Serious Eats: Recipes

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

Note: This recipe is written to be made with a traditional gelatin such as Jell-O. The frozen strawberries help to set the gelatin. If you choose to substitute a vegetarian gelatin, be aware that it will be a bit more challenging to assemble. I prepared a test batch using Natural Desserts Strawberry Jel, and the package cautioned that anything added to the gelatin must be at least room temperature. You can use completely thawed strawberries, or better yet, fresh strawberries. With the traditional Jell-O, you chill it slightly so it's semi-set before layering it on top of the cream cheese. The vegetarian gelatin is rapid-setting so it sets while warm. For me, this resulted in bit of a hot and cool mess, with some of the cream cheese melting and floating into the gelatin layer, leaving it foamy and cloudy. If you're committed to the vegetarian gelatin, you may want to throw together some extra whipped cream and slather it on top of the finished product for a prettier presentation.

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