This is the sixth installment in my series in which I cook all eleven recipes I found my grandmothers had submitted to their old church cookbooks. Previous recipes include Salad with Cashew Nuts, Ham & Sour Cream Casserole, Old Fashioned Cauliflower Slaw, Apricot Jello Salad, and Ship Wreck casserole (the one my mom hated).
For Fat Tuesday, we went sweet. Way sweet.
I forgot to add Grandmother Jane’s “Fruit Appetizer” to my list of retro recipes I still had to prepare. I found it at right moment considering I was just lamenting about wanting to sip a beverage from Psycho Suzi’s in Minneapolis, MN. More specifically, the type they require a credit card deposit for and serve in a wild tiki glass. Mmmm. . . yup.
How does grandmother’s “Fruit Appetizer” relate to a tiki drink? I can’t speak for all fruit appetizers, but Grandmother Jane’s resembles a granita more so than a traditional appetizer. It does not contain mayonnaise, cream cheese, or melted ice cream, just an ungodly amount of sugar.
I was very curious about what the end product would look and taste like.
Like many other recipes in this old church cookbook, it’s written vaguely in paragraph form. I was unclear about the first step so I just boiled the sugar and water until it was thicker.
Then I added the fresh fruit juices to the sugar syrup along with four cups of ginger ale. I mixed the ingredients together, poured them into a large baking dish, and set it in the freezer. Every hour or so, I whisked the mixture to break up the large frozen pieces and it resembled a slushy or granita.
Of course it tasted delicious because it’s made from soda pop, sugar, and fresh citrus juices. Next time, I won’t add extra ginger ale to each glass upon serving because it melts the slushy and compounds on the sticky sweetness.
My addition of rum helped immensely, though I’m not sure if Grandmother Jane would approve. All of the fresh fruit juices just scream for rum and it helps to cut the sweetness. Alcohol or no alcohol, the fruit appetizer tastes pleasant and would make an interesting dessert or party punch. I prepared Jake a test glass and he finished it immediately.
I’d recommend preparing this for a family celebration or party, unless you don’t mind having a giant pan of “fruit appetizer” taking up a whole shelf of your freezer. If it keeps snowing, though, this might not seem so inconvenient.