I made this dessert a couple weeks ago when we had some family over. I had seen this Peaches & Cream Dessert in a Taste of Home Simple & Delicious Magazine from June/July 2010 that I’d found in a stack of magazines I hadn’t looked at last year (when we moved). I thought the dessert looked great and like something different from what we’d normally have—cookies, brownies—the usual. I was also intrigued that the gelatin topping had lemon-lime soda in it.
I would have followed the recipe as written, but for one, that wouldn’t be like me now would it? As well, I didn’t have some of the exact ingredients, but I knew I could modify those things and it would still work. The recipe called for a pecan shortbread cookie crust and while that would be great, I’m sure, I used some graham crackers I had and made a graham cracker crust. The recipe also called for peach gelatin and I didn’t have any, but I had some apricot gelatin and decided to use that. In the gelatin, it was suggested that one cup of sugar be added to the gelatin as well as the can of soda. I thought this was WAY too much sugar. I didn’t want to veer too far from the recipe and have it not turn out well, so I did add about 1/2 cup sugar, but next time I make this, I will try it with no added sugar since gelatin and soda have PLENTY already. Two other small changes were that I used canned peaches instead of fresh or frozen (this will be a great recipe to make again when peaches are in season) and I omitted some pineapple juice that the peaches were supposed to be tossed with. The recipe I’ve linked above has a five star rating with all good reviews. You can follow that recipe or here’s my adaptation.
Peaches and Cream Dessert, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!
16 ounces graham crackers (about 2 1/2 to 3 sleeves)**
6 ounces butter, (12 tablespoons or 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 package (3 oz.) apricot gelatin (or peach flavored)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 can (12 oz.) lemon-lime soda
1 package (8 oz.) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 carton (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed (or 8 ounces whipped heavy cream)
1 can (1 lb. 13 oz.) peaches, drained (or use fresh peaches!, pitted, peeled and sliced)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and process them until they are finely ground crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until all the crumbs are wet. Dump the mixture into a 9x13 inch baking pan and spread evenly, pushing down evenly. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, gelatin and cornstarch. Stir in the lemon-lime soda and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes, until slightly thickened. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, in the bowl of the food processor (just wipe it clean with paper towel), add the cream cheese and pulse until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and pulse again until smooth. Scrape sides of bowl. (You can also do this in a bowl.) Scrape the cream cheese mixture into a large bowl. Add the whipped topping and fold it in with a spatula until well combined. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust. Line the cream cheese mixture with the drained peaches. You will use almost the whole can, but not quite all of the peaches. Pour the cooled gelatin mixture over the peaches to cover evenly.
Cover the dessert and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. Cut desired size slices and serve.
**A couple of things to note, a couple of family members who tried this mentioned that the crust was a little too thick. I like crust, so it didn’t bother me, but next time I make this, I will try it with just two sleeves of graham crackers, which is about 10 ounces, and I’ll use less butter as well.
Also, I really liked the flavor of the apricot gelatin, but do feel free to use the suggested peach flavor. Lemon would probably also be good as well. I was pleasantly surprised, but you can taste a bit of that lemon-lime fizzy soda flavor, which was kind of fun. I think I’ll actually try this again with possibly some fresh raspberries and raspberry flavored gelatin—strawberries would be good, too. The possibilities are endless here. Have fun with summer desserts, besides my decision to set the crust a little by baking it (the original recipe does not have a baked crust), this is a no-bake dessert!