Homemade Jello

Jello is a weird dessert: you either love it or hate it. In my case, all I feel for jello is love! I love all flavors of jello, and I especially love when there are little pieces of fruit suspended in the jello. Today we are going to learn how to make homemade jello and the science behind its consistency.

What you need:

  • 1/8 cup + 3/4 cup 100% fruit juice
  • 1/8 cup boiled water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin
  • Optional: small pieces of fruit


  • In a small bowl, sprinkle the tablespoon of gelatin over the 1/8 cup fruit juice.
  • Whisk well until the mixture starts to thicken.
  • When the mixture is thick, pour the 1/8 cup of boiled water over it and whisk well until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of fruit juice and mix well to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into a pan that is greased or lined with parchment paper.
  • Optional: evenly disperse the small pieces of fruit throughout your jello.
  • Place the jello in the fridge to set for about 2 hours, or until stiff.
  • Remove the jello from the fridge and cut into pieces.

How does gelatin work?

Many foods are made of proteins. When heated, most food proteins unravel and bond to each other, coagulating into a firm, solid mass. However, gelatin proteins don’t readily form bonds with one another. Heat causes them to unravel and disperse like other proteins, yet they never form new bonds. This causes the liquid in which they’re dispersed to stay fluid. Gelatin proteins are long and stringy, so they tend to become interwoven, causing the hot liquid in which they are suspended to thicken, but not completely solidify when warm. As gelatin cools, the protein strands line up next to each other and twist into long ropes, transforming the liquid into a firm gel.

Fine Cooking Editors. “The Science of Gelatin – Article.” FineCooking, 20 Oct. 2014, www.finecooking.com/article/the-science-of-gelatin.


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