There is something about summertime and lemonade. They just go together. I love making up a pitcher of lemonade from scratch. For some reason, summertime also makes me think of jello. It’s an easy dessert to make and a box of the near-instant stuff is less than a dollar at any grocery store. I haven’t made it in a few years because most of the ingredients are things we now avoid. I was lamenting this fact last week when it hit me. Homemade lemonade jello.
I immediately turned to Pinterest, where I found only jello shots. That’s was not what I needed. One test recipe later, I’ve got the perfect summer dessert for you. You are going to love this, because it is still easy to make and tastes so much better. There are more steps in my version than the boxed variety, but they are really easy. Plus, you have the advantage of knowing what you’re eating.
First, a quick introduction to my new favorite product.
Pomona’s Universal Pectin is citrus pectin with nothing added (no sugar, no preservatives). Since it’s made from fruit, it is vegan and kosher. I found mine at Sprouts, but you can also get it on Amazon.com. It comes with a separate packet of calcium powder, which must be mixed with water and then added to your recipe. It sounds complicated at first, but it really isn’t.
Lemonade jello recipe
For the lemonade:
- 2-1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 4 cups of water, separate from the first amount
For the jello:
- 4 cups prepared lemonade from the above recipe
- 4 teaspoons calcium water (from Pomona’s box)
- 4 teaspoons pectin powder (from Pomona’s box)
Step 1. Make the lemonade
I love homemade lemonade. If you prefer to use a store-bought version here, you can skip this step. To me, those are just too sweet, so I make my own.
Combine the water and sugar in a pot on the stove. Heat and stir it just until the sugar has dissolved. It doesn’t need to boil. Turn off the burner and add the lemon juice.
Pour the lemon mixture in a pitcher and add the 4 cups of water. Stir to combine. (Now you’ve got lemonade, which you can chill and drink, of course.)
Step 2. Mix the pectin
To make the jello, take four cups of the lemonade and put them back in the same pot on the stove. Add 4 teaspoons of calcium water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat again and scoop out about a cup of the lemonade mix. Pour that in a food processor or blender and add 4 teaspoons of pectin powder.
Note: The liquid is hot, so be sure to vent the food processor to let out the steam while it is blending. If you don’t, you will have a mess and possibly an explosion of broken glass.
Blend until the pectin dissolves. It will quickly start to be thick and gummy.
Step 3. Finish the jello
Return the sticky lemonade pectin mix to the rest of the lemonade in the pot. Stir until thoroughly combined. Pour into a container or jello mold and chill for about 4-6 hours.
I used a 9″x11″ glass pan, but just about anything will work. This jello holds its shape really well, if you want to try a shaped mold.
This homemade lemonade jello is just sweet enough. And lemony. And jiggly, of course.
This recipe could be used to make just about any flavor jello that you want. Just substitute an equal amount of juice for the prepared lemonade.
What is your favorite jello flavor?