Third time is still not the charm

I meant to blog about this a while ago. I blogged earlier about Auntie Pauline’s lime jello cheesecake dessert, but little did I know I would be making it three times this past hoilday season, none of which came up to par!

1) Auntie Pauline’s family organized a surprise birthday party for her in early December. I volunteered to make the lime jello cheesecake as a sentimental feature, since the party was catered and already included dessert. Even though it’s got three layers, that’s not the hard part. The tricky part is to time the completion of the layers correctly, so that each liquid one is added after the one below has set properly. I screwed up in that the second layer of cheesecake had cooled too much in the mixing bowl, so that it didn’t pour evenly. I had to spread it with a spatula like putty. The result was several fissures, so that by the time I added the top layer of liquid green jello, it seeped all the way down to the crust. What I ended up with a marbled version of the cheesecake. Since each layer is supposed to be distinct from each other, the aesthetics was ruined. Ruined!

“Hey it’s not supposed to look like that!” exclaimed Auntie Pauline. Straight from the horse’s mouth; well our family is usually pretty straightforward. I laughed, partially in embarrassment. But she told me later that it tasted just as good.

2) I tried making it again for the family crab feed at New Year. This time I didn’t allocate enough time for the jello mixture to cool, so that when I poured it onto the cheesecake layer, it melted some of the cheesecake, and again, created a marbling effect in the jello. But it still tasted good.

3) The standard recipe fills a 9″ X 13″ pan, but since families tend to be smaller today, and most people are on some sort of dietary restriction (low sugar, low fat, low cholesterol), or simply don’t want to be stuck with leftovers, I decided to experiment with scaling it down, to fit a square 8″ X 8″ pan. Even though I hadn’t perfected it at full size yet! Fortunately, we had another family get-together in mid-January at Uncle YY’s house. “Why would you want to make a smaller version of the dessert?” he asked when I told him what dessert I was bringing. (He’s quite fond of it, and his issue is primarily anemia.) This time, my layers stayed separate. But I had miscalculated the volume, so that by the time I had completed the bottom and the middle layer, there was hardly any space left for the top layer of lime jello. So the ratio of the layers in each bite (which is important for the overall taste) was off.

Oh well. My next attempt at scaling down will be for Joe’s mom’s cheesecake recipe. It’s done in a 13″ round springform pan, which takes 5 adults way too many days to polish off. I’m going to attempt making it in an 8″ pan instead. One of these days. At least I’ve made this one successfully before in the 13″ pan!

UPDATE: T just blogged about his attempts on making this cheesecake, plus he has pictures!


One thought on “Third time is still not the charm

  1. Wow, this brings back memories. My aunt used to make something like this when I was a kid. I vaguely remember Cool Whip was involved in making some of the layers. I don’t think I’d be able to recreate it from memory without giving her a ring for some advice. 😉

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