· Food & Recipes · Gluten-Free Recipes · Grandma’s Fruit Salad – By Special Request

Grandma’s Fruit Salad – By Special Request

I wasn’t planning on sharing this recipe….but once I posted the below (very amateur) photo to Facebook saying I was making my Grandma’s Fruit Salad, OGT Facebook fans were insistent! ;-) So here it is!  My Grandma’s Fruit Salad recipe that I’ve had at every Thanksgiving that I can remember. Somehow I became the designated fruit salad-maker in the family about 15 years ago…which suits me just fine. I love it. :-)  (One of these days I will take proper pictures, I promise!)

Instagram / Facebook photo

Grandma’s Fruit Salad

My maternal Grandmother – Mary Rebecca Young Kimball

by Rebecca Young Kimball (my maternal grandmother)


  • Juice from 1 (1 lb. 4 oz.) can of chunk pineapple

Heat pineapple juice in a double boiler, then add:

  • 2 well-beaten eggs

Whisk together.

Mix and add:

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Mix with electric mixer over the double boiler until thick. Let cool and store in refrigerator until ready to combine with fruit and serve. (I usually make it the day before.)


  • 4-6 bananas (sliced)
  • 4-6 apples (peeled and cubed)
  • 2 cans fruit cocktail (drained)
  • 2 cans pineapple chunks (drained)

Combine all fruit in a large bowl and add dressing. Stir gently until mixed. Serve on individual plates on a lettuce leaf bed topped with a dollop of whipped cream and maraschino cherry.

Grandma would be so proud! :-)

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

Read This Next


Food & Recipes

  • Thank you for this, Jillee. My Nanny passed away a couple of years ago & she made this every year. She called it ambrosia. I plan to make your recipe this Christmas in honor of her.

  • What do you do with the pineapple from the can whose juice goes into the dressing? Does it go into the salad along with an additional two cans of pineapple?

  • Jillee,
    I know this isn’t directly related to today’s post but if you keep all of your pop up ads, I can’t come to your site anymore and the thought kills me since I love your site. I get so angry when they pop up because it is so hard to close the pop up and takes forever to load so I can close it. I am all for u making money for an awesome site but it is driving me bonkers because it takes so long to finally get to your daily posts. Please fix this if you can because I love your site

    • If you use Firefox browser get an add-on called Adblock Plus. I don’t see any popup ads & can block images from sites I frequent. Being on dialup it is a huge time saver.

    • Diana…I feel your pain! I honestly do! It’s driving ME bonkers too! The crazy thing is we are trying to figure out just where it is coming from. (Long story.) Once we do….trust me…it will be gone!
      Just one of those nutty things that I really can’t explain. So please be patient! I’ve been working on this all day….we are bound to get to the bottom of it eventually!
      FYI…it only seems to be on mobile devices. It doesn’t come up on the desktop/laptop.

      • I have an iPhone 4S (just I case that matters lol) and I have gotten one popup in a month. Totally something I can handle. I wonder if it is the user? The more you touch the pop ups, the more they appear? I have no idea, just trying to help. :/

  • I have to second the comment by the previous person. I love, love, love your site but the pop up ads are tough to deal with. Thank you again for all your great work. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Just ran to the store & bought all the stuff to make this. Have it done now. I did the 20oz cans of pineapple, 4 Gala apples & 5 bananas. My fruit cocktail was the 15.25 oz cans. For me, this amount FILLED one of the large 3L GLADWARE bowls.

    From looks (haven’t tried it yet), it’s a very LIGHT colored salad….think about it, peaches, pineapple, apple, banana; there aren’t very many cherries in the fruit cocktail so they don’t really add color.

    I would think if you want more color you might want to go with a can of peaces & some cherries instead of the fruit cocktail (only if you’re willing to deviate from recipes). Ooh, or what about some berries, blue, black, rasp???? Limetless potential with this base.

  • Thank you so much for posting this! I was one of the many request on facebook and I am so glad you posted its going to be so good to eat at tomorrows function.

  • My grandmother made a fruit salad also. She used all kinds (any kind) of canned fruits (drained) or fresh. She then mix in an 8 oz carton of sour cream and some mini marshmallows. You can add nuts and/or coconut if you want. If you make this the day before, cover and refrigerate it, it is so much better than fresh made. And believe it or not, the sour cream gives it a wonderful flavor.

    My grandmother was born in 1901, and lived to be almost 102. She would make this every Thanksgiving and Christmas. We all looked forward to it.

    • Deborah, this salad sounds great.. How many cans of fruit did she use – would you share her recipe?
      Would love to make it for Thanksgiving.
      thank you

  • Jillee, for a quick version of this, I use a can of Peach Pie filling (2 cans if you are making a large fruit salad) I cut the peaches in the pie filling into bite size pieces, and then add any fruit you want to the peach pie filling for your fruit salad. The pie filling keeps the bananas and apples from turning brown, just be sure and drain any canned fruit you use really well, like pineapple and pears.. I tasted this the first time at a church social and loved it so much that I have been serving it at family gathering and picnics for over 25 years now. It goes very well with angel food cake and pound cake…enjoy!

  • […] cocktail? I still see it on the shelves of the grocery store, and I still buy it when I make my Grandma’s Fruit Salad at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for the most part, you just don’t see many people eating […]

  • […] Flour Game on Christmas Eve……playing Secret Santa to a family in need…….Grandma’s Fruit Salad……picking out the perfect Christmas tree from the local tree lot…..Thanksgiving […]

  • My mom made this every year and got the recipe from my grandma. I don’t know when she got it but my mom was born in 1908. It must have been in some magazine back then. Mom and Grandma always added sweet black cherries, which added color and alway was my favorite part (still is!) as well as any other fruits that they felt like. Now, when my daughter in law and I make it, we cut back on the sugar and add strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, citrus, mango – the more fresh fruit, the better.

  • >