Macedonia di Frutta

(Italian Fruit Cocktail)

May 13: National Fruit Cocktail Day

We visited Islander’s brother in Rome, Italy, when he was there during one summer for his congregational council meeting. Her parents joined us from Hawaii and we decided to make this our wedding anniversary trip with the family. We met her brother’s superior general at the headquarters of the worldwide order, toured St. Peter’s Basilica/Square in Vatican City, went sightseeing all over Rome (Colosseum, Pantheon, churches, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, squares, catacombs, etc.) and ate extremely well! The food in Italy was delicious and we frequently cooled off with gelato for dessert. But sometimes we wanted to eat a “lite” treat after touring around and sweating in the summer heat. Macedonia di frutta (marinated fruit) was a great option to enjoy chilled seasonal fruit slightly sweetened with sugar and lemon juice (or, for the cocktail version, white wine).

When we returned from Rome, Islander’s parents stayed with us in our South Texas home for a few more days before flying back to Hawaii. While they were still on the mainland, we wanted to recreate the simple fruit salad we ate in Italy using produce we could find locally and seasonally and made this for our family snack time. Back on the islands, they use tropical fruit from Daddy’s garden to make Macedonia di frutta.

Make this refreshing dish on a hot and humid summer day and on National Fruit Cocktail Day.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • Seasonal favorite fruits (we used cantaloupe, honeydew melon, apple, peach, kiwi, plums, blueberries, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced (see Notes)

Directions

Peel and chop the fruit in bite sized pieces.

Place all together in a large bowl. Sprinkle sugar over the fruit. Squeeze the lemon juice over all. Mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator. Scoop into dessert dishes and serve cold.

Notes

  • Substitute the lemon juice for 2 tablespoons (or to taste) of white wine.
  • Grazie, caro Papà (thanks, dearest Daddy), for being the guest chef for this blog post.

Fruit Cocktail Cream

Fruit Cocktail Cream

May 13: National Fruit Cocktail Day

When Islander was a little girl, she remembered her mom whipping up a quick, creamy confection using a can of fruit cocktail and offering it to our houseguests. This family tradition of hospitality has continued in our marriage, and we have served this fruit cocktail cream whenever we host visitors in our own home. Although it can be served in individual dessert cups, Highlander likes to carve out pineapple bowls for a more decorative display. Besides, the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality and adds a tropical touch to the table.

Recipe

(Inspired by Mommy)

Ingredients

  • 2 small cans (15 ounces each) of fruit cocktail
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ can sweetened condensed milk
  • flaked coconut
  • maraschino cherries, drained and rinsed

Directions

In a colander or sieve, drain the juice/syrup from the cans of fruit cocktail. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese with condensed milk and stir until smooth. Add the drained fruit cocktail and toss lightly. Refrigerate until ready to fill individual dessert cups or pineapple bowls.

Fruit Cocktail Cream

Make the pineapple bowls by slicing it in half from the crown down. Cut around the rim of the pineapples and remove the meat.  Scoop out the rest of the pineapple with a spoon. Drain the juice from the pineapple halves before filling them with the fruit cocktail cream. Sprinkle with coconut and arrange a few maraschino cherries on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fruit Cocktail Cream

Notes

  • Choose from a variety of canned fruit cocktail—tropical mixed fruit, very cherry, etc.— for a unique combination.
  • Try pineapple-flavored cream cheese in the 8-ounce tub or pineapple-flavored yogurt for an enhanced pineapple taste.
  • Use canned fruit cocktail packed in lite syrup or juice, fat-free cream cheese and fat-free sweetened condensed milk for healthier ingredients.