Friday, June 11, 2010
I love these cheerful little frosty fruit cups! I made them for the breakfast that I served on Wednesday morning, but when I was a kid my mom would keep a batch of these in the freezer all summer long. We'd grab them for breakfast after our morning chores or cool off with them after a hard afternoon of playing in the lawn. You just dump all of the fruit into a big bowl and top it with a sweet syrup made with pineapple juice, sugar, and frozen orange juice concentrate. Divide them into individual serving size cups, cover, freeze, and you've got a sweet, frosty treat in minutes! I was thinking that these would also be great for kid's birthday parties or a big hit if you have to provide snacks for a pre-school class.
I began by making the syrup for the mixture first. Drain 2-20oz. cans of crushed pineapple, reserving the juice. You need 2 cups of juice. You can add water or the juice from the drained chunk pineapple if you're a little short to make up the 2 cups. Then stir in 2 cups of sugar. Yeah, I know that's A LOT of sugar. These are more of a treat than a healthy serving of fruit. But they are oh-so-good! Boil the sugar and the juice.
Then remove from heat and add a 12 oz. can of frozen orange juice concentrate.
Stir until dissolved. Let it cool while you combine the fruit.
Combine the fruit in no particular order. I started with the crushed pineapple and mandarin oranges this time.
The chunked pineapple and red and green grapes went in next.
Finally, I added a large can of cut up home canned peaches (you can use store bought), 6 sliced firm bananas (since we're freezing it, you don't want mushy bananas), and a jar of halved maraschino cherries (I poured in some cherry juice too, you know...'cause there's not enough sugar in this recipe already.) Pour the cooled syrup over the top and stir.
Divide the mixture into 25 small clear cups.
Cover, first with plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil. I covered all of these together, because I knew that I'd be serving them all at the same time. My mom used to cover each with an individual piece of plastic wrap and foil and then put a rubber band around each one, so that it was easier to grab one at a time from the freezer. Freeze for up to 3 months. I like to transport mine to and from the freezer on a baking sheet.
Before serving, take them out of the freezer 3 hours ahead of time. You want them still frosty, but not a solid block of ice. I messed this up on Wednesday morning. I took them out of the freezer an hour and a half before serving time. I thought that would be plenty of time...it wasn't. Later that day, my sister asked what I had served for breakfast. Her first question after I outlined the menu was, "Did you take the fruit cups out early enough?" I answered, "Nope. Why?" She explained that she had made them for a staff breakfast at the school where she teaches. Apparently, she took them out only 2 hours before serving and people were breaking the provided plastic spoons, trying to chisel into her fruit cups. She took a little abuse over it and still cringes at the memory. So...make it easy on your guests and take these out of the freezer ahead of time. I wonder if I put them in the fridge the night before, if they'd still be a little frosty in the morning? I'll have to try that next time. It must've been really hot out when I was a kid, because I don't remember having that much trouble spooning out the frosty fruit. I do remember getting a "cold headache" from chewing up the frozen pineapple, though. : )
Here's the recipe:
Frosty Fruit Cups
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups sugar
1-12 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate
Boil sugar and pineapple juice. Remove from heat. Stir in juice concentrate until dissolved. Set aside and cool while you mix together the fruit.
2 - 20 oz. cans crushed pineapple in it's own juice, drained (reserve juice)
2 -20 oz. cans chunk pineapple in it's own juice, drained
1 large can peaches, cut into large chunks and drained
1 large can mandarin orange segments, drained
1 jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved
1 large bunch grapes (I use both red and green)
6 firm bananas, sliced
Divide into 25 clear plastic cups. Cover with plastic wrap, then foil. Freeze. Thaw for 2-3 hours before serving. Enjoy!
For a printable copy of this recipe click HERE!