7/19/07

Cherry Dessert... A different one!

When I was a child growing up in the Mid West every holiday was spent at my Grandmothers house surrounded by what seemed like a million Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. We would always have either a roast turkey or a ham, depending on the holiday or season and no matter what, without fail, we would have a Cherry Dessert. By the time I was in high school the entire 100 or so people would just call it by our last name - example; "Smith Dessert" because we knew we could not, would not, have a get together without this dessert being served. I have to admit though, by the time I was in 11th grade, I couldn't eat it anymore. Too rich? Too many times? I couldn't stomach it. It was a graham crust with a layer of cherry pie filling and whipped cream layer, but to this day I can't go near it even though all the 'extended' family makes this family dessert even though we don't all meet at my Grandmothers now that we are all grown with families of our own and we live spread across the country.

When I saw this recipe I was happy to see the 'crust' was different than the version that I grew up with - and as an added bonus it's made with my favorite 'different' dessert food - saltine crackers! I have blogged about how much I love those in bars and desserts so it's only fitting that one of the desserts from my childhood could be revamped to use them in place of the ever over-done graham.



Cherry Dessert


6 egg whites
2 cups sugar
24 crushed saltine crackers
1 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vinegar
16 oz. whipped topping
6 Ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 can cherry pie filling

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold in sugar, cracker crumbs, pecans, vanilla and vinegar. Spread in 9 x l3-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Let stand until cool. Beat whipped topping, cream cheese and powdered sugar in mixer howl until blended, scraping bowl occasionally. Spread over baked layer. Top with pie filling. Chill, covered, until serving time.

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