Frozen Fruit Bridge Salad

There’s not a proper lady in Louisville, Savannah, Montgomery, or Little Rock who wouldn’t consider a frozen fruit salad such as this one the height of elegance for her bridge club or a summertime patio luncheon—served typically with trimmed finger sandwiches or tiny ham biscuits. Of course, the salad could be (and often is) made with canned or frozen fruit, but as any fastidious hostess knows, not only is it a shame not to use fresh fruit (pineapple included) when it’s readily available, but the differences in taste and texture are almost radical. (One of the most spectacular frozen fruit salads I ever tasted, by the way, was made primarily with papaya, mango, and star fruit by a restaurant chef at Cypress Gardens, near Winter Haven, Florida.)

Ingredients

  • One 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups rinsed fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup peeled, pitted, and sliced ripe fresh peaches
  • ½ cup stemmed and rinsed fresh blueberries
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
  • 8 Bibb lettuce leaves
  • 8 rinsed and pitted ripe cherries for garnish

Method

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sugar, and lemon juice with a wooden spoon till well blended and smooth. Add the raspberries, peaches, blueberries, bananas, and pineapple and stir gently till well blended. Fold in the whipped cream till well blended, scrape the mixture into a large loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer overnight.

When ready to serve, slice the loaf with a sharp knife into 8 sections, place each section on a lettuce leaf on a salad plate, let stand about 10 minutes to soften slightly, and garnish each slice with a whole cherry.