I grew up eating gelatin salads at holiday meals and missed these after going vegan. This recipe uses agar agar to make a vegan gel to recreate my childhood favorite. Sweet raspberry and applesauce gel is layered with vegan sour cream and topped with vegan marshmallow fluff, making a spectacular and delicious salad fit for holiday meals.
In a large saucepan, bring the water, applesauce, raspberries, and maple syrup to a simmer.
Sprinkle the agar agar powder or flakes over the top and mix well with a whisk so it doesn't clump. Simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. The berries will separate and break apart. Note, if you use agar agar powder, you'll have to simmer a bit longer to dissolve all the flakes.
Pour the mixture into a 9x9 or similar pan. You want the gel to be less than 2-inches deep, or it may not firm up.
Chill a couple hours in the refrigerator.
Assemble the Salad
Spread a nice thick layer of vegan sour cream on top of the firmed up gel.
Top with about ½-inch of vegan marshmallow fluff or vegan mini marshmallows. See note if using mini marshmallows.
If using mashmallow fluff, serve right away or store, covered, in the refrigerator for several hours. The marshmallow fluff will break down if left overnight.
If using mini marshmallows, cover and chill overnight.
Run a knife around the edges of the dish to loosen. Cut into 8 equal squares.
Serve on a piece of butter lettuce, if desired. You may also add another dollop of Marshmallow Fluff and a raspberry to garnish.
The original recipe used mini marshmallows that sort-of dissolved and got all soft when sitting in the sour cream overnight. When testing this recipe using commercially made vegan mini marshmallows, I've discovered that they just don't soften in the vegan sour cream in the same manner, so I use the vegan marshmallow fluff instead, which mimics the soft marshmallow and eliminates the need to chill the salad overnight before serving.Adapted from a recipe by Linda Thompson.