Grandma Helen had 5 kids, 4 boys and one girl. Unfortunately, my one aunt did NOT inherit the cooking gene....,at all. She cooked as little as possible and her offerings at family dinners were simple or store bought. Despite her lack of cooking schools though, she had one dish that we all looked forward to every single Thanksgiving, her 12 layer jello. Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same without it!
Fast forward some years later and actually having cut ties with my dad and subsequently that whole side of the family (makes this whole post sound a little more awkward now doesn't it? lol) I decided that I wanted to make it myself for the nostalgia factor.
Welp, it was a hit, especially with my niece Elsa. Now every year she asks "are you making the SPECIAL jello!?!?" How could I not?
So here's the thing about the jello, it's not hard to make, Jello almost never is. It just takes time and patience. I suggest carving out a minimum of 3 hours of your time to getting it done. If you did one layer every 15 minutes you can get it done in that time. 15 minutes between layers is almost always the perfect amount of time for me. You can't have it be less or the previous layer might not be set enough and then you risk mangling or having them bleed together. Too firm and then the layers won't "stick" to each other enough and they are more likely to peel apart when you go to slice and serve it.
What we're looking for is mostly set but not super firm. Know what I mean? As long as you get that part right, the rest of the process is just mixing and pouring.
12 Layer Jello
(1) 3oz box of each flavor:
- Lime (bottom of dish, first layer you pour)
- Berry (or whatever you can find in blue)
- Grape (top layer)
Starting with the lime and working your way to grape last, dissolve the jello in 1 cup of very hot water.
Pour 1/2 cup of the jello into a 9x13 pan, tilting as needed to ensure the entire pan is coated.
While that layer sets, mix the other 1/2 cup of jello with 1/3 cup of vanilla yogurt.
After about 15 minutes, check the the previous layer by lightly touching it with your finger. You want to leave a light fingerprint in it but not have it stick to your finger. Set, but not overly firm. Once it is properly set, pour the yogurt and jello mix over top, tilting to evenly coat as needed.
Repeat this process for all the flavors. Each flavor will have one regular layer and one cream layer.