Late Grandmother’s 24-Hour Custard Fruit ‘Salad’

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Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • fruit cocktail- 2 large cans, 1 small can
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 pint heavy cream
ingredients for custard fruit cocktail salad
Courtesy of Stacey Babula

Cookware:

  • strainer
  • measuring cups
  • medium sized pot
  • silver/metal spoon
  • mixing bowl
  • stand or hand mixer and bowl
cookware needed to make salad
Courtesy of Stacey Babula

Instructions:

Custard

1. Separate egg whites from yolks. Discard whites.

separating egg whites and yolks
Courtesy of Stacey Babula

2. Add egg yolks, sugar, and milk to medium sized pot. Stir continuously.

mixing custard in pot on stove
Courtesy of Stacey Babula

3. Cook over medium heat until it costs a silver spoon. Do not boil. Let cool thoroughly.

Fruit

1. Drain all 3 cans of fruit cocktail in strainer over sink.

draining canned fruit cocktail mix
Courtesy of Stacey Babula

2. Once custard is cool, add to drained fruit. Mix together.

pouring custard into drained fruit cocktail
Courtesy of Stacey Babula

3. Add 3 cups mini marshmallows. Stir into fruit and custard mixture.

fruit, marshmallows, and custard in bowl
Courtesy of Stacey Babula

Whipped Cream

1. In a separate mixing bowl, use the hand or stand mixer to beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat.

stiff whipped cream with peaks
Courtesy of Stacey Babula

2. Fold whipped cream mixture into the rest of the ingredients.

pouring whipped cream into fruit and marshmallow mix
Courtesy of Stacey Babula
mixing custard salad ingredients in bowl
Courtesy of Stacey Babula

3. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

salad refrigerating over night
Courtesy of Stacey Babula

4. Serve as a salad or dessert.

close up of fruit salad
Courtesy of Stacey Babula

About This Recipe:

My grandma passed away in January of 2022. She left behind a husband of 65 years, 5 children, 12 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, a niece, great niece, and 2 great great nieces, who all loved and miss her dearly. She also left behind a lifetime of memories from the kitchen.

Everyone has a grandma recipe story, but ours is truly the best. Any time there was a family function, you could count on grandma making her 24 hour salad. None of us really knew why it was called that, and although it was more like a dessert, we got to eat it WITH our dinner because grandma said it was a “salad.” It was the perfect mixture of custard with whipped cream, marshmallows, and fruit. But not fresh fruit — canned, thick, syrupy fruit cocktail.

bowl of grandma's fruit salad
Courtesy of Stacey Babula

It had to sit in the fridge overnight to marinade before serving, so grandma always planned ahead. Every holiday, birthday, church function, dinner party, if she was there, so was the 24 hour salad in her glass Pyrex bowl with the blue lid on top. There were rarely ever leftovers, but sometimes my mom and I would sneak some into a separate bowl and hide it, just so we could have an extra serving the next day.

As she got older, the grandkids would take turns helping her in the kitchen and picking up on all her tips and tricks. Some of us mastered crepes, others picked up on spotted dog, and of course, the chocolate éclair cake. But no one could get the 24 hour salad quite the same.

When her physical health began to decline, she had in-home therapy. Her occupational therapist wanted to help her work in the kitchen and asked what she would like to prepare — that was an easy choice. 24 hour salad. When she passed away, my mom made 24 hour salad to have at the luncheon following her funeral. It will never be quite the same, but it will always be there for us, just like she still is in spirit.

We have a copy of the recipe that she hand wrote and we went on to have it printed on tea towels so it can now hang in each of our kitchens. We will never forget her and we will never stop talking about this salad!

grandma's handwritten recipe printed on tea towel
Courtesy of Stacey Babula
bowl of grandma's fruit salad

24-Hour Custard Fruit 'Salad'

"It's the perfect mixture of custard with whipped cream, marshmallows, and syrupy fruit cocktail."
Prep Time 30 mins
Refrigerate 1 d
Total Time 1 d 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • strainer
  • measuring cups
  • medium sized pot
  • silver/metal spoon
  • mixing bowl
  • stand or hand mixer and bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 cans fruit cocktail (2 large, 1 small)
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 pint heavy cream

Instructions
 

Custard

  • Separate egg whites from yolks. Discard whites.
  • Add egg yolks, sugar, and milk to medium sized pot. Stir continuously.
  • Cook over medium heat until it coats a silver spoon. Do not boil. Let cool thoroughly.

Fruit

  • Drain all 3 cans of fruit cocktail in strainer over sink.
  • Once custard is cool, add to drained fruit. Mix together.
  • Add 3 cups mini marshmallows. Stir into fruit and custard mixture.

Whipped Cream

  • In a separate mixing bowl, use the hand or stand mixer to beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat.
  • Fold whipped cream mixture into the rest of the ingredients.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Serve as a salad or dessert.
Keyword custard, fruit cocktail, marshmallow, whipped cream

This recipe was submitted to Love What Matters  by Stacey Babula. Join the Love What Matters family and subscribe to our newsletter.

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