Gelatin Diaries: 1932 Crimson Crystal Dessert

This is the continuing saga of me trying to figure out the popularity of gelatin recipes from the 1920s to the 1970s. Each month, I randomly pick a recipe from a jar filled with the good, the bad and the savory gelatin recipes to see which ones were worth it and which ones should stay forgotten. I post the recipe at the end if you are so inclined (or super brave) to try one out for yourself.

It has been a while since I have done one of these. Luckily fate was nice to me and I got an easy one. Today’s recipe is from Try The New Jell-O from 1932. It is called Crimson Crystal Dessert and consists of strawberry-flavored gelatin that has been mixed with some maraschino cherry juice and lemon juice. It is chilled and then cut into small cubes. That is all placed in individual dessert glasses and topped with more maraschino cherries.


This is an easy and very uncomplicated little dessert to make. Also, it is made with very easy and inexpensive ingredients. I get the appeal of why someone in the 1930s might make this dish. Even not be a fan of maraschino cherries, I was able to enjoy the dessert. I kept this at six servings in the recipe instructions but do keep in mind that our modern dessert dishes are probably larger than that of the past. Even the dish I used in the picture was too big and ended up having to put double the gelatin mixture in to make it look full.

So in the end, do I think this dessert was worth the make? Yeah, I think this is definitely a cute little dish especially if you are trying to recreate a 1930s meal.


Crimson Crystal Dessert

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A super easy gelatin dessert that features maraschino cherries from a 1932 Jell-O recipe booklet.

source: Try The New Jell-O (1932)


  • 1 3 oz package strawberry gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice from the jar of cherries
  • Juice from a small lemon
  • 24 maraschino cherries, halved
  • Optional: whipped cream for garnish


  1. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the Jell-O in boiling water.
  2. Stir in the fruit juices and pour into and 8×8 baking pan.
  3. Chill until firm.
  4. Cut into small cubes and place into dessert glasses.
  5. Garnish with maraschino cherries and whipped cream, if using.


2 thoughts on “Gelatin Diaries: 1932 Crimson Crystal Dessert

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