I really wasn’t sure about this Jell-O salad. I’m guessing it’s probably the most controversial recipe in this book, but honestly, it’s not out of place.
Jell-O salad is a traditional, very Midwestern dessert. I think every family has their own version – I grew up on one that used frozen raspberries (the ones in the tin) and sour cream. It was okay.
This one, I wasn’t so sure about. I’m not a fan of strawberry flavored anything. I love strawberries, but just the plain fruit. I’m funny about textures mixing – pretzel and Jell-O didn’t sound like something I’d like. But I forged ahead. I’ve been surprised by recipes in the book before.
The crust is made with crushed pretzels mixed with melted butter and brown sugar. It’s good, really good. I love using pretzel as a pie crust, but I’ve never made one this sweet before. I think I could just pour the sweet buttery pretzel chunks into a bowl and eat it with a spoon.
The second layer is sweetened cream cheese, lightened up with whipped cream. Delicious. I stuck a chunk of pretzel in to see what that combination was like, and it was good. So things were looking pretty optimistic. Larry agreed, the pretzel-creamy layer combination was pretty tasty.
At this point, the partially set strawberry Jell-O and sliced strawberries is added as the top layer of the salad. Emphasis on partially set. After over an hour in the refrigerator, I just assumed mine was fine and I poured it on, only to find that it had barely set up. The Jell-O seeped all through the other layers, making a red, soggy mess.
I let the gelatin set up firm and managed to rescue a piece that wasn’t totally ruined. I was absolutely right. I hate the texture of pretzel and Jell-O. I hate strawberry Jell-O. Larry didn’t love it either, but I think if I would have used cherry Jell-O and chunks of pitted sweet cherries (I considered it for a brief moment), he would have been pretty happy with this. Well, that and if I would have actually let the gelatin set up properly.
The upside to this is that the crust and creamy filling have inspired me. I think I see some sort of pie or cheesecake with a pretzel crust in my future.
To get the recipe and see the other entries from this week’s Baked Sunday Mornings head on over to Baked Sunday Mornings.
- Strawberry Jell-O Salad (Baked Explorations, p. 183)