Merry Christmas readers, followers, and cooks alike! While I’m more than thrilled that you stopped by the blogosphere on this holiday, hopefully most of you are enjoying a wonderful day filled with family and friends. Or food and presents. Well…mostly food and presents, as the case may be.
Unlike the more formal holiday of Thanksgiving, which requires some traditional fare, Christmas in my house is much more relaxed. But that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a few food “musts,” one of which includes a fruit salad I remember being a holiday staple since childhood — the 24-Hour Salad.
While there’s probably a definitive version of this fruit salad that has chopped fruit marinate in a light custard overnight, I wouldn’t know what it is! Since I started making this salad myself, I’ve discovered that there’s almost no limit to the fruit it can contain. I regularly alter it according to what’s available and who’s eating. (i.e. Marshmallows and I don’t get along very well, so I usually skip them.) As long as the fruit is compatible with egg, sugar, and cream, you’re good to go. If you’re short on fresh fruit, canned fruit works just as well.
And if the idea of fruit sitting overnight in cooked, creamy eggs is absolutely unappealing, forget it and just use the heavy cream whipped up with a little sugar. It’s not religion, just a tasty and light fruit salad.
For the custard:
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white sugar
pinch of salt
(for the next day – 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream)
For the salad:
1 cup chopped pineapple, fresh or canned and drained
1 cup chopped orange or 1 small (8-9 ounce) can of mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup sliced seedless red grapes
1 cup chopped apples
8-12 sliced maraschino cherries (or sliced fresh cherries, if you’re lucky enough to get them at this time of year!)
1 cup mini marshmallows (optional)
(for the next day – 2 sliced bananas)
In a double boiler or single sauce pan over low heat, beat the egg and stir in the lemon juice, sugar, and salt. With a wooden spoon, constantly stir the mixture until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove custard from the heat and cool.
Combine all fruit together, except the bananas, in a large bowl. Stir in the custard, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Drain any excess liquid from the salad and stir in 2 sliced bananas. Whip the cream until thick and stir into the salad. Can be eaten immediately or chilled.
This salad is best eaten the day its made as the bananas will quickly go brown in any leftovers. You can freshen up any remaining salad with a bit of extra whipped cream, if necessary.
Let’s see just how many blogs Cary can put on her roster before going mad! While you’ll find her here on occasion, you’ll more likely to catch her over on United We Game or Geek Force Network; or better yet, working on her own blog about gaming and nostalgia and such, Recollections of Play.