Dreamsicle Jelly

Dreamsicle Jam from Kelli's Kitchen

Dreamsicle Jam from Kelli’s Kitchen

I remember my mom standing out by the side of the road, in her cat-eyes sunglasses waving down the Pinky-Dinky man.
She would buy me anything I wanted as long as it didn’t cost more than a dime….yes, a dime!

She always bought herself a push-up. Always. Mom loved those things, still does. As a treat for her Mother’s Day gift, I wanted to recreate that for her in a way that wasn’t ice cream based.

In the winter of 2010, I searched the Internet for something to make that was “push-up-like”. I came upon a dreamsicle jam. I made a mental note of the ingredients and moved on. The next year, when I finally got around to making it, I could not – for the life of me – find the doggone recipe on the Internet. I searched high and low to no avail. Eventually, I took what I remembered and tried to recreate it. The following are the results. My mother loves it and when my husband figured out what it was – he calls them creamsicles – he loved it too.
They love it so much that I had to promise I would not throw away any of it when I was experimenting for my Nano-canning book. Mom and the ladies at the Land of Old (independent living apt. complex where she lives) said they could find any number of things to do with it even if it wasn’t perfect.

So, whether you call it a Push-Up:

A Creamsicle:

Or, a Dreamsicle, it is one of the tastiest jellies I’ve ever made:

Dreamsicle Jelly:

  • 4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
  • Pat of butter
  • 1 box pectin – optional**

Strain the orange juice through cheesecloth.
Combine orange juice, sugar, butter, vanilla bean scrapings and beans in a large pot.
Bring to a hard boil over high heat.

Dreamsicle Jam from Kelli's Kitchen

Dreamsicle Jam from Kelli’s Kitchen

**If you add the pectin now, pour in the entire box and continue stirring until it reaches another hard boil. Continue boiling for exactly 1 minute.
**If you are not going to use pectin, make sure the hard boil reaches 220 degrees F. and maintains that for 3 minutes.
Take pot off heat.

Dreamsicle Jam from Kelli's Kitchen

Dreamsicle Jam from Kelli’s Kitchen

Remove the vanilla beans from the pot and ladle jelly into prepared jars.
Wipe rims, apply lids and screw on bands.
Process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes.
Remove jars from processing pot and place them on a towel-lined countertop and let them cool in a draft-free area for several hours.
Every 10 minutes, turn jars upside down/right side up so vanilla specks will be evenly distributed and not all collect at the top.
When they are cool enough to handle, check the seals. Store any unsealed jars in the fridge and place the rest in your pantry.

Dreamsicle Jam from Kelli's Kitchen

Dreamsicle Jam from Kelli’s Kitchen

I bet you are wondering what you could do with this besides spreading it on biscuits. As the picture shows, it is outstanding on ice cream. Mr. Picky-eater likes it on vanilla “because it has a lighter taste” but I love it on chocolate ice cream. However, it doesn’t photograph very well on chocolate so we went with vanilla. My girlfriend likes it stirred into yogurt. Mom and her lady friends like it on butter pecan ice cream, biscuits, English muffin, hot cornbread, warm and plain yellow cake just out of the oven, and toast. One lady eats it stirred into her morning rice – milk, butter, and instead of the normal sugar – dreamsicle jelly.
I recommend this jelly very highly and I hope you will try it soon!

Dreamsicle Jam - Kellis Kitchen


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  1. says

    That is the sweetest mothers day treat ever – recreating her favourite 😀
    And what a delicious favourite it was my friend – well done and I hope you and your mum had a wonderful mothers day :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. says

    This is so going to happen in my kitchen very soon! Great idea. Like your Mom, I was always a fan of the orange push pops … Yummers! Pinning for later :)

    • says

      Great! I know you will like it and remember, it’s got citrus in it so it may take up to 2 weeks to set up – mine took a couple of days but depending on how humid it is where you live…..it’s my favorite after strawberry!

