Cranberry Whipped Cream Salad has a festive holiday taste that will be a popular addition to your dinner celebrations. Tart cranberries mixed with the sweet fruits, whipped cream, and crunchy walnuts makes this an irresistible retro salad sensation!
Cranberries - So Many Holiday Possibilities!
There are some items you eat only during the fall/winter holiday season. In my family, they include sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and anything cranberry. But when this time of year rolls around, we consume a year's worth in just a few months!
Cranberries are available frozen year-round, but they have a "holiday season" taste to me, so I anxiously await the arrival of fresh cranberries in late October. Then I start making my favorite recipes, like Cranberry Orange Quick Bread, Cranberry Pudding with Butter Sauce, and Bourbon Cranberry Sauce.
This recipe combines the sweetness of fruits and whipped cream with the tartness of fresh cranberries. It can be served alone or on a bed of lettuce as a fruit salad, and it can just as easily be a light dessert after a heavy meal. When I have company I love to serve buffet-style, so everyone can pick and choose what items they want to eat and when.
Origin of This Cranberry Whipped Cream Salad Recipe
I grew up next door to my friend, Liz. We got married before the days of cell phones and lived about 60 miles apart, so we would write letters and exchange recipes. This is a recipe she sent me a long time ago. I just recently asked her its origin, and she told me that many years ago a friend of her mother-in-law's served it at a luncheon. Her mother-in-law asked for the recipe, Liz got it from her, and later she sent it to me. A true mid century gem. I just love how recipes travel like that!
Hints For Making Cranberry Whipped Cream Salad
I made a couple of minor changes to the original recipe based on my own tastes. The ingredients remained the same, but I adjusted the quantities a bit. I decreased the amount of whipping cream, switched from crushed pineapple to pineapple chunks, and increased the amount of apples and walnuts. I feel like this created a more balanced taste.
Please note that this recipe should be made a day ahead of serving. The ingredients need to sit together overnight before adding the whipping cream.
When you're making this dish, keep in mind the following:
- Use a food processor with a metal blade on "pulse" to coarsely chop the cranberries. Chopping them by hand is difficult and time consuming, but if you don't have a food processor allow some extra time for this step.
- Drain pineapple chunks well before adding to bowl.
- Combine all of the ingredients and let them sit overnight before adding the whipping cream. This allows the flavors to meld together and the sugar to sweeten and soften the cranberries.
- Before serving, measure 1-¾ cups of whipping cream in a measuring cup. Whip to a fairly stiff consistency so it can hold up to the other ingredients.
Fruit salads were a popular mid century dish, and this will be a lovely and tasty addition to your dinner table!
Cranberry Whipped Cream Salad
- 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries coarsely chopped (food processor recommended)
- 20 oz. pineapple chunks in juice drained well
- 2 medium apples peeled and chopped (pink lady, gala or fuji are recommended)
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows
- ⅔ cups sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts optional
- 1 ¾ cups whipping cream whipped
- In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped cranberries, pineapple chunks, chopped apples, miniature marshmallows, sugar, salt and walnuts. Mix well.
- Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
- Just before serving, whip the whipping cream to a fairly stiff consistency and fold in. Garnish with fresh cranberries and chopped walnuts, if desired.