in times of need – summer fruit crisp

I promised myself that I would not complain about how insanely busy I’ve been since last week. I won’t complain that I’ve had absolutely zero time for this blog, and hardly any time to cook or bake anything. And I really won’t complain that by the time July is over, I will have been working for 21 days in a row. Without a day off. I am NOT complaining.

I will say, however, that I’ve had a serious-as-a-heart-attack craving for comfort food. Because I’ve needed comforting during this time that I’m not complaining about.

Over the weekend, I called my husband from work with an order a polite request for him to pick up some fresh fruit at the grocery store. He’s not a huge fan of cobblers and crisps and the such, but I am. So I made one. To satisfy ME.

Selfish, I know, but I really, really, really needed this dessert on Sunday.

Juicy cherries, fresh blueberries, a pint of plump blackberries, and a couple of ripe peaches made the filling of this summer fruit crisp just heavenly. The topping is always the best part of these kinds of desserts – whether they’re called crisps or cobblers or crumbles. Crunchy, buttery goodness serves as the ideal complement to the juicy fruit filling.

This was one super simple but incredibly satisfying dessert. I served it warm out of the oven with a scoop – or two – of vanilla ice cream, and like a big warm hug, it was just what I needed after a long working weekend.

Yield: Serves 6-8.

Summer Fruit Crisp

The measurements of the fruit are approximate. If you prefer to use 2 cups of blueberries and omit the cherries, go for it. Want more peaches? Have at it. Make this your own.


Ingredients for Crisp

1 cup blueberries
2 cups blackberries
2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup cherries, pitted (or frozen and thawed)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Ingredients for Topping

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup slivered almonds, chopped coarsely
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the berries, cherries, and peach pieces with sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Place into a buttered shallow dish (such as a pie plate or casserole dish).

Prepare the topping: Combine oats, flour, light brown sugar, salt, chopped almonds, and salt in a bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers [and honestly, your fingers are your best tools here], work in the butter until combined. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees in the center of oven until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 1 hour. Cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Inspired by and adapted from this recipe from Parade Magazine, 2007.

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28 Responses to “mom’s green jello salad”

  1. Kate @ Savour Fare — December 12, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

    Love it! Right up there with my grandmother’s tomato aspic (made with lemon jello, natch) for beloved family horrors.

  2. Kristina @ spabettie — December 12, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

    we have the same “salad” !! 🙂 ours is made with cream cheese instead of cottage, and we’ve never added maraschinos to it, but the rest is the same!! I have never seen anyone else make this!!

    AND… we don’t have it each Thanksgiving + Christmas anymore, in fact it has been a few years… but YESTERDAY I told my mom I was making it for Christmas this year! I can’t wait.

  3. Macaroni Mama — December 12, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

    Thanks MJ. We ALL love this green jello salad. But I do think we should give it a name instead of green jello salad. I know. Let’s let Maddie and Oliver name it.

  4. Brian @ A Thought For Food — December 12, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

    So festive! I love jello salads… which seems like a funny thing to say. Just grew up with it (one of my grandmother’s staples).

  5. Barbara @ Vino Luci Style — December 13, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

    I remember as a young cook that salads like this were a part of every pot luck get together I went to and as a result ended up on my table too. It’s been a few years but I’m salivating at the thought of that old fashioned goodness! Nice trip down memory lane Merry Jennifer!

  6. Nancy@acommunaltable — December 13, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

    I love it!!! My mother used to make a very similar salad although it wasn’t nearly that fluffy!! She would make it in a pyrex dish and cut it into triangles (to resemble a christmas tree) with a maraschino cherry at the top and an olive at the bottom for the trunk!!

    I am so glad you posted this. I haven’t thought of that salad in years and now I want to go and dig up the recipe!!

