Sunday, January 1, 2012

Pomegranate Jello Salad

Happy New Year!! I am excited for this 2012 year. I am nervous because there will be changes in my personal life but I look forward to it as well.  How did you celebrate last night? We ate lots of party foods and played games together as a family. It was great though after staying up way too late for the past week is making me very very tired. Last night I was able to eat this beautiful fruit, the pomegranate. I took this photo before the jello set and by the time the jello did set, it was dark and my photos turned out, so blah!

So, be patient. There is a good one at the bottom. I have taken a photo of this dessert 3 times over the past year. Yes, it took that many and I still don't like the ones I settled with. However, although this recipe is not the most beautiful to photograph, I assure you it is incredibly delicious. The pomegranate garnish on top does help attract the patron to try this recipe. And jello with whipped topping? Sure! Sounds great. But you've got to try this extraordinary jello salad with this unique fruit.  Please, forgive my lack of photography skills and try this recipe out for yourself.

Is it a jello? A salad? A side dish or dessert? I'm not really sure but I think it can be all of them! My aunt Julie D. gave this recipe to me several years ago and I look forward to making it every year. The pomegranates start debuting around Thanksgiving and disappear again in January, usually. They are seasonal and so I try to find any excuse I can to make this jello. It's fresh, red and is a great side dish or dessert for any holiday gathering.  Plus you get to whack open a pomegranate. 

See? My ISO was off. I like the twinkling lights but yeah, it's a little yellow.

 And this...well, the cream looks white but the angle and lighting are not so great. Really, it was just the timing. The dessert was never made until right before the party and it's always dark in the winter at night. So, that's my excuse. I just need to make this further in advance to capture the true goodness.

Neither not so pinworthy. But if you DO pin this, pin the top photo of just the pretty fruit. That'll get some attention....maybe? 

Finally, I got a decent photo. My sister and I catered an event for my great aunt and we made this jello. She suggested we served them individually in clear cups so we didn't have to sloppily serve it individually on each plate. And look how pretty they look. Much nicer. And so fun to serve a party.

Okay, here is the recipe. 

Pomegranate Jello Salad 
Yield: 15-20 servings 
1 6 oz box of jello, any red flavor
2 C boiling water
1 C whole cranberry sauce
1 12 oz. can of crushed pineapple, undrained
3 small apples or pear, chopped fine (or very tiny chunks or slivers)
1 pomegranate, seeded (save about 1/4 cup to sprinkle on the top)

Boil 2 cups water. Add box of jello. Stir until jello dissolves. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Cover with saran wrap and store in fridge until completely, about 4 hours.

TIP for getting the seeds out of the pomegranate. Cut the fruit in half and then whack the back of it with a large metal serving spoon or a large metal ladle. Do this over a large enough bowl and in a sink, it will look like you are in a crime scene with all the juice that flies out as well.

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
2 c. whipped cream or whipped topping (thawed)
1 tsp. vanilla
Whip softened cream cheese until soft and aerated. Add whip cream and combine. Then add remaining ingredients until combined. Do not overmix or it will turn into a buttery curdled like topping.
Sprinkle with remaining pomegranate seeds.

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