Strawberries frozen into melted marshmallows and cream.
The Strawberry Dream Dessert seems to share a philosophical antecedent with this Strawberry Dream Pie from Mrs. M.E. McKee of Cincinnati Ohio, which she provided in the May 3, 1929 edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer. Mrs. McKee, who took home a $3 second prize in the weekly recipe contest (beaten out by a rhubarb frappe), used a baked meringue as its medium of berry expression:
Strawberry Dream Pie
4 egg whites.
Bake pie crust., while hot fill with four egg whites beaten very stiff), add eight tablespoons sugar, one pint berries. Then fold in and bake until set.
Enquirer Home Forum Prize Recipe —
Mrs. M. E. McKee, 4 Hedgerow Lane, Clifton, Cincinnati, Ohio
For what it’s worth, my guess is that M.E. McKee is actually Mildred A. McKee, both because she’s the only M. McKee in the Cincinnati census and because Mildred shows up in other Cincinnati Enquirer contests in roughly the same time period. In which case, Mildred is roughly 22 at the time of the recipe submission, and she and her car salesman husband have three children by the time of the 1940 census.
But this recipe most likely is from around the 1960s, because it calls for Pixie Puffs, a brand of marshmallow that doesn’t show up in advertising until 1959-ish. Consider this example from the October 26, 1960 edition of The (Long Beach, Calif.) Independent:
A possible evolution of the recipe shows up in the November 9, 1970 edition of The Orlando Sentinel, adding ice cream and walnuts to the mix:
Strawberry Dream Dessert
1 6-oz pkg. strawberry gelatin
Prepare gelatin as directed on package. Do not gel. Add ice cream and 3/4 of the pint of strawberries, reserving remaining strawberries for topping. Whip mixture for 2 minutes. Mixture will be creamy and semifirm. Place mixture in dessert cups and gel in refrigerator for approximately 2 hours.
To serve, top with a ring of miniature marshmallows, 2 walnut halves and a strawberry. Serves 8 to 10. Great for busy holiday season!
Variation: Whipped cream can be used instead of marshmallows, if desired, with a ring of walnuts and a strawberry.
From the box of H.P., sold in Paradise, Arizona.
1 (12 oz.) pkg. frozen berries
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
24 Pixie Puffs [marshmallows]
Defrost berries and drain well; place the juice and marshmallows in top of double boiler. Heat until marshmallows are melted; chill. Add berries and lemon rind. Fold in the whipped cream. Pour into freezing tray and freeze until firm.