:pw Blueberry (or Cherry) "Cheesecake" Gelatin Salad :rectnt

:pw Blueberry (or Cherry) "Cheesecake" Gelatin Salad
Entry in Salad Contest :pw
Not a new recipe – I’ve made this for nearly 30 years, for picnics, potlucks and other occasions, when the menu wouldn’t be complete without a good-old “jello” salad. This one is so delicious, it can double as dessert. It never disappoints! (And yes, it can be made “vegan”, using plant-based counterparts for the gelatin mix, sour cream and cream cheese). Yay!

No-stick cooking spray (or about 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil)
Bottom gelatin layer:
2 (3-ounce) packages grape (or cherry) gelatin dessert mix (aka “Jell-O”; see Parting Shots)
2 cups boiling water
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (20-ounce) can blueberry (or cherry) pie filling
“Cheesecake” topping:
1 cup sour cream (may use reduced-fat sour cream)
1 (8-ounce package) cream cheese or reduced-fat/Neufchatel cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)


Lightly spray a 13x9x2-inch pan with no-stick cooking spray; set aside. (Alternatively, pour the oil into the pan, then use a small ball of crushed waxed paper to spread the oil evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan).
To make the bottom gelatin layer, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the gelatin mix and boiling water, then stir until the gelatin mix is completely dissolved.
Stir in the pineapple and pie filling until well mixed.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
Refrigerate until the gelatin is almost set, but still “tacky” on the top.
Meanwhile, to prepare the “Cheesecake” Topping, in a small bowl, beat together the sour cream, softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
Drop the topping by spoonfuls over the surface of the salad, then use an offset spatula or knife to carefully spread the topping into an even layer, completely covering the gelatin layer.
If desired, sprinkle with chopped nuts.
Cover and refrigerate until completely set.
To serve, cut in squares.

If making the blueberry version of the salad, choose grape-flavored gelatin mix; for the cherry version, use cherry-flavored gelatin mix.
Recipe written by LuAnn Bermeo, based on a small collection of favorite recipes from a church fund-raising cookbook which I’ve owned (and enjoyed!) for 30 years.

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