I enjoy looking through community cookbooks. I don’t cook from them often, but I love comparing regional culinary differences, particularly when it comes to holiday traditions. A friend loaned me her copy of the Louisiana community cookbook Pots, Pans and Pioneers II, where I came across a recipe called Apricot Delight. It looked like an interesting variation on popular southern congealed salads, and it is the inspiration for this recipe. I did not grow up having a molded salad on our Thanksgiving table; it was not a part of our culinary traditions. But if you come from a family that does, this apricot cream salad is an easy make-ahead recipe for the holiday. It also adds lovely autumn color to your table.
Apricot Cream Salad
1 cup canned apricot halves, reserve the syrup
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 drop almond extract or to taste
2 (3 oz.) pkgs. apricot gelatin
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup reserved canned apricot syrup
1 cup apricot nectar (I like Kern’s brand)
Grease or spray a 6-cup jello mold and set aside. In a food processor combine canned apricots, sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, and whipping cream. Pulse until smooth. Add almond extract and pulse again. Set aside. In a saucepan combine gelatin, water, and reserved apricot syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk in the apricot nectar. Transfer gelatin mixture to a large bowl. Let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in the cream cheese mixture. Mix until smooth. Pour into the prepared mold. Cover and chill 4-6 hours until set. Unmold just before serving. Serves 12.