This is a much beloved cream cheese and Jello salad in our family. My grandmother made it year round even though it is a holiday Jello salad. I can say with all confidence that this is the salad that endeared me to gelatin based salads. I know it is easy to mock some of those creative concoctions but everyone who tries this one raves about it. The secret is the layer of cream cheese mixed with gelatin.
The first time I made this, I was a teenager and the red layer slipped off of the other layers. Actually, it split in half as it slid off. It became known as the “parting of the Red Sea incident” and is still mentioned every time I bring this salad (by request, I might add) to a family dinner.
Here is a tip I discovered quite by accident while reading a gelatin salad recipe: Use less of the cold liquid than is required when using a mold. This makes the gelatin a bit more firm and it will hold its shape better. Since discovering this secret, I’ve never had trouble with my molded salads again!
- 1 large box of red gelatin (I prefer strawberry flavored)
- 1 large box lemon flavored gelatin
- 1 large box lime flavored gelatin
- 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- Dissolve red gelatin in 2 cups boiling water; add 1 1/2 cups cold water. Pour into mold and refrigerate for four hours.
- When the red layer is firm, dissolve lemon gelatin in 2 cups of boiling water.
- Mix the cream cheese and half-and-half together. Add to the lemon gelatin, pour over the red layer and refrigerate until firm.
- Dissolve lime gelatin in 2 cups of boiling water. Add 1 1/2 cups cold water and pour over the cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until firm.
- This makes a very large Jello salad (I used a bundt cake pan as the mold for the salad in the photo). For a smaller salad, just cut the ingredients in half.
- Here is a tip I discovered quite by accident while reading a gelatin salad recipe: Use less of the cold liquid than is required on the box when using a mold. This makes the gelatin a bit more firm and it will hold its shape better.