Frozen Holiday Cranberry Salad

Cranberries are the iconic fruit of the Christmas season and can be used in both savory and sweet recipes.  But due to their sour nature, cranberries are usually mixed with sugar or other fruits to make them more palatable and enjoyable.  

I know it's only the beginning of November but Christmas will be here in a blink so I thought I'd make this Frozen Cranberry Salad to share with you.  This salad is perfect for Christmas meals and entertaining and is delicious served frozen or slightly thawed as an appetizer or side dish to many holiday meals.  

Use the whole cranberry sauce in this recipe as the jelly would disintegrate into a soupy consistency, which would not be good. This is half the original recipe so feel free to double everything for large family gatherings or dinner parties.  Also try the Cranberry Orange variation if you like that flavour in cranberry sauce.  

I have not added any sugar to this recipe as I find it sweet enough, especially if using the Cool Whip.  If you use the whipped cream and like a sweeter salad add 2 tablespoons of sugar when whipping the cream.

Frozen Holiday Cranberry Salad
1 can (348 ml) whole cranberry sauce or 1⅔ cups of thick homemade cranberry sauce
1 large can (540 ml/19 oz) crushed pineapple, well drained
2 cups stabilized whipped cream (1 cup whipping cream) or Cool Whip, thawed
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted*

Make whipped cream if using and lay aside while draining pineapple.  I used Dr. Oetker's "Whip it" which works very well to stabilize whipping cream. 

Blend cranberry sauce and drained crushed pineapple together.  Make sure you break up the cranberry sauce so there are no large chunks of sauce still remaining in the mixture. Fold the fruit into the whipped cream or Cool Whip.  Add toasted pecans or walnuts, folding gently.  Place mixture in 6 cup ring mould or an 8 or 9-inch square dish.  Freeze overnight or at least 8 hours.

Unmould on lettuce lined plate or serve individual pieces on lettuce lined salad plates.  For ease in unmoulding the salad, dip the mould in hot water for about 15 seconds and the salad should come out quite easily. 

Makes about 8 servings.

*To toast nuts, spread 1 cup of whole nuts on a baking sheet.  Place in a 325 degree oven for 5 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and stir the nuts.   Bake an additional 5 minutes or until nuts are just beginning to turn colour.  Do not burn nuts.  

Frozen Holiday Cranberry Orange Salad
Make as above but use whole Cranberry Orange sauce.  Or add 1 can of Mandarin oranges, well drained and patted dry, and ½ teaspoon grated orange rind to the above recipe.

Drain the pineapple, whip the cream or thaw the Cool Whip, 
chop the nuts and open a can of whole cranberry sauce. 

Mix the drained pineapple and cranberry sauce together.  Break up any large chunks of sauce.

 Fold the fruit into the cream.

 Lastly, fold the nuts into the cream and fruit mixture.

I used a 5 or 6 cup jelly mould but an 8 or 9-inch square dish will work as well.

 Pack the mixture in the mould or dish.

Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight or for at least 8 hours.

 Unmould on a bed of lettuce leaves.

 Let the salad sit outside the freezer about 10 minutes before serving 
(unless your house is very hot or you're eating this in Australia at Christmas).

 Tasty and Festive


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