The first time I heard about a 24 hour fruit salad was when I attended a friend's wedding back in 1975. It was so good I asked them to send the recipe. Well when I got the recipe it didn't look right. So finally after some tweaks, twists and turns, and borrowing from this recipe and that I came up with this beautiful fruit salad that works. When I say works I mean over 30 years. So enjoy!
Drain pineapple chunks in a collander over a small bowl and reserve 4 tablespoons of pineapple syrup.
To make custard for fruit salad: in a small heavy saucepan, combine reserved pineapple syrup, egg yolks, sugar, vinegar, butter or margarine and salt.
*Note: as a rule I used apple cider vinegar*
Cook and stir over low heat about 6 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly and coats a metal spoon. It may take a little longer than 6 minutes,but when it coats the spoon it is ready. (Yes you will smell the vinegar, but don't worry, the custard will taste delicious). Cool to room temperature.
In a 3 quart bowl combine pineapple chunks, fruit cocktail, and mixed fruit and marshmallows. Pour custard over; mix fruit mixture gently. (As a note: I generally make this up in a glass rectangular baking pan.)
In a large bowl to make the whipped cream do the following: Mix 1 envelope of dream whip, 1/2 cup cold milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat on low speed until blended. Then beat on high speed for 4 minutes until topping thickens and form peaks.
Fold whipped cream into fruit mixture. Cover with some Saran Wrap and refrigerate 24 hours or overnight. Makes 10 to 12 servings.