Sunday, September 6, 2015

Pineapple and Marshmallow Dessert aka Pineapple Marlow

A few weeks ago I watched the following promotional video for electric appliances 1934:

Mrs. Mortimer Jones Prepares "Dinner for Eight"

I was fascinated by all the old appliances in their shiny new states and thought they must have been a welcome change from having to do everything by hand.  Of the foods Mrs. Mortimer Jones prepares, the one that caught my attention was the orange marlow for dessert.  Well, to be perfectly honest, I couldn't understand what the narrator was saying, but I did get "orange" and "dessert".  After some searching, I figured out that he was saying marlow.  More searching revealed that a marlow is a frozen dessert made with melted marshmallows.

Shortly after learning about marlows, my mom let me borrow one of her older cookbooks, Tried Recipes by the Grafton Lutheran Ladies Aid, Grafton, North Dakota (1961).   My grandparents lived in Grafton, so I looked through every recipe in the book hoping that there would be some from my grandmother, but apparently she didn't contribute any.   Grandma was known for her cooking, but apparently not into sharing her recipes!  I did find a few a few recipes contributed by her sisters, though, which was fun.

While looking through the book - which is comprised almost entirely of recipes for sweets! - I found several recipes for marlows, although most were simply called frozen desserts by the 1960s.  The pineapple one caught my eye, so I decided to give it a go.

The recipe came together fairly easily.  I was a little pressed for time, so I chilled the pineapple juice and melted marshmallow mixture in the refrigerator, but this resulted in it setting into a loose gelatin.  It mixed up fine, but I was surprised when I took it out and it was starting to set.

chambers 90c stove range

Since most of the other recipes I looked through called for the marlow to be placed in the freezer, I froze mine for two hours before serving. 

The verdict: This is a nice, not-too-sweet dessert that is perfect for a hot summer day.  The combination of the heavy cream and the marshmallows makes it fairly rich, so I would plan on much smaller servings next time.  Most of the recipes I found did not call for the graham cracker crust, but I thought it added a nice contrast and cut some of the richness.  Plus, graham cracker crusts are just darned good!

Daisy says she likes pineapple marlow, too!

Pineapple Marlow  (Printable recipe)

from Tried Recipes by the Grafton Lutheran Ladies Aid, Grafton, N.D. (1961)

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 30 marshmallows
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped
  • 16 crushed graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
Put juice in double boiler, add marshmallows, stir until dissolved.  Cool, add whipped cream and crushed pineapple.  Put in 9" square pan lined with cracker crumbs which have been mixed with butter.  Sprinkle more crumbs on top.  Place in freezer until firm.


  1. I have the cookbook/pamphlet that came with the first GE monitor tops when refrigeration was both a novelty and luxury. It's full of recipes for marlows! I'd never heard of them either, but they did sound tasty.

  2. How fun! I love old documents like that - it's fun to see what was new an innovative at the time. And also to see how those things are forgotten and then become new and innovative again. :)

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