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Cloud Pie

Lime Jello PieThis is one of those old recipes that I’ve been making since forever – and has been evolving that long too.

It was born out of necessity when Oldest Son and Darling Daughter were very young, and we were on a very tight budget.  I almost always had the cheap, store brand jello in the house, along with graham crackers, butter and sugar and if I got the store brand frozen whipped topping, I could have a very economical and tasty dessert in very short order.  Darling Daughter has dubbed this “Cloud Pie” – I always just called it “Jello Pie.”

Basically I made a graham cracker crust, using crushed graham crackers, sugar and melted butter.  Then I made the jello, let it get soft set, blended the whipped topping into it, poured it into the crust and refrigerated it until it was firm.

And the kids ate it up.

Over the years, the recipe has evolved – at one point, I found the old Weight Watcher’s recipe that was very similar and took their method of using less water and incorporating a like-flavored yogurt into the filling; it gives it more body and a better taste for sure.

This is a perfect, light summer dessert, super-simple and quick to make, and to this day is a favorite of Oldest Son and Miss Jacki.  You can, of course, use a ready-made graham cracker crust, but a homemade one is just soooooo good.  And if you really want, you can use fat-free yogurt, light Cool Whip, sugar free Jello and a reduced fat crust; if I remember correctly, the lowfat version is 3 Weight Watchers points, which makes it about 150 calories per slice (8 pieces out of a 9-inch pie).

You can use just about any flavor of Jello and yogurt you want – lime is always a favorite, and strawberry and orange are good too.  I’ve gotten pretty creative with it on occasion; lemon Jello with piña colada flavored yogurt is quite tasty.  But because the lime version of the pie seems to be so popular with the offspring, that’s what I’m giving you here.

Cloud Pie

serves 6 to 8

1 small box (4 servings) lime-flavored gelatin

1/2 cup boiling water

2 – 6 oz. containers lime-flavored yogurt

8 oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed

9″  prepared graham cracker crust (recipe below)

In a medium sized mixing bowl,  dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water.  Whisk in the yogurt, then the whipped topping until well blended.  Spread in graham cracker crust; refrigerate until set.

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs – about 12 whole crackers, crushed

3 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

9″ pie plate

Combine the sugar and graham cracker crumbs in a medium sized mixing bowl.  Work the butter into the crumbs with your fingertips until the crumbs look like wet sand. Using your fingertips, press the crust into a 9-inch pie plate to make an even layer over the bottom and sides of the pan – covering the crumb/butter mixture with a piece of plastic wrap will help keep the crumbs from sticking to your fingers.

Bake at 350 ° F for 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden.  Let cool before filling.

And have a lovely 4th of July, y’all.

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