A fruit salad for the months when fresh fruit is scarce, a combination of fresh, frozen and canned fruit, brightened with lemon zest and Grand Marnier.
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.
WINTER FRUIT SALAD
Makes 8 cups
- 12 ounces frozen strawberries, sugared or unsugared
- 2 tablespoons sugar (4 tablespoons if strawberries are unsugared)
- 15 ounces canned peaches (no sugar added), drained and chopped
- 15 ounces canned pineapple (fresh if available), drained and sliced
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 tart apple, skin on, chopped
- 8 ounces seedless red grapes
- Peel from one lemon, slivered (essential)
- ½ cup Grand Marnier orange-flavored liqueur
If needed, cut the strawberries into bite-size pieces, then stir the strawberries and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Transfer to a clear glass bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour, stirring occasionally to distribute the sugar and juices.
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. These days, I use only 1/4 cup Grand Marnier and also substitute other fruity liqueurs or Marsala or dry sherry. 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. I also like to add fresh tangerines cut into thirds, half circles of kiwi, a handful of frozen sweet or sour cherries. Canned pears are too soft for this fruit salad. For dieters and diabetics, Splenda can be substituted for the sugar. This recipe comes from Olga, my father's long-time companion. I'm grateful to have it in my recipe box!
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