      • Amie says

        Hi, I made this jelly two days ago and it’s still on the runny side. How long should I give it before opening the jars to reboil the mixture to try and get it to gel? Thanks.

        • says

          You should wait 2 weeks Amie – because there is citrus involved it can take that long for it to set up – as long as your jars lids are sealed, you will be fine!

  3. says

    This just wonderful! The timing of this recipe is perfect. My local hardware store has canning jars on sale right now. But, I was wondering about the amount this recipe makes. How many jars are needed for this one recipe? Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      HI there! thank you for coming by – my family fights over this every single year! I just gave away the last jar I made on Friday to a lady whose 80th birthday wish was for a jar of it! can you imagine? It is very tasty. It will make about 8 half-pint jars give or take one. Get yourself a case of jars and you will be just fine! good luck and if you need any help – just put the question on the post and I will get to it sometime that day (or night) if I’m working! Please come again! KK

      • says

        Thanks so much for the quick reply. My mother-in-law is 95 years young and I am constantly going to the store for her to purchase Orange Dreamsicles or Vanilla/Orange Ice Cream/Sherbert. I thought this would be the perfect way to get her the flavor she’s looking for. I’m heading out the door for the jars. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

        Thanks again!

  4. tammy says

    just one question you said in your recipe to let cool undisturbed for several hours.
    Every 10 minutes, turn jars upside down/right side up so vanilla specks will be evenly distributed and not all collect at the top. If setting for several hours won’t it set and the specks already be at the top?

    • says

      You are correct Tammy! So sorry – what I meant was let it sit in a draft free place for several hours and turn them upside down/right side up every 10 minutes or so. That way the specks will be distributed throughout. I’m so glad you brought that to my attention. I will edit the post! Please come back anytime!

  5. mimi battey says

    quick question, how long does it keep in the fridge after opening (i know, ‘not long’), but actually how long?

    • says

      It keeps 2 weeks I am sure of that! It has just never lasted longer than that. We prefer the smaller (half pint) jars so we empty them rather quickly. Thanks for dropping by and please come back anytime!

  6. Alicia Longstreath says

    I know this is a stupid question but what is a “pat” of butter? I what a dash & pinch are but not a pat just don’t want to mess it up bc I’m ready to get it going but don’t want to just guess u know? Thank you for ur time

    • says

      I’m so sorry Alicia! I was traveling for business today and I just got home. A pat of butter is not a stupid question – it is a thin slice off the stick of butter!

    • says

      I’m so glad you liked it – they make wonderful presents but be prepared – you will get requests every year from now on for it! :) thank you for dropping by and please come back again!

  7. Katie says

    What an awesome recipe! I CANNOT wait to make this! Quick question for you…how many jars/sizes did the recipe make? I’d like to know whether or not I should double it. I usually give away some to my family members, who love my canning goodies :). Thanks so much! Keep up the good work!

    • Kelli says

      Katie – I’m so glad you wrote! This IS an awesome recipe but you cannot double it although you can make it twice! :) There’s something about the orange that will mess it up if you add more or make more than you should in one pot. It will make between 6 and 8 half pints. I always buy 2 cases of half pints and then have a plastic/glass dish for the leftover that is not enough for the half pints. Remember, this is very labor instensive so it will take a lot of work………but it’s soooo worth it. Let me know how you like it!!

      • Katie says

        Kelli, thank you so much for the info!! I’m so glad I asked about the doubling! I’ll just have to make two batches :). I usually do a combo of the half-pint jars and the little 8 oz jelly jars. I just got into canning last spring when we discovered we have a mulberry tree in our backyard. My three girls and I gathered enough to make a batch of jam, and boy, was that labor-intensive with separating the seeds and stems from the pulp pretty much manually! But it was so worth it, the jam was delish!! I love the feeling of satisfaction when you’ve made something out of raw fruit, berries, or veggies :). Thanks again! I look forward to tasting the fruits of my labor of your delicious recipe! :)

        • Kelli says

          Katie – get yourself either some cheese cloth and a food mill – it will go WAY faster with a food mill………one of the big metal ones. I can always find them at yard sales for $1 each. Don’t get the little plastic ones for baby food – then wash and boil the mulberries – just cover with water – then dip a couple of ladles into the food mill which is positioned over a bowl and start turning – WAY less labor intensive! I can’t wait to see what else you make!

