When I was growing up, my Grandma always had some type of jello salad at family gatherings. I, being the picky, stubborn, petulant child that I was, would never eat the jello salad because I do not like jello. And it often had either marshmallows or fruit cocktail in it…and I didn’t like those either. Don’t you feel sorry for my parents? Anyway, jello salad consisted of jello, obvi, and fruits, nuts, etc. If it was formed or molded into a shape…it was called a jello mold. I’m telling you all this for no apparent reason just to say that for Thanksgiving I wanted to make a jello salad. My Grandma is no longer on this earth, but she is very much a part of me and I knew my mom would like it. I found a recipe that felt familiar and I liked from Taste of Home, but they have given it a much more sophisticated name…Cranberry Mousse.
But to me, it will always be jello salad. You can call it whatever you like, but I know something else we can call it – a keeper! It was delicious! Obviously my tastes have changed a little over the years, and even though I still don’t care for jello, this salad/mold/mousse has a lot of flavors and textures going on and I really enjoyed it. I also decided to lighten it up by swapping out the sour cream with Greek yogurt. The ending result was delish. If I do say so myself. Which I do. I think my Grandma would be proud!
This plastic mold actually came from my Grandma’s house, but you could use any pan you like (it doesn’t have to be in a mold, I just think it looks pretty!) I have a Christmas tree shaped baking pan that I want to try for Christmas. Yes, I plan on making this again! I think it’s perfect for the holidays with it’s bright color and I love the multitude of textures going on…you have cranberries, crushed pineapple, crunchy nuts, then the creamy yogurt/gelatin combo. And even better…it’s easy!
Cranberry Mousse (aka Jello Salad)
1 package (6 ounces) strawberry gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained (SAVE juice)
1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups (16 ounces) Greek yogurt (I used , can also use sour cream)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
- In a large heat proof bowl, pour in gelatin mix. Add boiling water and stir until jello mix has dissolved.
- Add juice of drained pineapple.
- Stir in can of cranberry sauce, gently breaking up the large chunks.
- Add lemon juice, lemon peel and nutmeg. Stir to combine and chill until mixture begins to thicken. (Not fully set, just thick like pudding)
- Remove from fridge and fold in yogurt, crushed pineapple and pecans.
- Pour into desired serving bowl or a lightly sprayed mold (9-cup).
- Chill until set, at least 2 hours. (I made mine the day before)
- If using a mold, let mold sit at room temp for 20-30 mins., inverted onto serving plate. Gently remove from mold. It will soften as it warms, but not so soft that it loses shape.
Recipe Source: & my Grandmother
What kinds of foods are traditions at your house? Are there certain foods that always trigger memories for you?
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