  7. Tes — December 14, 2010 @ 10:15 am

    Wow that looks so beautiful. It looks so gentle amd comforting! I definitely have to try this jello salad 🙂

  8. Belinda — December 14, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

    I have an orange jello salad that is very similar and it is Erica’s favorite. It has orange jello, Cool Whip, cottage cheese, mandarin oranges, and crushed pineapple. She will definitely have to try the green salad at Christmas and so will I! 🙂

  9. Jason Phelps — December 15, 2010 @ 10:59 am

    This is a classic!! I never pondered what was in it, I just ate it.

    Thanks for sharing some secrets.


  10. rebecca — December 16, 2010 @ 8:12 am

    love the green and red color very festive

  11. Amelia — January 20, 2011 @ 10:10 am

    We make this with yogert instead of cottage cheese and call it “watergate salad” or “green junk”, lol.

  12. sweetsugarbelle — June 8, 2011 @ 6:56 am

    Hahahaha, okay now I’m back at familiar. We eat this stuff. And if you had askeme before finding this post I’d of lied and said I don’t know what you’re talking about. We only eay it twice a year too, but over processed and inorganic or not, it’s good stuff!!!

  13. Doralee Young — November 25, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    I just made this for my daughter to take to her first pot luck dinner as an adult.
    Making it with her brought back sweet memories of Holiday dinners when she was a child. The children always fought over the cherries and now all of those children are grown up and at this party now. I wonder if there will be trouble at the buffet table?!

  14. Margaret — September 10, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    Great to see this — my mom’s green jello salad was made in a ring mold, and she used sour cream instead of cottage cheese — but had all of the same lovely ingredients, maraschinos included!

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  17. Susan — May 23, 2013 @ 1:58 am

    Thank you so much for posting this. I lost my mom last year and this was one of my favorite recipes she made. I wanted to make it for a potluck recently, even though I’d never made it myself. I found her recipe, but it was just a list of ingredients on an index card with the instructions “let set three hours in refrigerator”. I wasn’t sure exactly what to do. I probably would have mixed everything together without dissolving the jello first, had I not found this post 🙂

    I too, try to cook fresh organic ingredients whenever possible but I also agree, there is no substitute for the years and years of memories we have with certain foods. Now that she is gone, I plan on making my mom’s rotation of different jello salads through the seasons. I know it isn’t popular anymore to bring jello salad, but in my experience, everyone usually likes it!! Cheers to all for carrying on this tradition.

    I appreciate this post and I’m happy I figured out to dissolve the jello first! Thank you again, and best wishes to everyone.

  18. Linda — November 27, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

    Wow, if I hadn’t read your About section, I would have sworn you were from Utah. I’m a Canadian now living in Utah, and Utah is the king of these kinds of salads. One I can think of (that I won’t go near, even with a 5-foot pole) comprises mayo, sweet relish, shrimp, olives, etc. It terrifies me, but my husband’s family gobbles it up.

  19. Krysta — December 2, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

    We’ve been making this in my family for years and years. We make it exactly the same, but we add Mandarin oranges to it. I can’t think of eating it without them. 😛 It’s magical. It’s rare to find people who know about it, and who actually want to try it because they’re so grossed out by cottage cheese. BUT it’s sooooo gooooood.

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  23. Wendy — August 3, 2014 @ 6:42 pm

    My grandmother always made this, but with miniature marshmallows added. I may have to make it this year, just for fun.

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  26. Joy Raskin — September 26, 2017 @ 7:29 pm

    My grandma used to make King salad, as it was the name of this salad. We all grew up on this salad, however, we called it Throwup Salad, for it looked so disgusting, but it was so good. To this day, even through my grandma has been gone for more than 30 years, my mom and I still make Throwup salad time to time. However, grandma used mayo in the recipe. Now, I’m hungry for Throwup salad.

  27. Cheri Cody — November 21, 2017 @ 2:33 pm

    Can this recipe be doubled?

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — November 21st, 2017 @ 3:05 pm

      Yes, you can definitely double it. I double it if I’m serving more than 8 people (or lots of kids).

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