Is it a side dish or a dessert...I'll let you decide. You know we Southerners love our sweet side dishes...so, naturally, we would serve it as a side...or, a dessert. If I take it to a gathering, I'm just gonna put it on the table with all the other sides. I tell you what, I'm just going to call it a dessert. All I know is that it's absolutely delicious and satisfying...so much for that!
I was intrigued when I saw Trisha Yearwood making her grape salad on the Food Network. She said everyone looked forward to it at get-togethers. I'd never heard of a grape salad before. When I made it; though good as it was, I decided it needed more complexity in texture. After much thought, I decided to use more pecans (and toast them), all in the filling. Then, I crowned the dish with a gingersnap crumb topping. Va-va-voom...right on spot!! It was perfect! Now, I love it, along with everyone else!
Grapes Smothered In Cheesecake Cream, Who Wouldn't Love That!
But, Add Toasted Pecans and A Gingersnap Crumb Topping...Wow!
Southern At Heart's Gingersnap Crumble, the Food Network
Approx. 12 servings
The Gingersnap Crumb Topping
- 1/2 c. finely ground gingersnap cookie crumbs (process 9 or 10 prepackaged, about 1 1/2" diameter, cookies in a food processor, or use a mallet to crush in a quart-size freezer bag)
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour (for a nutty flavor, try bread flour)
- 2 TB granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. fine salt
- 2 TB cold, salted butter
- 4 lbs. seedless grapes (red or green, or any mixture thereof...I did all red)
- 1 c. medium-chopped pecans
- 1/ea. 8 oz. pkg. full-fat cream cheese, or neufchatel cheese, room temperature
- 1 c. (or 8 oz.) sour cream (I used light, or reduced fat)
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Remove the grapes from the stems, run under cool water, drain and thoroughly dry with a clean dish towel. Set the grapes aside on the towel to continue drying.
- Toast the pecans lightly, tossing over medium heat in a small skillet, or toast gently in the microwave on high in 15 second intervals, stirring between intervals. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
- Mix the dry ingredients and work in the butter with your fingers or a pastry cutter. Keep in large crumbles and don't mix too thoroughly.
- Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Carefully lift the parchment paper with the baked topping off the pan and transfer to another pan or cutting board to cool. Store in a covered container until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, mix well the cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla.
- Add the grapes and carefully combine. Gently incorporate the toasted pecans.
- Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13" baking dish and refrigerate until cold, at least an hour. Just before serving, sprinkle with the gingersnap crumb topping.
- Improves with flavor in a day or two and will keep well in the refrigerator for about a week.
Now, I'm Gonna Have It For Dessert!
Well, there you go...you could enjoy this easy, delectable dish as a side; then, have it as a dessert without having to make two dishes! Now, who would do that? Ha! :)