Fruit Cocktail Pie – Vintage Pie July – Mid-Century Recipe Guest Test Sunday

Posted on Jul 20 2014 - 8:00am by Erica

I remember being very confused as a child when , while we were all at some wedding, a relative mentioned they were going to the bar to get a cocktail. My only experience with the term “cocktail” at that point had been mixed fruit… and it seemed like a super weird, and fairly lumpy, drink idea.


Now that I’m all grown up, I’m just very confused why this would be put into a pie.

3.5 from 2 reviews
Fruit Cocktail Meringue Pie
  • 1-pound can of fruit cocktail
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 8-3/4 ounce can of crushed pineapple
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 baked (9-inch) pastry shell
  • 3 drops almond flavoring
  1. Drain syrup from fruit cocktail into saucepan. Add egg yolks, pineapple, water and lemon juice. Combine ⅓ cup sugar, cornstach and salt. Mix dry ingredients into syrup mixture. Cook and stir until thickened. Stir in butter and fruit cocktail. Pour into baked pastry shell and cool.
  2. Beat egg whites until foamy; gradually add remaining sugar and almond flavoring and continue beating until soft peaks form. Dollop onto pie. Bake in 350-degree (moderate) oven 5 to 7 minutes until meringue is nicely browned.


What I find funniest about this recipe is that I’ve actually made a fruit cocktail meringue pie before, way back in 2009. And I had completely, utterly forgotten about it — until I Googled for fruit cocktail recipes on my own blog, because I vaguely remembered making something silly and mediocre with fruit cocktail before (turns out that was rainbow fruit sauce, incidentally).


I guess it isn’t terribly surprising that I can’t instantly recall the hundreds of retro recipes that I’ve made at this point, especially something from five years ago.


And despite the names, this is a very different pie. Here we’re making a cornstarch pudding filling, which is trickier than relying on gelatin for firmness. (The cornstarch did its job quite nicely, incidentally. When pudding works well, it has a terrific consistency.)


While making the meringue, I accidentally spilled more than three drops of almond flavoring in — it was more like two dribbles. (Whatever. Just splash some in.)


“Is this another fruit pie with meringue on top?”

“Yeah, I think that’s the third this month. I guess it was a thing.”


“Wow, this is really, really good.”

Verdict: Best fruit cocktail use.

From the tasting notes:

All the fruit cocktail elements worked really well in this, and were nice flavor and texture elements in the pudding filling. The almond extract is a great addition to the meringue topping (feel free to use more than three drops). It’s easy, bright, sweet, and has enough fruit that you can pretend it’s healthy!

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Erica was inspired to learn to cook by a complete lack of home economics classes in high school, and a love of old books. When using antique cookbooks to teach herself some skills, she realized a lot of the recipes were pretty strange by modern standards. All that fun testing just begged to be shared with the world. Regular recipe testing can be found here on Mid-Century Menu, on Erica's Retro Recipe Attempts blog, and also I Ate The 80's.

5 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. dkzody July 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    This actually has a lot going for it. The ingredients would have been on hand so it could be pulled off any time, especially in winter when fresh fruits weren’t always available as they are now.

    • Erica Retrochef July 21, 2014 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      It would be a really fresh tasting dessert to brighten a midwinter meal, that’s for sure!

  2. thelmaritter July 21, 2014 at 9:31 am - Reply

    I love how crafty u had to be before there was Cosco to save u!

    Reminds me of my favorite dump cake. Guess what’s for dessert at the Ritter homestead?

  3. Cheryl 166 July 22, 2014 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    Gosh, I have always put almond and vanilla flavorings in my meringue for pie and angel food cake. Usually a 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon almond for 3-5 egg whites used. A little more when I make my angel food cake.

    • Erica July 25, 2014 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      The extract made amazing meringue. It’s my new favorite trick!

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