pour over chilled Jell-O.
Chill until set.
Third Layer: Prepare cherry Jell-O according to the package directions. Carefully pour over creamy layer.
Chill to set.
Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve your Christmas Jell-O.
This is great for a crowd as it keeps well in the fridge, so you can make it a day or two before you serve it.
Christmas Jell-O is a family favorite in GriggsDakota.