Sunday, November 14, 2010

Old Fashioned Cherry Coke Salad


This 2010 recipe is currently under revision for updating. While it tastes amazing, it's not setting up well, so I'm retesting it for needed revisions. My apologies for the inconvenience.

Here's the original version as it was posted in 2010 for those who have asked.

Old Fashioned Cherry Coca Cola Congealed Salad
From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

1 (20 ounce) can of crushed pineapple, drained, but juices reserved
1 (14.5 ounce) can of sweet Bing cherries, drained, but syrup reserved*
About a cup of POM Wonderful Cranberry juice, divided, optional
1 large (8 serving size) cherry flavored Jello
1 (12 ounce) can of chilled Coca-Cola
1/2 cup of chopped pecan, optional
Topping (recipe below), cottage cheese, or sweet salad dressing mayonnaise (like Miracle Whip) for garnish, optional

Drain the cherry syrup and pineapple juices into a 2 cup or larger measuring cup. Set the fruit aside in the refrigerator to chill.

To the fruit juices, add enough POM juice to equal a total of 2 cups of juice. You can substitute Coke, other compatible juices, or even water to make up the full 2 cups. Transfer to a saucepan and bring up to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the Jello powder until fully dissolved. Set mixture aside to cool slightly. Once cooled, pour the chilled coke into the same 2-cup measure. This should be roughly 1-1/2 cups of liquid. Top off with additional POM juice to equal 2 cups. Stir into the Jello mixture and transfer to a bowl. Chill until mixture begins to thicken and jell, about 1-1/2 hours.

Once the gelatin has begun to set, stir in the pineapple, cherries and pecans and return to the refrigerator until fully set. Can also pour into small, prepared individual molds or a larger mold if desired. Allow to fully set for at least 3 to 4 hours - do not stir!

To serve turn out molds onto individual lettuce leaves, or spoon servings into short parfait glasses, or onto leaves of lettuce. Top with a small dollop of the cream cheese topping below, or sweet mayonnaise, such as Miracle Whip, if desired. Homemade mayonnaise is particularly endeared for congealed salads.

IMPORTANT: You must use the canned, sweet Bing cherries in syrup for this recipe. Do not be tempted to substitute the tart version of canned cherries. They are far too tart for this dish. In a pinch, a (10 ounce) jar of bottled maraschino cherries, well drained, can be substituted. Be sure to reserve and use the juice! Chill the fruit cans in advance if you have time - it will help the gelatin to set. Do not use fresh pineapple.

*Can substitute other juices you happen to have on hand in place of the POM juice, additional Coca Cola, or just plain water to equal a total of 4 cups. Some people like to substitute other cold drinks like Dr. Pepper, or Cherry Coke as well. What you want is an overall total of 4 cups of liquid in the end.

Variation: Add 3-ounces of cold cream cheese, cut into small cubes, the same time that you add in the pineapple, cherries and pecans.


1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
to room temperature
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
2 cups of thawed Cool Whip or whipped cream

Cream together the cream cheese and sugar; stir in the Cool Whip or whipped cream, until well combined. Use as a topping for salad.