A Taste of Transcona- Eat Your Jello Day!


Welcome to our sixth instalment of A Taste of Transcona. We are going through the cookbook edition of the Transcona News from 1964, one recipe at a time. Since Wednesday was Eat Your Jello Day, what a better way to celebrate than to share a recipe of Jello Cheesecake! Read on to find out how it went.

I'm not much of a baker, so I chose a recipe that I definitely couldn't screw up or burn.


I wanted to stick to the recipe as much as possible to see the traditional cheesecake. So I chose to use lemon jello.

The recipe states in the morning to dissolve 2 lemon jello or your choice of jello in boiling water. Put in fridge and let chill but not harden. However, there was no set time. I let it sit for about 5 minutes, and it was still warm, so I let it sit for another 5 minutes and it was chilled somewhat by then. Another thing that struck me as odd, that was similar to the 24 Hour Salad, was that there was no set time for chilling the recipe. I suppose that in the 1960's the recipe writers assume that you would know how long to chill your jello for. I don't so I had to check on it every few minutes.


Making the cheesecake at home proved to be a little difficult, especially after being up for 10 hours already. Using frozen condensed milk proved to be a bit of a challenge as well, I had to shake the can and then ended up using a spoon and a fork to try and get it out. Eventually I had to go back to shaking because nothing seemed to work.


To make it easier to fold in, I kind of hacked up the frozen milk chunks after I realised that folding in the large chunks was getting me nowhere and I would likely be here a while waiting for it to melt.

The next step was to cream 1/2 lb. cream cheese with 1 cup of fruit sugar and add to the jello when set. To cream the cheese, I let it sit out for about 5 minutes to get to room temperature. Then I just used a fork to squish the cream cheese in the bowl and make it soft. One part of this recipe that was a challenge for me was that it is imperial measurements. I'm a millennial, so I don't know imperial measurements, only metric. So I had to google the metric equivalent to the imperial measurements. I guessed that 1/2 lb. would be 1/2 the cream cheese brick.


Creaming the cream cheese also proved to be hard. It started to hurt my hand after a while, so I had to take a few breaks, similar to when I was folding in the carnation milk.


The next step was to whip the carnation milk and fold in.

Similar to the 24 hour salad, to fold in milk, you just scoop the milk towards you and fold over like you would to make dough. Because the milk was frozen, it made it a little more difficult to fold in.



The finished product for the filling!

The next step required me to put on the top and bottom of the cake pan, 16 double Graham wafers and 3 tbsp. melted butter. 16 double wafers was almost a whole box of graham wafers. I didn't quite understand what this was telling me, but then I asked a friend who bakes often, and she said this meant I had to make graham crumbs.

The recipe then instructed me to set the cake in the fridge. Again, no set time, so I decided to let it sit overnight to make sure the jello hardened and the cream cheese was hard again as well. I assume that since this recipe was originally made in the morning, the cake would have sat all day until dinner time, when desert would be served shortly after.


The recipe told me I could sprinkle with frozen strawberries before serving or I could choose to dissolve 1 large jello and set a bit then pour over cheesecake. I decided to use the frozen strawberries as the final decoration.


The final product: lemon jello cheesecake with strawberries on top!


Stay tuned to our Facebook page for the staff taste test!!!

Jello Cheesecake Dessert Recipe by Mrs. S. Strutinksky

Freeze overnight 1 large tin of Carnation Milk.

In the morning, dissolve 2 lemon jello or your choice of jello in boiling water. Put in fridge and let chill but not harden.

Cream 1/2 lb. creamed cheese with 1 cup of fruit sugar and add to the jello when set.

Whip the carnation milk and fold in.

Put on top and bottom with 16 double Graham wafers and 3 tbsp. melted butter.

Set in fridge.

You may sprinkle with frozen strawberries before serving or you may choose to dissolve 1 large jello and set a bit then pour over cheesecake.

Will serve at least 24 guests.


#Cooking #Heritage

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The Transcona Museum gratefully acknowledges the City of Winnipeg for their ongoing support of museum operations and facility maintenance.

We would like to acknowledge that we reside on Treaty One territory, the traditional territory of Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, as well as the homeland of the Métis Nation.

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