Ok, so the name is a shameless plug for my crochet, but this is my take on the classic orzo fruit salad.
When I was pregnant with my middle daughter, the job I had did a lot of potlucks. One of the older women there always brought in this orzo pasta fruit salad that I LOVED. Now I don’t like pineapple (I just cannot deal with the grainy/ stringy texture) so I never ate that. She always added extra mandarin oranges for me! With Little Mister on the way- I was really craving it, so I looked up the recipe and tweaked it a bit, using the original for inspiration. Here’s what I did:
1 16 oz package of orzo pasta
2 15 oz cans mandarin oranges- drained and juice reserved
1 15 oz can of diced pears- drained and juice reserved
1 32 oz bottle of L&A Pineapple coconut juice (24 oz used)
¾ cup white sugar
2 large eggs
3 tbs all-purpose flour
1 16 oz container whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
Bring pot of water to a boil- add a dash of salt and orzo. Cook, stirring occasional until pasta is cooked through but firm to the bite (al-dente); about 11 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl (like really large, this took my biggest mixing bowl by the end!)
Add drained fruit to the pasta and toss.
In sauce pan, combine the juice reserved from your fruit, as well as 24 oz (2/3) of the pineapple coconut juice. Add in sugar, eggs, and flour. Cook over low heat, stirring often until the sauce is thickened; about 5-7 minutes (tip, beat eggs to scramble before adding to the pan, and mix well when adding the flour- if this is not done and you do not adequately stir, you will end up with clumps in your final sauce, as well as portions of “scrambled eggs” instead of a custard.
Remove sauce from heat and cool, about 30 minutes.
Pour cooled sauce over orzo and fruit mixture, and toss to coat. I find that this is easier to do in smaller quantities, adding about ¼ of the sauce at a time, mixing and tossing, and adding more sauce.
Refrigerate until flavors blend- about 8 hours or overnight.
Before serving, fold the whipped topping into the orzo mixture (again, I find this is easier to do in batches, about 1/8-1/4 of the whipped topping at a time, carefully folding it in so you do not lose the fluffiness.
Try it? Let me know what you think!