Festive gelatin salads


Nolabob, Wikimedia Commons

Gelatin salads can be served as a side dish or as a dessert at your holiday table.

 

In my family, we pretty much stick to our favorite traditional holiday menus.


I noticed that everyone inquires about one particular item ahead of time; I guess, to make certain no one forgets to bring it. That item is the lime gelatin salad, made with crushed pineapple, cottage cheese and various other ingredients. My sister is the one who makes it every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it gets passed around the table multiple times.


That isn’t the only gelatin salad we like, though. My mom makes a layered one that we all love. I am sure your own family also has their favorites, and I even understand that there are some families that do not like gelatin at all, and that is fine; they will still have a great meal to enjoy. What better time than the holidays to make sure your table is laden with as many of your favorites as possible?


If gelatin salads are part of your celebrations, here are a few you may want to include.


Lime gelatin salad


1 cup crushed pineapple, drained with juice reserved


1 cup water


2 packages (3-oz. each) lime gelatin


1 cup mayonnaise


1 cup canned evaporated milk


1 cup small-curd cottage cheese


1/2 cup walnuts, chopped, optional


1. In a large multi-cup measuring cup (such as a 4 cup Pyrex), add all of the reserved pineapple juice and then add enough water to the juice to make a total of 2 cups. Pour into a saucepan and bring just to a boil.


2. Add the lime gelatin to the boiling pineapple juice and water mixture and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat, allow to cool just slightly.


3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and evaporated milk. Combine until very smooth. Slowly stir in the gelatin mixture until all is incorporated with the mayonnaise and milk mixture. Stir in the crushed pineapple, cottage cheese and walnuts, if using.


4. Pour mixture into an 8-by-8-inch glass pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight (preferred).


Cherry supreme gelatin salad


My mom makes this one a lot.


2 packages (3-oz. each) raspberry gelatin


2 cans (21-oz. each) cherry pie filling


1 package (3-oz.) lemon gelatin


1 package (3-oz.) cream cheese


1/3 cup mayonnaise


1 can (8 3/4-oz.) crushed pineapple


1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


1 cup miniature marshmallows


Chopped walnuts, optional


1. Thoroughly dissolve raspberry gelatin in 2 cups boiling water; stir in pie filling. Turn into a 9-by-9-by-2-inch glass or ceramic dish and chill until firm.


2. Dissolve lemon gelatin in 1 cup boiling water. In separate bowl, beat together cream cheese and mayonnaise. Gradually add the dissolved lemon gelatin. Stir in undrained pineapple.


3. Whip 1/2 cup whipping cream; fold into lemon mixture with 1 cup miniature marshmallows. Spread over the cherry layer and sprinkle with chopped walnuts, if desired. Chill until set.


Layered Christmas gelatin salad


Lime layer:


1 package (3-oz.) lime gelatin


1 cup boiling water


1/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice


1 cup crushed pineapple, drained


Cream cheese layer:


1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin


2 tablespoons cold water


1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened


1/3 cup milk


Berry layer:


2 packages (3-oz. each) strawberry gelatin


2 cups boiling water


1 can (14-oz.) whole-berry cranberry sauce


Optional ingredients:


Thawed whipped topping


Lime wedges


Fresh strawberries


1. Dissolve lime gelatin in boiling water; stir in pineapple juice. Stir in pineapple. Pour into an 11-by-7-inch dish; refrigerate until set.


2. In a small saucepan, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Transfer to a small bowl. Beat in cream cheese and milk until smooth. Spread over lime layer; refrigerate until set.


3. Dissolve strawberry gelatin in boiling water; stir in cranberry sauce. Cool for 10 minutes. Carefully spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set.


4. Cut into squares. If desired, serve with whipped topping, lime wedges and fresh strawberries.


Mandarin orange pretzel salad


Crust:


2 cups crushed pretzels


1/2 cup butter, melted


3 tablespoons sugar


Filling:


1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened


1 cup sugar


1 container (8-oz.) non-dairy whipped topping


Topping:


1 box (6-oz.) orange gelatin


2 cups boiling water


3 cans (11-oz. each) Mandarin oranges, drained


Whipped cream, for serving


1. Preheat oven to 350. Note: To crush pretzels, place them in a 1-gallon size re-sealable bag and crush with a rolling pin.


2. For crust: In a medium bowl, combine crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir together until well blended. Press the pretzel mixture evenly into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and bake for 7 minutes. Allow crust to cool completely before adding the other layers.


3. For filling: In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese and 1 cup sugar together until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Dollop filling over the pretzel crust then spread evenly with an off-set spatula (be sure to seal the cream cheese layer against the sides of the dish so that the gelatin mixture will not be able to leak through when added).


4. For topping: In a separate bowl, whisk together orange gelatin and boiling water until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly (about 10 to 15 minutes). Gently stir in the drained oranges. Pour the gelatin-orange mixture over the cream cheese filling, spread evenly.


5. Place in the refrigerator and allow gelatin mixture to set up completely. Cut into squares; serve with a dollop of whipped cream.


Cran-raspberry strawberry gelatin salad


2 packages (3-oz. each) strawberry gelatin


1 1/2 cups boiling water


1 can (14-oz.) whole-berry cranberry sauce


1 can (20-oz.) crushed pineapple, undrained


1 pint sour cream


2 packages (3-oz. each) raspberry gelatin


1 1/2 cups boiling water


1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries


1. Mix strawberry gelatin with 1 1/2 cups hot water until dissolved. Stir in the cranberry sauce and the can of undrained crushed pineapple. Pour into large gelatin ring mold and refrigerate until set. (If you don’t have a gelatin mold, a large clear bowl or even a rectangle clear baking dish would work. Sometimes large molds are difficult to find, so it’s okay to use a 9-by-13-inch pan. You can lightly spray mold with baking spray for easy removal.) Spread with a thin layer of sour cream and allow to set.


2. Mix raspberry gelatin with 1 1/2 cups hot water until dissolved. Stir in frozen raspberries. Slowly pour (or spoon) raspberry gelatin mixture on top of sour cream layer and refrigerate until firmly set. Remove from mold and serve.

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