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No-Bake Pineapple Cheese Dessert Recipe
It’s summertime! That means plenty of hot days, and hot days need cold desserts to go with them. My grandmother made this special recipe for many years. The pineapple, cream cheese, and lemon Jello blend wonderfully to make the perfect no-bake dessert.
A Bit of Background
Every day, my mom and I read from my grandmother’s 1966 journal. It’s fun to see what she was up to each day. Mostly, it’s the same stuff she did throughout her life: cleaning, baking, and swimming! And keeping track of my grandfather’s antics here on the farm, of course.
One thing we noticed was how hot it was in 1966. For several days in a row, the temperatures were in the 90s, and most were up to the 80s. Based on her daily notes, that summer was much hotter than this one.
Thanks to all that heat, she wrote several times about making this no-bake dessert for get-togethers at church and with family. Along with her rolls, this was one of those recipes she made for most of her life. When my mom grew up and moved out, Grandma gave her a copy of the recipe, and she made it for us.
The instructions can be a little confusing – I tried to explain it in terms of numbered bowls to make it easier to understand, but if that’s still too difficult, just let me know.
Note that the recipe only takes 8 oz. of crushed pineapple. If you’re like us, you might be used to getting the full-size 20 oz. cans. Since this requires a specific amount of both pineapple and syrup, it may be easier just to pick up a few 8 oz. cans.
Make sure you grind your graham cracker crumbs very fine. We tend to put them in a bag and give them a few whacks (or let my little cousins have at it), but for the best results you should probably use a food processor. Better grinding makes the crust stick together and keeps little chunks of cracker from floating in the middle of the filling.
If you don’t have any graham cracker crumbs on hand, you could try baking our regular pie crust shell recipe and using that as the base. It won’t be as sweet, though.
No-Bake Pineapple Cheese Dessert
Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
- 1¼ cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup white granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
Pineapple Cheese Filling
- 1 (8 oz.) can of crushed pineapple (approximately 1 cup pineapple, ½ cup syrup)
- 1 (3 oz.) package of lemon jello mix
- 1¼ cup boiling water
- 3 oz. cream cheese
- 3 tbsp. white granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup sour cream
- Mix ingredients for crumb crust together, and flatten into a 9" pie pan.
- Drain pineapple, reserving syrup. Take out 3 mixing bowls.
- In Bowl 1, dissolve jello in boiling water. Add all of reserved pineapple syrup (about ½ cup worth).
- In Bowl 2, blend cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
- In Bowl 3, combine ½ cup of the jello mixture from Bowl 1 and the crushed pineapple. Set aside.
- Gradually blend remaining 1½-ish cups of jello/pineapple syrup mix from Bowl 1 into the cheese mixture in Bowl 2 until smooth. Fold in sour cream.
- Pour cheese mixture into crumb crust, and chill until lightly set.
- Carefully spoon pineapple/jello mixture from Bowl 3 over the top. Return to refrigerator and chill until firm.
- Enjoy cold!