The mystery of fruit cocktail started in the 1940's --many say that the fruit scraps left behind from bruised or damaged fruit during the canning process were converted into a product of it's own called fruit cocktail. This was the birth of this useful canned fruit. A great mixture of pineapple, pears, grapes, peaches and red cherry tidbits became one of the most popular cans for fruit packing companies. I use it for fruit salads and quick treats so much so that I thank whoever came up with this idea and they deserve credit for making good use of tidbits that would probably have ended up as trash.
Two weeks ago, on a Friday night and after a tight work schedule, I find myself driving home to an empty kitchen. R is working late today!
This is one of those days when I wish there was a chef waiting at the dinner table with a home cooked 3 course meal. "Oh, stop dreaming!!" I told myself---so I stopped by Panera and picked up a couple of Frontega Chicken Paninis on the way home and hey what do I do? I feel like making a special treat for R and I to enjoy after our sandwiches. I have a sweet craving and I must open up a couple of fruit cocktail cans and with instant pudding from the market serve up this artfully decorated and tempting Parfait for two!!So there you are.... it may not be the most praiseworthy treat, but delving my spoon into the depths of the layers of fruit and pudding and stretching out on my old couch with a warm rug... absolutely gave me heavenly pleasure.
Fruit Cocktail cans- 2
Mango-1 cut up
Sugar free or regular Vanilla Pudding mix- 1 carton
Milk- 1 cup
Ginger snaps- 4
Rum- 1 Tblspn
Mix together all the ingredients to make an instant pudding mix as directed on the box
For the liquid ingredients use rum and 1 cup milk instead.
Cool in refrigerator until firm.
Take two tall serving glasses for the parfaits.
Start with crushed ginger snaps and layer the mango on top of it.
Next, layer with a scoop of Pudding and then drained fruit cocktail (I had the fruit cocktail in pear juice-- not a fan of heavy syrup).
Layer with cookie crumbs, more pudding and top with cookie crumbs.
Use a wafer, cinnamon stick and cherry or crushed ginger snaps for a festive look before serving.
This recipe is not too sweet, so feel free to add more sugar if you like.