This recipe was contributed by one of my good friends Carey Peterson. Carey grew up in Texas and is an awesome mom of two active boys. She recently brought this yummy dessert to a party at our house. She says it is an old fashioned recipe that her grandma (“nanny”) used to make. It’s creamy, decadent, delicious and a special treat on a warm day. And that’s why it’s called “champagne salad” – because it’s like a dreamy whipped fruit salad, usually reserved for special occasions. But I think it makes a great treat for any summer pot-luck or family get-together.
Then I got thinking…what if we made this as a pie?! So, daringly I piled the creamy fruity filling into a tasty graham cracker crust and topped it with toasted coconut. Yup! It was deeeee-licious! Two ways to serve the same great dessert.
Just a warning though…if you make this with family or your kids around…you may have trouble getting it all into the pie shell. Because they’ll be eating it up!! I distracted my son with the beaters so I could get it all into the pie shell. I also found I had a little extra filling than I really needed to fill a 9 inch pie. But that’s ok because you can just fill up a couple of little dessert bowls with the extra. More for the chef!
Champagne fruit salad dessert or pie
Champagne fruit salad or stand-alone dessert
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large can crushed pineapple juice drained
- 2 bananas sliced
- 1 10 oz package frozen strawberries sliced
- 1 container cool whip
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans optional
- 1/4 cup toasted shredded coconut optional topping at the end
Graham cracker pie crust
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup ground pecans
- 2 tbsps white sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup melted butter
In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar and beat until they are combined (about 3-4 minutes). Remove and clean up the beaters. By hand, gently fold in the fruit. Then fold in the cool whip and nuts if desired last. If making as a stand-alone dessert, add the filling into a large serving dish (like a 13 x 9 pyrex dish) or spoon individual servings into smaller dessert bowls. Freeze. Remove from the freezer about 30 - 40 minutes before serving. Keeps in refrigerator.
For graham cracker crust
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, ground pecans, white sugar and cinnamon together. Mix well and then add the melted butter. Stir until the butter is evenly distributed. Press the mixture into a 9 inch pie plate. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Let it cool completely before adding the filling and topping with toasted shredded coconut. Refrigerate for a couple hours before serving. You can also freeze it, but it will take longer to defrost before serving (about 1 hour).