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Custard’s Last Stand – Just Desserts

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Junket Custard Catalog – 1941

Tempting Nutritious Desserta - Junket 1942

If you didn’t read the the first post with fun pictures and recipes from the booklet, How to Make Tempting and Nutritious Desserts, then click here for the fun! Then proceed along the route to custard enlightenment.

The Junket Food diet continues with even more tempting and nutritious desserts.

Image (53) The milkshake pictures here start looking tempting, minus the yellow radiation in the pineapple shake. While many variations on the theme of homemade ice cream still provide deliciousness, some recipes just didn’t survive the next few decades. See Golden Glow Custard

I’m sorry, but I don’t like my desserts to glow. Orange light emanating from a bowl makes me feel like I’ve entered a plutonium-enhanced Halloween party. Plus, 7 Tbsp sugarDanish Dessert?!

The queen of curious desserts is the Danish Dessert.

The writing is in a Nordic text, so it must be authentically Danish. But was it a gelatin or pudding, or something new entirely?  I just had to know, so I ordered some from the Junket site, along with a chocolate ice cream mix and box of Rennet tablets.

Time to try the recipes. First up was the frozen vanilla custard. The modern and vintage recipe versions gave the same directions with a few exceptions:

1. The original recipe called for a freezing tray. I wasn’t sure what it was. According to the quaint domestic drawings it may have been part of an early electric refrigerator or icebox. So I just decided to use a small loaf pan.

2. The 1941 directions says to test the milk temperature by dropping it on to your wrist. But how do you know if it is “comfortably warm” or uncomfortable scalding? The latter could leave red spots on the wrist that may be difficult to explain to friends at work – did you get bit by a tarantula, or was it some rare disease? Mercifully, the current version just uses a food thermometer at 110 F.

3. The vintage recipe wanted you to whip the heavy cream and then add it to the mixture at the end. I managed that to some success. The modern version avoids all the mess; instead, it adds all the liquids directly into the initial mix that is beaten later.

After a relatively easy assembly and a firm beating, the concoction entered the freezer. After waiting impatiently for some time the frozen custard ice cream emerged from cryostasis. Would frozen custard still taste good after 74 years? Yes. Yes it did. The frozen delight felt like the texture of homemade ice cream. That is, not too firm or gloppy like the store-bought stuff, but with just enough creamy substance and sugar to make it pleasing to the taste buds.

Finally, I was going to satisfy my curiosity about the Danish Dessert. What was it and why did a whole country identify with it? I followed the package directions and boiled it like you would do with Jell-O. Only Junket Danish Dessert is thicker and the flavor is a little more tart and sweet. It can be used for pie filling but tastes delicious on its own with whipped cream.


Whatever the year, Americans’ sweet teeth need to be satisfied. And some recipes, hidden from time in a yard sale box, still meet that tasty, tempting desire.

Find surviving vintage recipes for current Junket products at their site:

Artwork and recipes copyright 1941 by Junket Desserts, a RedCo Foods company. Used by permission.

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Custard’s First Stand – Rennet Custard Desserts

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Vintage Junket & Rennet Custard Dessert Catalog – 1941


The title of this booklet immediately attracted me. Who knew desserts could be both tempting and nutritious? Better yet, according to this, desserts are the answer to diet problems too! They sure must be good desserts– just look at those kids running with big spoons (safer than running with scissors). Even the dog is racing on his way to the kitchen – perhaps Kibbles just didn’t cut it.

So what did children of the 40s eat that was so delicious and nutritious? Let’s look:

Image (37)
A well-balanced meal includes fruit, vegetables, milk and “other food” (does that mean cookies?), plus a pint of whole milk, an egg, and three squares of butter per day. Cows and hens must have worked overtime back then!

According to the vintage pamphlet, races that have consumed milk have been stronger than other cultures. Tell that to Ghengis Khan and other Asian people lacking lactose enzymes. Of course, there’s no mention of milk from non-bovines: goat, llama, platypuses

On the next page we see family a happy family. Mom looks on smiling at Dad who laughs and looks at the daughter whose custard he not-so-secretly envies. Baby sits in the high chair studying the cup whose contents she so desperately wants to get at. Her uninterpretable cries of, “Throw away those mushed peas and give me custard, Mommy!” have finally been answered. Now if she could just manage to grasp the spoon and get the jiggly custard goodness.

The next strip shows just how Junket Rennet custard tablets transformed the arduous task of feeding the baby.



Apparently, parents in the 50s literally bent over backwards in attempt to feed their baby. But all they really needed was Rennet custard to please the child. Just listen to that extra contented “Goo” the baby makes after getting her Junket custard. Mom and Dad look pleased, “How cute darling, it’s baby’s first flan!”

To continue to delight the family, mothers needed to learn the recipes:

                                   mince                  Jiffy Prune Renent Custard

   Mmm…Prunes! Popular with old folks.               I never figured out mincemeat.                                  But not baby’s diaper.                            But meat in pudding is just scary.

 Image (54)

The childhood joy of gelatin continues with a birthday party. Eggs, beans and plain sandwiches—what a birthday treat! The orange sherbet wafers afterward sure better be worth it . Laughing Baby

And that baby is still laughing. I’d laugh  in joy too if all I got to eat was Rennet custard.

Perhaps the “nutritiousness” of these foods may be debatable. But then again so can many of the foods today with hidden sugar and syrups.

Still, I don’t really think the average modern kids need butter, eggs and whole milk every day. Unless, with of course, they spend all day running around with spoons in their hands.

Next up: I attempt to re-create recipes from the book with modern Rennet tablets and Junket dessert packets.

What do you remember about Junket or Rennet tablets? Did you have any of these recipes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

All pictures and recipes copyright 1941 by Junket Desserts, a RedCo Foods company. Used by permission.


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