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Orange Pretzel Salad

by elyn_ryn

This orange pretzel salad is a sweet dessert with a cream cheese filling and a fruit-filled gelatin topping. It has a buttery pretzel crust that is both sweet and salty. Each layer of this dessert will need to cool before proceeding to the next layer. This means you can make the crust and the cream cheese layer the day before if you choose.

Making the Crust

Pretzel crusts have a crunchy, nutty taste. For this recipe, I suggest that you crush the pretzels very fine to make the crust. A finely chopped pretzel crumb crust seems to hold together better and is easier to chew.

Don’t skimp on the butter because pretzel crusts need the butter to stick together. If you try to cut back on the butter, the crust can become too dry after it sits.

Place the crust into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan. Do not worry about pressing the crust onto the sides of the baking dish. You need crust only on the bottom of this dessert. Use the bottom of a cup to tamp down the crust. Bake it for 10 minutes.

Filling

The filling is cream cheese, sugar, vanilla flavoring, and whipped topping. Make sure the crust is completely cool before adding the filling so that the heat from the crust does not melt it.

After you add the filling, place the baking dish in the refrigerator so the filling can chill and set before adding the gelatin layer.

When making the orange gelatin, let it thicken in the refrigerator before adding fruit. This helps keep all the fruit from settling to the bottom of the gelatin layer. The way to tell when the gelatin is ready for the fruit? It will be as thick as egg whites when you stir it. It can take 30 minutes to an hour and a half to thicken. It depends on how hot the gelatin is when you put it into the refrigerator. And don’t worry if the gelatin gets too thick. Occasionally, I have chilled the gelatin too long. When this happens, stir the gelatin and add the fruit anyway, as it can still turn out okay.

Servings and Garnish

This recipe will make about 24 servings. Garnish it with slices of starfruit and/or orange slices. If you have not used starfruit before, it has a texture like grapes and a mild citrus flavor. You do not have to peel this fruit. Just wash and dry it. Then slice it horizontally to make star shapes. Enjoy!

Print Recipe
Orange Pretzel Salad
Orange pretzel dessert with cream cheese, mandarin oranges, and pineapple
Votes: 2
Rating: 4.5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 4 1/2 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Crust
Creamy Filling
Orange-Pineapple Topping
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 4 1/2 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Crust
Creamy Filling
Orange-Pineapple Topping
Votes: 2
Rating: 4.5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor or electric chopper, add the pretzels. Process until the pretzels are fine crumbs. Mix together the sugar, butter, and pretzel crumbs. Process until the pretzels are chopped -- and the crust is well mixed. (See note below for making the crust by hand.)
  3. Place the crust into the baking dish. Tamp it with a flat-bottomed cup.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust starts to brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Creamy Filling
  1. Place the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla into a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the whipping cream and beat for a couple of minutes until smooth.
  2. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust. Place the crust into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so the cream cheese mixture can set.
Orange Pineapple Topping
  1. Bring the water to a boil. Pour it into a heat-safe bowl and add the gelatin. Stir until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool for a few minutes, and then place it in the refrigerator to chill. When the gelatin is the consistency of egg whites, remove it from the refrigerator and fold in the pineapple and oranges.
  2. Spoon the gelatin mixture over the cream cheese layer.
  3. Chill until the gelatin is set. Serve cold.
Recipe Notes

Gluten-Free

The dessert can be made gluten-free by substituting gluten-free pretzels for regular pretzels. Always check that you are using gluten-free brands for the other items in this recipe.

 

Make the Crust by Hand

You can make the crust by hand by placing a few pretzels in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Crush them with a rolling pin. Pour the crushed pretzels into a bowl and repeat the process until all pretzels are crushed. Then whisk the sugar into the pretzel crumbs and mix. Add the butter and stir until well mixed.

Use the Freezer for Speed Chilling

You can speed up the passive time for this dessert by placing it in the freezer instead of the refrigerator.  Check it after 30 minutes to see if it is chilled.

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