This time of year, when I’m in the kitchen baking and preparing the holiday meals, I feel a strong connection to the women who influenced me the most in life. My own mom, Margaret, and my mother-in-law, LaVerne. I was very fortunate to have these two amazing, strong, women in my life. I channel them both in the kitchen constantly but especially on a day like today. I like to include their recipes in our holiday meals so that everyone in the family can feel that connection. The tradition of family recipes is a piece of their legacy and one that I hope to continue.
This recipe comes from my husband’s mom, LaVerne. I loved it instantly because it’s such a nice, bright, festive addition to a holiday meal. It consists of canned and frozen fruit so it can be made regardless of what’s in season. I’ve added fresh blueberries for color but you could add any type of berry or fruit that suits your fancy or just leave them out altogether.
Here’s what you’ll need: a couple of cans of apricot nectar (I use Kern’s), frozen strawberries in syrup, a can of pears, a can of crushed pineapple, and fresh blueberries. I had these larger cans of fruit on hand but you can pick up the smaller 8 ounce cans for this recipe. The blueberries are optional so grab them if they are available to add some nice color. You’ll also need some sugar and water.
Make your simple syrup by bringing 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a low boil and then simmering for about 10 to 12 minutes. The mixture will thicken and will get even more syrupy as it cools. Once it cools a bit, you can add it into your fruit mixture in a large mixing bowl.
Grab 18 foil cupcake liners and place them into muffin pans or place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Spoon the fruit into the foil cups, leaving a bit of room at the top for syrup. Pour syrup into fruit filled cups till full.
Light, pretty, and festive and the perfect complement to any holiday meal.
LaVerne’s Frozen Fruit Salad
Yield: 18 cups
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups apricot nectar
- 1 (10 ounce) container frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and undrained
- 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
- 1 (8 ounce) can pears, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (optional)
Bring sugar and water to boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until syrupy, about 10-12 minutes. Cool. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the cooled syrup. Spoon into 18 foil-lined muffin cups that have been placed into a muffin pan or on a cookie sheet. Freeze until firm at least 4 hours or overnight. Let stand 5 minutes at room temperature before serving.