The dip is awesome, so I thought it would be neat to try and recreate the same holiday flavors in a fruit salad, thus saving me from having to buy tons of fresh produce for a fruit try and it would help to hide the fruit in the salad, so my daughter would be more likely to eat new fruits.
Fred Meyer has whole pineapples for 1.49 a piece right now (all of them did last week, but I noticed that my one local Fred Meyer still had them on sale for that price yesterday), so I bought one, grabbed some other fruit and got busy.
Here's the recipe I came up with. A couple of things of note: My husband and I both agreed the banana slices in this salad were the most awesome tasting, but the pineapple that I got was kind of sour (produce is a crap shoot this time of year up here) so we didn't like it as well. The salad tasted good though *laugh*.
Second, yes you can use whatever fresh or canned fruit you prefer here. I used what we had to make this, so that's what I'm listing here.
- 1/2 to 3/4 of a block of cream cheese (depending how cheesy you want it)
- 10 large marshmallows
- 1/4 cup half and half (you could PROBABLY use evaporated milk or whole milk here, but I had half and half to use up, so that's what I used)
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 Container whipped topping (Cool Whip) or 2 cups whipped cream
- 1 can fruit cocktail, drained
- 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 pineapple, cut into bite sized pieces (you can use a can of diced pineapple instead, drained)
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 banana cut into slices
1. After you cut up your apple and your banana, quickly throw them into a zip lock bag with your pineapple, shake the fruit around a bit to make sure that the apple and banana get coated with the pineapple juice (it'll stop them from browning). Set aside.
2. Combine the cream cheese, the marshmallows and the half and half in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Stirring constantly, wait until the cream cheese and the marshmallows are melted and everything comes together into a thick sauce-like consistency and is smooth (this takes a little bit, but it's worth it. If you have marshmallow creme and a good mixer you could probably skip this step by whipping the marshmallow cream with the cream cheese and the half and half, but I only had marshmallows). Add pinch of nutmeg and stir well to combine. Turn off heat and set aside for a few minutes to cool (if you stir it once every 15 seconds or so this will go pretty fast).
3. Dump the cheese sauce into a bowl and then add 1/3 of the whipped topping to the bowl. Stir the cream and the cheese sauce together until well combined (this helps lighten up the cream cheese sauce before you have to incorporate it into the whipped topping completely). Add the rest of the whipped topping and fold the cream cheese mixture into it until everything is well combined. Add fruit and stir gently to coat the fruit with the mixture (so you don't beat up your bananas too badly).
Serve immediately or it can be chilled for up to 1/2 hour before serving.
Just note: This can be eaten the next day, but the bananas do brown finally and get mushy and the whipped cream will fall in the salad and get kind of liquidy. Still tastes good, but not as good as serving it right after you make it.