"Strawberry pretzel salad recipe" is the most common name for it, but it is also called a strawberry Jello pretzel salad recipe; a strawberry pie Jello recipe; a Jello strawberry pie recipe; an easy recipe for strawberry pretzel salad; a strawberry pretzel dessert recipe; a strawberry recipe with pretzel crust; and a strawberry cream cheese dessert pie recipe ("Jello" refers to Jello-brand gelatin: many people look specifically for Jello-brand recipes, so if that's you, hopefully adding this little bit to the page helped you get here). If you were looking for any of these, you are definitely in the right place!
This recipe may also be just what you want if you're looking for a strawberry Jello salad recipe, a strawberry Jello dessert recipe or a recipe for strawberry Jello with frozen strawberries; or for strawberry cheese cake or cheesecake recipes, how to make strawberry cheesecake, or an easy or best strawberry cheesecake recipe (again, "Jello" refers to Jello-brand gelatin).
Seeing all the ways this dish can please people, and realizing that it has this much love, it may be fair to call this the ultimate strawberry cheesecake recipe!
Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe
The first thing to do is to make the pretzel crumbs. The best pretzels to use are thin and unsalted. If you crumble the pretzels in a blender or food processor with a plastic pitcher then you will not want the salt crystals scratching the plastic! Besides crumbling the pretzels by pulsing them in a blender or food processor, you can also place them in a freezer bag and pound the bag lightly a few times, or use a food chopper. However you crumble the pretzels, try to crumble the pieces down to 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) length, and no further (you want mostly small pretzel pieces).
Next, melt the butter or margarine, and then stir the brown sugar into it. Now pour this liquid into a closeable container; add the pretzel crumbs; close the container; and shake the container until the liquid and pretzel crumbs are mixed together well. The butter or margarine will add saltiness, which is another reason why it is best to use unsalted pretzels. You can take a small taste of the mix at this point and add salt if needed: just work in salt a pinch at a time to suit your taste. When the mix is to your liking, spread it out to cover the bottom of a 9 inch (23 cm) diameter pie pan, then set it in the refrigerator to cool and harden.
To make the cream cheese filling, place the cream cheese, the granulated white ("table") sugar, and the whipped cream or topping into a bowl and blend with a mixer on a low to medium setting until the mixture is smooth, then pour the filling into the bottom of the pretzel crust.
To make the gelatin salad for the top layer, prepare the gelatin according to the instructions on the package and set it aside to begin it's cooling and setting up. You can now proceed with the recipe in a few different ways. For the true dessert salad version, you can either 1.) add the sliced strawberries just before the gelatin sets up completely or 2.) actually allow the gelatin to finish setting up, stir it until it's in small chunks, and then gently stir in the strawberry slices. Number 1 will give your dish a smooth top surface, while number 2 will give you a rougher surface.
Another, less traditionally "salad" way to make this dish is simply to add the fruit as a layer either above or below the gelatin layer. The advantage of leaving the fruit and gelatin unmixed is that the gelatin will set up a little more completely if it is not exposed so much to the enzymes in the uncooked fruit. This is especially true if you decide to substitute pineapple chunks for half of the strawberry slices (as many people like to do) since pineapple has more enzymes than strawberries.
In the photo for this page, the "layer" of strawberries is just three strawberry slices layed on the top center of the dessert--only a slight nod to it's "salad" heritage. In this form it's a bit more like a standard strawberry cheesecake or pie than a dessert salad.
If you want a strawberry and gelatin salad with more of a "creamy" than a "cream cheese and pretzel" taste, you might want to consider a recipe for strawberry chipton (clicking on this link will open a new window).
Have fun with this strawberry pretzel salad recipe, and please remember that you found it here at StrawberriesForStrawberryLovers.Com, Home of the World's Happiest Fruit!