For our book club we like to create recipes inspired by food featured in the books we’re reading. Sometimes we get lucky, and the author creates a recipe for us. If you give the following recipe a try, you can give emily m. danforth thanks, she’s the one that came up with this delicious, Miseducation of Cameron Post-inspired salad recipe!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad, as mentioned on page 10 of The Miseducation of Cameron Post:
“And then her mom did call us in for dinner, and we were shy with each other while we washed at the big sink on the back porch, and after hot dogs from the grill the way we liked them (burned and doused in ketchup) and two helpings of strawberry pretzel salad, her dad drove us into town, the three of us sharing the bench seat of his truck, the ride quiet save for KATL, the AM radio station, staticky all the way to Cemetery Road at the far edge of Miles City.”
It’s a bit of a stretch to call this decidedly-dessert-like-delicacy a salad, but as is so often the case with small town/Midwestern potluck faves, the fact that it has Jello and fruit apparently makes it “count” on the salad scale.
However, whether you call it a salad, or a dessert, or a treat, the fact is: it’s delicious. The saltiness of the crushed pretzel crust is really the key, here, especially when it meets the sweetened cream cheese and strawberries layered upon it. I ate gobs of this stuff as a kid, and I still request it (and my mother obliges) when I’m home visiting Miles City in the summer. (And if you do make it in the summer, opt for the fresh strawberries for sure.)
STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD
2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 (8 ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2(10 ounce packages) frozen strawberries OR 3.5 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced.
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons white sugar; mix well and press mixture into bottom of 9×13-inch baking dish.
3. Bake 8-10 minutes, until set; set aside to cool.
4. In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and white sugar.
5. Fold in whipped topping.
6. Spread mixture onto cooled crust.
7. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.
8. Stir in frozen strawberries and allow to set briefly.
9. When mixture is about the consistency of egg whites, pour and spread over cream cheese layer.
10. Refrigerate until set. (At least a couple of hours.)
If you end up trying this recipe out, tell us what you think! Share your thoughts in the comments & upload a photo of your salad creation here!