This recipe was given to me by a southern lady, so maybe it's common down south, I just don't know. She is the mother-in-law of my daughters BBF. Initally she wasn't about to give anyone her recipe, but after my daughter begged her for years she finally relented. Since then it's been a favorite of my family, we'd make it thoughout the year if we could still get fresh cranberries. Whenever I've served it everyone has loved it and begged for the recipe. I hope you'll love it as much.
1Remove the rind from the orange in slivers. Squeeze the orange for the juice. Press the crushed pineapple to remove it's juice. Blend, measure and set aside.
2Boil the combined water, orange and pineapple juice. Add sugar & jello powder and mix until disolved. Refrigerate until it's a thin gooy, still running off a spoon. Do not let it firm.
3While that is refrigerating to the right consistancy, prepare the veggies and fruit. Using your food processor, use the large shredder blade for the celery or chop it yourself into tiny pieces. Using the chopping blade, chop the cranberries until still firm but in several peices each. Then add the walnuts then the apples. This combo should not be runny, just chopped small. Depending on the food processors size you might need to split this into 2 batches. You can also use a blender but do it in several smaller batches on pulse, being sure not to liquify it. Dump the mix into the large bowl you plan to use when serving. I prefer a cut glass bowl but anything will do. Pour the slightly gooy jello mix into the bowl and stir until all ingredients are blended. Cover with clear wrap and refrigerate again until gooy enough to add the citrus and still be smooth. When it's reached that point add the orange rind, crushed pineapple and nuts. Stir till well blended, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
4Most seasoned cooks are probely laughing at the way I've discribed the settings and gooyness. But we aren't all good or experienced cooks. For years I had trouble with additions of citrus ruining my jello. So I've broken down the steps to reach a firm set that has worked for me. If anyone needs timing for each step, please let me know. But if you are a seasoned cook or just doesn't have this problem please do what is easiest for you. Just use the right amount of ingredients.
5Covered, this can be made ahead of time. I usually make it 2 days before serving. It can also be frozen. It's a lot of work, at least for me, so I make double batches, serving one at Thanksgiving and freezing the other for Christmas.
6The lady who gave me this recipe uses it as her traditional cranberry sauce. However, since it is a tart jelly and not a true cranberry sauce, we prefer to serve it as a light dessert after dinner with a sweet topping
7The topping is just the typical cream cheese & heavy whipped cream topping. Most people have their own version which is perfect for you. With mine I whip the cream cheese until creamy, no lumps. Add the whipping cream, a bit at a time, until soft peaks appear. Than add the sugar. Depending on taste, 2 tbs to 1/2 cup. Continue to whip until sugar melts in and the peaks are firm. Just before serving, plop large tablespoons on the top of the salad and serve. Keep extra topping on the side for those who prefer it sweeter.
8If you have doubled the batch to freeze one, make the topping fresh when you defrost it.