This salad is a staple at celebrations in my family no matter the time of year, but especially during the summer.
The first time I tried to make it, I couldn’t find the recipe anywhere. When I finally asked my mom, I discovered the reason why. She made it so often, she had it memorized and it wasn’t written down anywhere.
By this point, I’ve memorized it as well; however, it is too good to not share, which is why I’m writing it down.
One 3-ounce package of orange gelatin
One 3.4-ounce package of cook and serve tapioca pudding
One 3.4-ounce package of cook and serve vanilla pudding
8 ounces of whipped topping
Two 11-ounce cans of mandarin oranges
3 cups of water
Combine all three packages of gelatin and pudding with three cups of water in a saucepan with a whisk.
Heat on the stove a little above medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil while constantly stirring with a whisk. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent the mixture from burning to the bottom.
Continue to stir until the mixture is boiling enough that the bubbles can not simply be stirred away and take off heat. When the mixture is getting close to this point, the tapioca pearls will begin to be visible. Pour into a large bowl.
Make sure the bowl is large enough to add your whipped topping and mandarin oranges to later (unless of course, you really want to do more dishes).
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Make sure to place the wrap directly on the mixture, which will prevent the pudding from forming a skin on the top when it cools.
Allow the mixture to cool for a few hours until it is at least soft set.
Once it is set up, combine the whipped topping and mandarin oranges with the mixture. Make sure to drain the oranges before adding to the mixture. Add one or two cans, depending on the ratio you like.
Keeps well for a few days in an airtight container in the fridge.