Mom’s Cherry Mallow Squares

Photo credit S Butler

Do you remember the plethora of Jell-O recipes that floated around in the late 1960’s and 70’s?  There was about any flavor and combination you could imagine:  black cherry, black raspberry, pineapple-grapefruit (sounds good to me!), orange-banana, mixed fruit, blackberry, and apple.  Wonder how many of those they still produce today. 

I remember when Mom made this salad (dessert?) and I was in love with the green layer.  It’s a pretty simple salad and a great retro recipe!  The red layer is more solid than the green layer, having cherries combined with it and chilled to firm up.  The green layer is fluffy good!  It calls for heated syrup from a can of pineapple, cream cheese, mayonnaise and marshmallows.  It’s good! 

For a little history of the bounce:  Jell-O’s fame is its jiggle and that jiggle comes from the processed version of gelatin, the collagen from animals.  An array of bones, skins and connective tissues are all used in the making of Jell-O.  Jell-O was given its name by Pearle B. Wait, a carpenter and cough syrup manufacturer.  He and his wife, who bought the Jell-O patent in 1897, added various flavorings but weren’t able to market it.  They subsequently sold it to the Genesee Food Company in 1902 and the rest is Jell-O history. 

You know that Fat Albert’s creator, Bill Cosby was the spokesman for Jell-O beginning in 1974, carrying on for the next 30 years with all manner of new Jell-O creations, including frozen Jell-O Pops and Sugar-Free Jell-O.  As of 2008, there are 160 Jell-O products and around 300 million boxes of Jell-O are sold in the United States each year.  That’s not surprising as it was a great treat that incorporated dairy products and fruit that was fit for a crowd and very popular 50 years ago and is thriving to this day, especially at holiday time.  Just to name a few of the newer flavors:  Melon Fusion, Pina Colada, Margarita, Cranberry-Raspberry, Fruit Fiesta and Kiwi.  Way to go, Jell-O!

Now, for the 1966 recipe Mom used from a magazine back then:

Cherry Mallow Squares

Red layer:

Dissolve 3 ounce package red Jell-O in 1 cup boiling water.
Add ½ cup cold water and ½ cup fruity red wine. Stir well.
Refrigerate until partially set.
Add 2 cups pitted dark sweet cherries, well drained.
Pour 9” x 9” pan.

Green layer:

Drain large (#2) can crushed pineapple, reserving 1 cup syrup.
To syrup, add 3 ounce package lime Jell-O.
Heat and stir until Jell-O dissolves.
Add 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened and 1/2 cup mayonnaise. 
Beat smooth with electric beater.
Stir in ½ cup cold water, drained pineapple and ½ cup tiny (mini) marshmallows.
Chill until partially set.
Whip ½ cup whipping cream.  Fold into lime mixture.
Spread on red layer.
Chill thoroughly until well set.
Cut into squares and serve.

Pam’s note:  In the photo at the top, it looks like it was made in a mold; therefore, when warm water was applied to the bottom of the mold and then inverted on a plate, the red layer was on the top.  According to the recipe, Mom prepared it in the square pan, sliced it and removed each portion with a spatula, making the green layer on top. 

And there you have a bright red cherry laden salad with a fluffy green layer.  Yummy, good! 

Remember the slogan, “There’s always room for JELL-O!”

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