Winter Fruit Salad

A fruit salad for the months when fresh fruit is scarce, a combination of fresh, frozen and canned fruit, brightened with lemon peel and Grand Marnier. Winter Fruit Salad is a beautiful fruit salad for buffets, brunches and other family gatherings. Early Easter, anyone?

Winter Fruit Salad, when fresh fruit is scarce, a combination of fresh, frozen and canned fruit brightened with lemon peel and a fruity liqueur like Grand Marnier ~ Vegan, gluten-free and Weight Watchers 2 PointsPlus ~

Spring: It’s here! Or in the North, as the calendar promises, it’s coming, truly, it is!

Outside, spring’s arrival is manifested in nature’s simple gifts. Tiny rabbit tails on the pussy willows. Crocuses poking out of the earth as if to thumb their colorful noses at remaining bits of snow cover. The first flush of green in the tree tops.

When it comes to fresh fruit, however, we must do without a bit longer. Whether you make this fruit salad in late winter or early spring, it makes the wait a bit easier for it’s as good as any summer batch.

ALANNA's TIPS While a Summer Fruit Salad is lovely, during the winter months fresh fruit (if it can be found at all) is just too expensive and not all that good. This recipe is surprisingly good, a perfect mix of fresh, frozen and canned fruit. Frozen strawberries and canned peaches are actually preferred so don’t be tempted to use fresh fruit. I also have great luck with frozen peaches. For a crowd, to my taste, it's best to keep the same amount of pineapple (which can take over, a bit) and instead add more apple and banana. Naturally, this is fruit salad so go ahead, add what tastes good, what's available. I especially like to add fresh tangerines cut into thirds and half circles of kiwi. On occasion, a handful of frozen sweet or sour cherries are wonderful. Be careful, canned pears are too soft for this fruit salad, avoid them! All that extra fruit fills my trifle bowl that's pictured, that's about 14 cups of fruit. Because I leave the sugar and liqueur amounts the same, it also helps with the calories and Weight Watchers points! For dieters and diabetics, Splenda can be substituted for the sugar. Serve this in your prettiest glass bowl at brunch or as a simple dessert one evening. After ripening in the fridge a few days, Winter Fruit Salad is delectable served atop vanilla ice cream or with a drizzle of Greek yogurt. For a non-alcoholic fruit salad, I'd make a lemon simple syrup or a ginger simple syrup, I think it would be wonderful!


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time-to-table: 90 minutes
Makes 8 cups
  • 12 ounces frozen strawberries, sugared or unsugared
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (use 4 tablespoons if the strawberries are unsugared)
  • 15 ounces canned peaches (no sugar added), drained and chopped or 12 ounces frozen peaches
  • 15 ounces canned pineapple (fresh if available), drained and sliced
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tart apple, preferably a Granny Smith for color, skin on, chopped
  • 8 ounces seedless red grapes
  • Peel from one lemon, slivered (essential)
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier orange-flavored liqueur, another fruity liqueur or Marsala or dry sherry

Cut the still-frozen strawberries into bite-size pieces, then stir the strawberries and sugar together in a large bowl, be gentle but stir to help the sugar dissolve. Stir in the remaining ingredients and combine well but gently.

Refrigerate for at least an hour (longer is fine), occasionally stirring gently to distribute the sugar and juices, until the strawberries are no longer frozen but still cold.

Stir one last time, then transfer to a clear glass bowl for serving.

Can be made several hours in advance but if so, I do recommend adding the banana and apple just before serving.

Per cup as written: 241 Calories; 1g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 53g Carb; 4g Fiber; 6mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 4 & PointsPlus 6
Per cup when made with extra fruit yielding 14 cups: 95 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 23g Carb; 3g Fiber; 1mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 1.5 & PointsPlus 2
This recipe comes from Olga, my father's long-time companion since my mother's passing. I'm grateful to have her recipe in my recipe box and her in our lives!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Lemon Peel, Not Lemon Zest

Lemon peel for Winter Fruit Salad ~

Olga is adamant about using lemon peel, not lemon zest, for her Winter Fruit Salad. And honestly? I agree, the peel adds a bright burst of lemon! For lemon peel, use a paring knife or a potato peeler to remove thin strips of all peel, leaving the bitter white pith behind. It'll come off the lemon in swaths, then use a knife to cut these into tiny slivers.

In a rush? Sure, use a microplane for piles of lovely, fluffy lemon zest.

More Fruit Salad Recipes

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna