Amish Jello

My family has some odd traditions. When we sing Happy Birthday we all link pinkies before the birthday boy or girl blows out his or her candles. I was unaware that no one else did this until I was 14. That was embarrassing. And then my Grandpa always used to sing “without a shirt” after the birthday song was over. That is a tradition we always knew was a bit off. But oddly enough, Eric’s Grandpa used to sing it as well. Maybe its a generational thing? Or maybe we both just have equally odd families. Either way, we were pretty amused when we discovered that we shared that family quirk. But one family quirk that is entirely “Berendt” is the Easter tradition of making Amish Jello. This is the most delicious, fluffy, fruity concoction out there. It’s a bit like ambrosia salad, but much better. The recipe calls for whipped cream, tapioca beads, fruit & the jello mix of your juice. But don’t be swayed by the odd ingredients, because the final product really is delicious. My cousins and I usually make it together every year…and than eat copious amounts of it until our stomachs ache. Because that is part of the tradition. So I hope you share in this Berendt tradition today. Its easy, delicious, and won’t result in as many confused looks as the pinky linking does. Enjoy!


  • 4 cups water with a dash of salt
  • 1 cup small pearl tapioca beads
  • 1 small package jello (we used lime this year)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 15 oz crushed pineapple, drained
  • 17 oz fruit cocktail, drained
  • 1 large tub cool whip


  1. In a large pot, bring water & salt to a boil
  2. Stir in tapioca beads and stir for 10 minutes, until beads are translucent and soft
  3. Remove from heat
  4. Stir in jello powder & sugar
  5. Transfer to a large bowl, stir in pineapple & fruit cocktail
  6. Place mixture in the fridge for 2-3 hours, until mixture has hardened
  7. Once mixture has jelled completely, stir in Cool Whip (mixture should be light and fluffy)

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