Posted by: Erica Retrochef | August 21, 2008

Prune Cream Pie

Jell-O Ad
From January 1952, originally posted for your enjoyment by Millie Motts *, comes an advertisement-turned-recipe for Jell-O…

Prune Cream Pie. A brand-new pie idea for a happier New Year! Prepare Jell-O Vanilla Pudding and Pie Filling as directed. Before serving, top pie with mixture of 1 cup drained cut stewed prunes and 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind. Spread with whipped cream.

So by “happier”, we can assume they mean… well, “more regular”. Stewed prunes?!? But hey, you can’t make an easier pie than “jell-o in graham crust with fruit and whipped cream on top.” Even having to stew your own prunes and puree them is crazy-easy if you own a food processor. So, Prune Cream Pie it is this week.

It’s insanely easy to make. Even stewing prunes — water, pot, prunes, boil, puree, and voilà you have stewed prunes. (I may be over-experienced, though, because this is how you make pretty much any fruit or vegetable into baby food, and I’ve done that a lot.) Here’s the almost-done pie. I can TOTALLY see why this should be covered with whipped cream — it currently looks like the vanilla pudding is covered with dog food.

Prune Pie, Pre-Whipped Cream

Unfortunately, even after covering the prunes with whipped cream, you’ll still get a glimpse of pruney goodness when serving slices. (Maybe offer your family blindfolds instead of napkins.)

Cross Section

It’s SUPPOSED to look like THIS — and even an idealized illustration isn’t much better looking, is it?

Jell-O Ad Picture

While the taste was underwhelming, it’s really the visual unappeal of the pie that makes it a disaster. If you really must have prunes, this is a great way to make them less appetizing. But, if you really must have a fast and easy pie, use a different fruit. Like strawberry or cherry pie filling out of a can… this saves the trouble of stewing prunes, and (more importantly) also means you don’t have to look at stewed prunes!

* Lovely blog — it’s all pictures and is a quick, refreshing inclusion in your daily RSS…


  1. I would eat that.

  2. The look certainly doesn’t add to the appeal of the dish, but I don’t find it actively unappetizing. Don’t plan on eating it again though, either.

  3. Dirtsister — it’s not inedible, just uninspiring and dull 🙂 My daughter was underwhelmed by the pie, but really enjoyed plain prunes we had left over.

    Buzz — It’s really just the one picture which looks like dog food. I’m also looking back on it from the perspective of having actually tasted it, which adds to the “ugh” factor.

  4. I think the camera flash makes the prune mush look redder than it actually was. Like red eye, but it turns brown sludge into bloody sludge.

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