Depression Jelly Recipe

My mother died about a month ago and my dad has been talking about jelly mom made during the depression that had no fruit, tomatoes or figs but just a clear red strawberry flavored jelly. Can anyone help me with a recipe you might have? I'd love to make it for him. I'll appreciate any advice or help.


Thank you,
Tisket from Texas

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March 14, 20060 found this helpful

I googled "depression jelly" and found 2 recipes, both made with just jello, tomatoes and sugar.

Try google.

Condolences on your loss, and please extend our sympathies to your Dad as well.

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March 14, 20060 found this helpful

I googled this and came up with several ways to make depression jam/jelly but they all started with tomatoes. I will post this and maybe someone else will find one without tomatoes.Apparently it tastes like regular jelly and not tomatoes.

4 cups sugar
4 fresh tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 package strawberry,blackberry,raspberry or any fruit flavored jello

Simmer tomatoes and sugar for 30 minutes,stir in package of jello.Strain through mesh bag(or leave whole to make jam).


Take juice and place in hot sterilized jelly jars and seal. Process in hot water bath 10 minutes.If you are doing jam also process it in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.I would add a package of pectin to this if you are making it a jelly.

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March 14, 20060 found this helpful

So sorry for your own and your dad's loss. It's a tough time and nice that you are trying to find some of her recipes to help with that.

I looked under Jello Jelly and found two links:


The have pectin, sugar, jello, vinegar and baking soda so no fruit at all. If you use the strawberry flavored jello, it should be much the same.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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March 15, 20060 found this helpful

I haven't tried this but it sounds interesting. This is from Hillbilly Housewife.



3 cups grape juice (Prepared from frozen concentrate is fine)
1 package powdered pectin
4 cups sugar

In a large saucepan combine the prepared grape juice and the powdered pectin. Stir it up to eliminate all of the lumps. Bring the mixture to a full boil over medium heat, stirring some as necessary. Add the sugar and return the mixture to a boil. Boil for a full minute and remove from heat. Ladle the jelly into clean sterilized jars and seal with bands and lids. Process in a boiling water bath for about 10 minutes to seal. Remove the jars and allow to cool before storing on the pantry shelf. Makes about 5 cups.

Usually when I make this recipe I use juice I have prepared from frozen concentrate, diluting it with 3 cans of water, according to the package directions. When the jelly is done, I ladle it into a clean quart size jar, and a clean pint size jar. Then I put both into the fridge for storage. We go through it pretty quickly for PB&J sandwiches, and breakfast toast so it's a poor use of my time to process and seal the containers, when I can store them in the fridge just as easily. When I make this recipe for gift giving in the winter, I do process the jars, so they will keep on the recipient's shelf for as long as a year.


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By suzq (Guest Post)
March 15, 20061 found this helpful

It might be a Kool Aid jelly.....Recipe......1 pkg. pectin, sure jell...1 pkg. unsweetened kool aid...any kind (I use grape)... 3 C water, 3 C sugar...mix water, koolaid and pectin together and bring to a full boil....(use a very large tall pan, it may boil over, it boils up high), then add sugar and bring back to a boil and boil one good minute....pour into jars...for a firmer jelly use a couple T less water....makes just over a quart....This was on the back of a package of Kool Aid many years ago...I made it for my kids and they loved it......Hope this is what you are looking for.....

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December 8, 20080 found this helpful

I think I've read of it and it might have had jello as it's base.


Other than that, I have made clear strawberry jelly from
juice, steam extracted from strawberries. absolutely divine, like a red jewel, turned to jelly.

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December 21, 20100 found this helpful

Oooh, Pikka, that sounds lovely! I made cranberry jelly like that one year, put the cranberries in a steamer, collected the juice and made jelly for Christmas gifts. It was bright red, clear and sparkling as a jewel!

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August 10, 20190 found this helpful

Pat, I just tripped on your question..... Years back there used to be a jelly made out of the beet juice after canning beets. The recipe was for "Rex Jelly" and back then they used Raspberry Kool Aid for the flavoring.....any red Kool Aid would work however!


Hope you found what you were looking for and I sure wish I would have found your question much earlier.

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