Love it or hate it, this pudding-based fruit salad is popular picnic fare in Utah. Many versions rely solely on convenience items and in a pinch you can sub instant pudding here for homemade vanilla pudding.
Note: Acini de pepe is a small pasta about the shape and size of a peppercorn. If you can't find it, smalls stars or Israeli-style cous-cous can be substituted.
About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered children's book editor by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie and a Midtown Lunch contributor. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.
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- Yield:Serves 12
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:1 hour and 45 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups dried acini de pepe pasta (see note above)
- 1 (20 ounce) can of pineapple chunks in juice
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
Bring 2 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water. Add pasta to a large bowl. Open can of pineapple. Strain juice over pasta and stir to mix and coat the pasta. Set pineapple aside.
In a medium saucepan combine cornstarch, salt and sugar. Mix to combine. Slowly add milk and heat over medium, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar and avoid any lumps. Once sugar has dissolved whisk in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Stir constantly until mixture forms a thick pudding. Remove from heat pour into a medium bowl, place plastic wrap or waxed paper over the top of the bowl so it is flush with the pudding to avoid developing a skin. Place in refrigerator to cool for about an hour.
Pour pudding into bowl with pasta mixture, stirring well to completely coat the pasta. Just before serving mix in pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges and marshmallows (if desired). Serve chilled.