Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ingredient Spotlight-Cran/Ras/Pineapple Squares


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Today the Ingredient Spotlight over at Eat at Home is sweetened condensed milk.

One of the things I like best about making my own sweetened condensed milk is that I can freeze it in just the amounts needed for a particular recipe and not have to figure out what to do with the leftovers from an opened can.

For this recipe, I did make the milk with half sugar and half Splenda and left out the butter.

This recipe makes a great light summer dessert with a taste of fall coming from the cranberries. Although it must be made ahead, it is very easy to put together.  If I remember to do it, I put the can of cranberry sauce in the freezer for several hours before I start to make this.  It helps make the gelatin set up faster.

You can use a graham cracker or vanilla wafer crust.  I used vanilla wafers as I had them left from making the Peanut Butter Banana Cream Squares.  The crust may be baked at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned then cooled, or it can simply be chilled for 30 minutes which is great to do when the weather is hot.

The marshmallow/milk mixture stabilizes the whipped cream so the topping will stand up for several days.  This combo could be used on other desserts calling for whipped cream topping.

I adapted this recipe from a pie recipe  I found in a Nov./Dec. 2007 issue of Simple & Delicious magazine.

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Cran/Ras/Pineapple Squares
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 24 squares)
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. melted butter
OR
1 1/2 c. vanilla wafer crumbs (about 30-36 wafers)
1/4 c. melted butter
1 can (8 oz.) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1 small pkg. raspberry gelatin, regular or sugar-free
1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
2 c. miniature marshmallows
1/4 c. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped

In a mixing bowl combine either the graham cracker crumbs or the vanilla wafer crumbs with the other crust ingredients and mix well.  Press into a foil-lined 8-in. square baking pan.  Either bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes and let cool or place in fridge and chill for 30 minutes before filling.  Meanwhile, pour pineapple into a sieve placed over a glass measuring cup.  Let drain 10 to 15 minutes.  Set pineapple aside.  Add enough water to pineapple juice to make 1 c.  Place cup in microwave and heat to boiling, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Pour juice/water mixture into a mixing bowl.  Add gelatin and stir until dissolved.  Add cranberry sauce and mix until well blended.  The mixture will be lumpy because of the cranberries.  Add pineapple. Refrigerate until partially set.  Pour into prepared crust.  Refrigerate until completely set.  When gelatin is almost set, make the topping.  Combine marshmallows and sweetened condensed milk in a heavy saucepan.  Cook and stir over medium-low heat until marshmallows are melted.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl, cover and let stand until at room temperature.  Meanwhile whip the cream.  Mix a third of the whipped cream into the marshmallow/milk mixture.  (Mixture will be stringy at first.)  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Spread over gelatin layer.  Refrigerate until set.  Using the foil, lift dessert from pan.  Cut into squares.  Makes 9 servings.  This will keep well for several days.

Linking to:  Ingredient Spotlight

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