This Italian Fruit Salad is a light and creamy fruit custard with tiny Acini de Pepe pasta, fruit, and Cool Whip. Some even refer to this light and airy salad as Acini de Pepe fruit salad. It makes enough for a crowd and stays great in the fridge for several days. This fruit salad is perfect for your next get-together, because it is definitely a crowd pleaser!
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How I found the Acini di Pepe Salad
The mother of one of my dearest friends, that I have known since kindergarten, shared this recipe with me many years ago. She made it when I was visiting them in Arizona, and I just had to have the recipe.
I have no idea where the recipe originated, but this Italian fruit custard recipe has turned out to be one I make year-after-year. It’s especially perfect for large get-togethers, because it makes a lot.
Why you will love this Fruit Custard
Italian Fruit Salad has a custard base with Cool Whip, Acini de Pepe pasta, marshmallows, and fruit. It is the perfect dish for a crowd, because it makes a large quantity. It can be served as a side dish or a dessert, and is loved by people of all ages.
This dish can be made ahead of time, and honestly tastes better after a day in the fridge. You do have to plan ahead, because the custard has to sit overnight before adding in the other ingredients.
If you love dishes that make enough for a crowd and can be made ahead, check out these recipes:
What is in Italian Fruit Salad
Although you have to plan ahead for this recipe, it really is quite simple to make. It’s light and refreshing, and works well as a side dish or even a dessert. The ingredients found in Italian Fruit Salad include:
- acini de pepe pasta
- Cool Whip
- canned fruit
The eggs, sugar, flour, and fruit juice (from the canned fruit), are used to make a custard that needs to be chilled overnight. The custard is what makes this Italian Fruit Salad so delicious. Then, everything is mixed together the next day.
Substituting of modifying the ingredients
You can also use fresh fruit, but I find that the fruit holds up better if you use canned fruit—especially if you want to make this dish ahead of time. Also, many fruits will discolor such as apples and bananas. This dish is so pretty when served, brown bananas just wouldn’t do it justice.
You can also use homemade heavy whipping cream. However, Cool Whip will hold up longer in this dish. The homemade whipped cream will break down and turn watery much quicker than Cool Whip.
How to serve your Acini de Pepe Fruit Custard
This delicious fruit custard is wonderful as a side dish or can be served as a dessert. It makes a really large amount, and is perfect to take to a pot luck, or to have when hosting a dinner party. Also, it’s the perfect dish for a family holiday dinner. It’s beautiful on the table and tastes amazing.
I have made this dish many times for friends that just had a baby. It stays well in the fridge for several days, and the entire family enjoys being able to scoop up a bowl at any time.
Italian Fruit Salad gets rave reviews
Every time I make this Italian fruit salad, I am asked to share a copy of the recipe. It gets rave reviews and everyone always asks if I’ll make if when we are invited to a pot luck. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Italian Fruit Salad
- 1/2 package Acini de Pepe Pasta, cooked according to package and drained 1/2 package should be about 1 cup of uncooked pasta
- 2 cups fruit juice, drained from canned fruit
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 8 oz Cool Whip
- 1 can mandarin oranges
- 1 can fruit cocktail
- 1 can pineapple chunks
- Miniature marshmallows
- Any additional desired fruit
- Combine fruit juice, flour, salt, sugar, and eggs in a heavy saucepan.
- Cook until thickened over medium heat.
- Add cooked Acini de Pepe to fruit custard and chill overnight in refrigerator.
- After the sauce and pasta have chilled overnight, add cool whip, marshmallows and fruit.
- Mix well.
- Serve with sliced cherries on top.