A proud Midwestern gal, I know the value of having a few good jello desserts in my repertoire and this is one of the best. I think Maya and I probably made this together the first time.
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/2 cup sugar, divided
6 Tbsp melted butter
12 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbsp milk
3 cups sweetened whipped cream or cool whip, divided
2 cups boiling water
1 large or two small packages jello (any flavor that works with the fruit)
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 cups fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces (Berries, peaches and pears work well or a combination of fruits. Strawberries are pretty traditional.)
Mix graham crackers, 1/4 cup sugar and butter and pat into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 375 for 7 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and milk until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Gently spread onto cooled crust.
Mix jello and boiling water, and stir well until the jello is completely dissolved. Add the 1 1/2 cups cold water and fruit and stir gently so you don’t break the fruit up too badly. Pour jello mixture onto cheese layer.
Cover the dish and refrigerate it for 2 hours. Just before serving spread 2 cups of whipped cream on top. If you have extra fruit, use it to garnish the top.