          • Katie says

            Kelli, thanks for the tips! Since doing the mulberries, I have since acquired both cheesecloth AND a good, all metal OXO food mill :). I learned my lesson the hard way, but it was still worth it! Friends and family raved about the mulberry jam :). I have since made apple cider butter, peach butter, candy apple jelly(apple jelly w/a hint of cinnamon from Red Hots candy), bread and butter pickles(my daughters LOVE them), and cherry champagne blush jelly, which includes real champagne added right before ladling into the jars. It allows the jelly to retain the bubbles once it has set, yum! I really enjoy canning and I live in the middle of Amish Country in Lancaster County, PA so there’s always great produce available if I need to purchase my ingredients. I love living here! :)

  8. Heather S says

    I made your Dreamsicle Jelly last week. I used liquid pectin instead of the powder. My concern is that the jelly looks like it is seperating. There is a darker row of yellow and then a much larger area of another color yellow. I have canned for several years and I just wondered what your thoughts were. Please advise. orissarun@msn.com

    • Kelli says

      Hi Heather – did you turn it upside down and back again several times? It could be some oddity – Gosh, I just don’t know because I have never had it happen to me with any jam or jelly. I’m so sorry. Wait, did the vanilla bean gather in the darker row? Maybe that is what is causing the darker color.

      • Heather S says

        No the vanilla bean did not seperate from the jelly, they are consistently thoughout the jelly. I emailed you a photo, I hope you get a chance to look at it. I tastes wonderful but the seperation has me worried. Any thoughts?

        • Kelli says

          Hey Heather – so sorry I have checked the email in a few days. It is almost Sine Die so work has just been crazy – looking now!

    • Kelli says

      Hi Neva! Yes – of course you can use probably 2 teaspoons regular vanilla – put it in after you take the pot off the stove, stir and wait a minute before you start ladling it into the jars. Unless you have clear vanilla, the color will be more of a dark amber but it will taste great!

  9. Sonda says

    The creamsicle jelly/jam looks and sounds fantastic! My question is-can this be done as a freezer jam rather than water bath canning?
    Thank you!!


  10. Katie says

    Hi Kelli! I’m finally getting around to making your dreamsicle jelly recipe and wondered just how much headspace should I leave in the jars when ladling the jelly in? Thanks so much! I can’t wait to try this!

    • Kelli says

      Only leave 1/4 inch – anymore than that and bacteria can grow even if it is sealed. Don’t get crazy and measure each one, but measure the first couple then you can eye it – it will come natural soon enough…………..good luck!

      • Sue says

        Kelli, Do you have to do the boiling water bath?? Just wondered because I’ve never done that with any jams i’ve ever made before even using the pectin. Thank You!!!! P.S. My Hubby LOVES Creamsicle’s so I’m going to try this and Surprise him.

        • Kelli says

          Hi Sue – thank you for dropping by! Well, here’s what I can say: The USDA does not recommend making jams or jellies by “turning the lid-tightened jars upside down for 10 minutes like those in the UK and Europe do instead of the water-bath method”. So, legally I cannot recommend that other people do that. Do I do that in my own home? Probably. :) Let me know how your husband likes it! My husband loves it!

  11. Wendy says

    Had a bunch of cities that I needed to use up and saw this recipe. Was a cup short on my juice so added 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup Grand Marnier. Turned out really yummy. Plan to try it over French toast.

    • Kelli says

      Great save Wendy! I love the addition of Grand Mariner – sounds wonderful! Please let us know how it tastes on the French Toast!

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