24 Hour Fruit Salad

This classic 24 Hour Fruit Salad has lots of fruit and marshmallows in a creamy lemon custard sauce. Make it the night before or up to 24 hours in advance!

24 Hour Fruit Salad is a classic Midwestern fruit salad most often served at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

It was created in an era when not all fresh fruits were available year round as they are today. So, most of the fruits are canned.

I’d expect nothing less from our pragmatic Midwestern forbearers in the midst of their frigid winters.

A photo of a clear bowl of 24-hour fruit salad. There are orange segments, purple grapes and yellow pineapple pices in a custard sauce topped wit marshmellows. The bowl is placed on a white linen napkin.

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24 Hour Fruit Salad is great for the hostess because it needs to sit overnight (hence the name), and its great for guests who love sweet fruit salads!

Start by making a simple lemon custard on your stove top. Once it has cooled, fold it into heavy whipping cream that has been beaten stiff.

A photo of a clear bowl of 24-hour fruit salad. There are orange segments, purple grapes and yellow pineapple pices in a custard sauce topped wit marshmellows. The bowl is placed on a white linen napkin. Next to the bowl in the right foreground is a small white plate with a serving of the 24-hour fruit salad.

Then, pour that over your selection of juicy fruits and let it rest.

And that’s it! It’s a lightly sweetened, refreshing fruit salad perfect for the dead of winter when fresh fruit is not at its peak.

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A photo of a clear bowl of 24-hour fruit salad. There are orange segments, purple grapes and yellow pineapple pices in a custard sauce topped wit marshmellows. The bowl is placed on a white linen napkin on top of a wood background.
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24-hour Fruit Salad

This classic 24 Hour Fruit Salad has lots of fruit and marshmallows in a creamy lemon custard sauce. Make it the night before or up to 24 hours in advance!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours 25 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 187 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grapes, halved
  • 1 cup canned pineapple drained and diced
  • 1 cup mandarin oranges drained
  • 1 cup canned cherries drained
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 banana sliced

Instructions

  1. In the bottom of a double boiler, bring 1 inch water to simmer. Combine eggs, lemon juice, and sugar in top of double boiler and cook until thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

  2. Using a standing mixer or electric hand mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in cooled custard sauce until combined.

  3. In a large bowl, add grapes, pineapple, oranges, cherries, marshmallows, and banana. Pour cream sauce over and stir to combine. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours before serving.

This classic 24 Hour Fruit Salad has lots of fruit and marshmallows in a creamy lemon custard sauce.

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2 comments

  1. Being from the Midwest myself, I feel a special love for this recipe. Looks perfectly sweet and creamy- perfect for BBQs or family parties!

    • Awww, thanks Karly! In the era of “fresh everything” this fruit salad is rare, but it’s an “oldie but goodie” as we say in my family. :) Have a wonderful week and thanks for reading!

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