Saturday, July 24, 2010

Acini de Pepe Salad

I was not the first one to come up with this idea. I actually got this recipe from the Empire State Mason, back in the mid 90's. It has in the past decade turned into my "go to" recipe for summer cookouts and BBQs.

You Will Need:
1 large can crushed pineapple
1 large can chunky pineapple
1 large can mandarin oranges (or two small if you can't find the larger cans)
16oz. acini de pepe pasta
12oz. Cool Whip
1c. sugar
2 tsp. flour
3 eggs, beaten

I always start with cooking the pasta, since the whole package cooks in under 10 minutes. Then, drain and rinse.

Isn't it cute? You can dump it into a large glass bowl, this recipe makes a lot!

While the pasta is cooking, drain and reserve the juice from the 2 cans of pineapple. You'll have about 2c. juice.

Whatever you end up with is fine, this isn't an exacting recipe.

Add the pineapple to the pasta, then drain the mandarin oranges and add them too. Mix it up.

You do not need the juice from the oranges. If you don't want to waste it, do what I do and drink it mixed with Sprite.

Now that it's all mixed, you can focus on making the "sauce" of the salad. Take your other ingredients: 1c. sugar, 2tsp. flour, 3 eggs.

Beat the eggs, then mix everything together with the 2c.(or so) juice in a saucepan and start to heat it all over med-high heat, stirring often.

I learned with this recipe that you really need to add the eggs in in the beginning, because if you add them when the liquid is already hot, you get stringy cooked eggs in your salad. And that just doesn't look too good.

Cook it all up until thickened. It will get glossy and slowly drip off your spoon. You can't tell that in the picture, though.

Now comes the waiting. Put the "sauce" (still in the pan) in the fridge and cool to at least room temp. My definition of room temp is that when you stick your finger in it, it is neither warm nor cool.

Once that's cool, you mix that in and put the whole thing in the fridge to chill overnight.

After chilling overnight, you will find that your dessert has expanded, twicefold.

Now it's time for the Cool Whip. Don't do this until you're ready to leave, though.

Mix it in,

and there you go!

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