24-Hour Salad: Creamy Fruit Salad

24 hour salad
Linda Larsen
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8-10
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
295 Calories
10g Fat
51g Carbs
5g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 8-10
Amount per serving
Calories 295
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 175mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 18%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 5g
Calcium 84mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Twenty-four-hour salad is a creamy fruit salad made with a cooked custard and canned fruit, then chilled overnight. If you are familiar with ambrosia salad, this is a variation on that popular fruit salad. Instead of using cream as its base, 24-hour salad features egg custard as the foundation. It gets its name because you should refrigerate it for 24 hours before serving.

This dish, popular in the Midwest U.S., is sweet enough to be a dessert and is a wonderful delicious addition to your holiday table. It is great to serve for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. It is also delicious served for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or any summer holiday party.

This delicious salad can be made with many other kinds of fruit, for instance, fresh cubed cantaloupe or sliced strawberries work well, too.

The recipe is easy to make as long as you follow a few rules. First, cook the egg custard mixture long enough. Do not grow impatient with the custard. Getting the custard right is an important element for this dish. If the egg custard does not have enough time to set, the salad can become too thin. The custard has to be thick. It will thicken more when it's chilled, but adding fruits will make it thinner.

Second, when it comes to canned fruits, make sure you use canned pineapple and canned mandarin oranges. Navel oranges are too bitter and too tough for this recipe. Tender and sweet mandarin oranges work best in this recipe.

When you are ready to serve the salad, put it into a glass serving bowl. The colors of the custard and fruit look really nice. Keep it chilled until just before serving, and make sure you promptly refrigerate any leftovers.


  • 1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans mandarin oranges
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 2 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped

Steps to Make It

  1. Drain the juices from the canned fruits and set the fruit aside. Pour the juices into a glass measuring cup. Add enough water to the combined juices, if necessary, to measure 1 1/2 cups.

  2. Combine the eggs, flour, sugar, and 1 1/2 cups juice in a heavy saucepan and beat very well with a wire whisk. You want to beat enough that the mixture is foamy.

  3. Cook the custard over medium heat, stirring it constantly with a wire whisk, until thick and boiling. You want to make sure that the mixture is thick enough so the salad will be thick.

  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the lemon juice with a wire whisk, cover, and chill the custard in the refrigerator until cold, about 4 to 5 hours.

  5. When the custard is cold, fold in the well-drained fruits, the marshmallows, and the sliced bananas. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Pour the salad into a serving bowl and cover. Chill 24 hours before serving.