Yeh, I went there.
I made a molded jello salad, and you know what?
It wasn’t half bad, and loaded with cherries and pineapple and Mandarin orange slices.
Even the kids who Mira said wouldn’t touch a jello thing were kinda pleased with it, and, as you can see, it came out of a kind of complicated mold with little trouble. I call that winning!
The original recipe, from spendwithpennies.com, called for strawberry jello and pecans, but I thought cherry jello would work better with the Dr Pepper, swapped Mandarin oranges for the nuts, and thought it a very good thing.
Note: for any recipe calling for soda, I try to find the all-sugar, no corn sweetener version; widely available in the markets around here, usually in retro looking glass bottles. Check out my Dr Pepper Cherry Cake here.
•1 cup water
•6 oz Jello – I used cherry
•1-1/4 cup Dr Pepper
•10 oz jar Maraschino cherries, with juice
•8 oz can crushed pineapple, with juice
•1 cup Mandarin orange slices, drained
Apply non stick cooking spray to a mold pan, I used a heavy metal cathedral shape, but silicone will work, too.
Bring the water to a boil, then pour into the jello in a large bowl, stirring until the jello has dissolved.
Stir in the Dr Pepper, then stash in the fridge for 30 minutes. I transferred my jello mixture to a smaller, two quart measuring cup for this bit.
Add the fruit to the jello and pour into the pan…
Next time I make this salad, I am gonna arrange the cherries in the bottom of the pan, stir the cherry juice and pineapple into the jello, and drop the Mandarin orange slices on top of the jello in the mold.
You do what you want.
Cover and chill the jello for at least four hours – I did mine the night before – before serving.
To unmold, use a table knife to gently loosen the jello from the mold, dip the mold in warm water, then invert onto a serving plate. See? Worked a treat!
Note: Jello salads tend to “weep” a bit, so I would use a plate or platter with a sloped rim, so you don’t end up with jello juice everywhere.
Serve with additional fruit, this time of year fresh sliced cherries would be nice, and whipped cream.