Fruit platters are ubiquitous at social occasions, business meetings and even formal affairs. They often consist of drab piles of fruit chunks that are too large to comfortably eat, resting on a bed of wilted lettuce. Liven up your next party with a beautiful fruit platter filled with juicy, delicious fruit and a creative fruit centrepiece instead.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Assorted fruit
- Sharp knife
- Florist's foam in a small, shallow bowl
- Cookie cutters (flower-shaped or themed)
Decide what fruit you want to serve on your platter. Pineapple and cantaloupe are good choices, because they are easy to cut into shapes and don't turn colours or dry out too quickly. Use berries and grapes because they don't need to be cut. Kiwis, plums, mangoes and nectarines can be used to add colour and variety.
Wash and prepare the fruit. Your fruit platter should look beautiful, but it is also important for the fruit to be edible. When cutting the pineapple, do not remove the core; cut away the rind and then slice the pineapple into circular pieces 1/2-inch thick. Reserve three or four of these, and either core the rest to use as rings, or cut them into small chunks. Prepare the cantaloupe in a similar way, although the slices will be crescent-shaped, not round. Wash fruit with an edible skin well. Peel the kiwis and slice them thinly. Cut mangoes in half to remove the pit, then crosshatch each side with deep cuts, but not deep enough to cut through the skin. Press gently on the skin side of the mango to turn it inside out, which is an attractive presentation and makes it easy to eat.
Arrange the fruit on the platter leaving a space in the middle for the bowl of florist's foam. If you have a lot of cantaloupe, arrange the slices in an overlapping circle around the bowl in the centre. Scatter berries over the slices or arrange them in piles around the rim of the platter if you have a lot of fruit. Fill in any empty spots with whole sliced kiwis or inside-out mangoes.
Create the platter's decorative centrepiece. Take the pineapple slices you set aside earlier and cut them into flower shapes with the cookie cutters. Poke a skewer through the centre of each and top with a grape. Arrange the pineapple flowers in the florist's foam in the platter's centre. If the skewers are too long, cut or break them in half, so the "flower" arrangement doesn't tower over the platter and cast it into shadow. Use a smaller cookie cutter to make more flowers out of cantaloupe for variety. If the fruit platter is for a special occasion, use themed cookie cutters to make the centrepiece, such as little Christmas trees, shamrocks, or even wedding bells. For these other shapes, stick the skewer into the fruit so that it stands upright, not flat like the flowers.
Tips and warnings
- If you are providing your guests with plates and forks, don't limit yourself to fruits that can be eaten with the fingers. Juicy peaches can be cut up into chunks for a beautiful and delicious addition to your fruit platter.
- Don't worry if your fruit platter design is not symmetrical. The centrepiece will be eye-catching, and the rest of the platter will be eaten soon enough.
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