Friday, June 29, 2018

Frozen Cherry Fruit Salad

A few basic ingredients: cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, sweetened condensed milk and Cool Whip make up the base for this old school frozen delight! From there, make it your own with easy add-ins.
A few basic ingredients: cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, sweetened condensed milk and Cool Whip make up the base for this old school frozen delight! From there, make it your own with easy add-ins.

Frozen Cherry Fruit Salad

I live on the Gulf Coast, and down here, the humidity is as important as the temperature. Maybe even more so! We've been under 100+ degree heat advisories here for awhile now because of that heat index. In June. Already. I pray we don't see a hurricane this year, well, ever again in my lifetime really, that knocks out power for long. Gotta have that air conditioning down here!

When the weather heats up like this, cooling foods are a steady in my house. Watermelon, cucumbers, grapes, cantaloupe, strawberries are consumed regularly around here! Of course, although they may mostly be relegated to those family gatherings more so these days, we have our icebox and freezer desserts too. This cherry salad is one of those that has been around for years.

In it's refrigerated form, you've probably seen it around the net referred to as a "fluff," but the most classic version that I know was always frozen. Old school, it was made with four basic ingredients: cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, sweetened condensed milk and Cool Whip, though nuts and marshmallows are typically added.

{Southern Style Hissy Fit Warning} Now, first things first. This fruit salad has been around a long time. Longer than me even I think! It's a holiday favorite all over, but in the south, it's a summertime potluck favorite as well. Lots of folks love this fruit salad. Lots of folks still make it.

If you, however, happen to take issue with using any of the above ingredients, well.. then don't make it, it's as simple as that! But... certainly please refrain from lecturing the rest of us about it too. While you can substitute homemade pie filling, homemade sweetened condensed milk, and stabilize some homemade whipped cream, that really takes away from the simplicity of this old school fruit salad. If this recipe is really not for you, then feel free to move on along, nothing to see here! {tucking away soapbox}

These days, those basic ingredients been expanded quite a bit, often made with a cream cheese and/or pudding base and a wide variety of fruit - mandarin oranges, jarred maraschino cherries, peaches, canned cherries in syrup, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and even bananas. Typically a nondairy topping (like Cool Whip) is used, sometimes jello, cottage cheese, sour cream and even coconut are included.

Crushed pineapple has always been a traditional ingredient in this fruit salad though you really do want the pineapple to be dry, so as not to mush up the salad. Drain it early on, using a mesh strainer and then use folded layers of paper towels to press out any additional excess juices. Some people prefer to use chunks or tidbits instead.

Refrigerate it in a bowl or dish for a spoonable soft serve style from the refrigerator, or freeze it in a single container - a 9 x 13 inch pan or loaf pans, where you can slice it or cut into squares to serve. Little individual dessert cups, or muffin tins and paper cups are common and what I used here. I froze half in cups, and did the other half in a square pan.

If you do freeze it, like most freezer desserts, you'll want to give it a little time at room temperature to soften a bit before serving, just to make it easier to eat. About 15 minutes is usually good.

For more of my favorite fruit salads, check out my collection on Pinterest!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Recipe: Frozen Cherry Salad

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Inactive time: 8 hours
Yield: About 8 servings
Total time: 8 hour 10 min

  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
  • 1/2 cup minced pecans
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 (8 ounce) carton Cool Whip
  • Stemmed maraschino cherries, for garnish, optional

Drain the pineapple well, reserving the juice for another use if desired; set aside. Mix together the cherry pie filling, condensed milk and pineapple. Add the pecans and marshmallows, then fold in the whipped topping until well blended.

Transfer to a serving bowl for soft serve and refrigerate for at least four hours. If freezing, line cupcake pans with 24 paper or silicone liners, or transfer into loaf pans or a 9 x 13 inch pan. If frozen, let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes: Give the crushed pineapple plenty of time to drain - you want it very dry. Place into a mesh strainer and use layers of paper towels to press out all of the moisture. When serving as a refrigerator "fluff," this fruit salad is very versatile. Add in a variety of canned fruits or fruit cocktail, softened cream cheese, pudding mix (reserve pineapple juice and dissolve dry pudding in the juice), double up on the Cool Whip, exchange the crushed pineapple for tidbits, add chopped maraschino cherries. Make it your own!


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Posted by on June 29, 2018

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