Ever wonder how caterers and gourmet stores build beautiful fruit platters? The fruit is piled up, stays in place and there is not one drop of excess liquid from the draining fruit anywhere in sight. There are some real tricks, tips and secrets to creating the perfect fruit platter. With pool party season here, let me share my favorite tips so that you can build platters like the pros!
Tip: #1 The Fruit
*Best fruits for building a platter: watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwi, mango, pineapple, grapes, berries, small oranges.
*Choose small clusters of grapes rather than individual grapes.
*Buy more than one of each type of fruit in case one is rotten or not ripe.
*Some fruit, like fresh peaches and apple, will turn brown. Soak the slices in a bowl of 7-up or water with some lemon juice to prevent browning.
* Kale, romaine or curly or red leaf lettuce work well for the base.
Tip #2 The Preparation
Slice the fruit ahead of time and let it drain on paper towels. Have a tray lined with several paper towels. (The more paper towels, the better since they will soak up the juice from sliced fruit.)
For Melons: cut away the outer skin. Cut into ½ inch slices. (I keep the slices intact, and set the whole fruit minus the outer skin on the paper towels.) Cover the sliced fruit with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. This can be done ahead of time and sit for several hours or overnight. When you’re ready to build the tray, you will notice your fruit slices will be dryer because the juice has drained into the paper towels. You won’t lose any of the flavors of the fruit, and it’s much easier to build the platter!
For Kiwi: Kiwis looks beautiful when you slice them in small ½ inch “V” shapes all the way around the center and then gently twist open. They look like stars! You can do the same with the small oranges. (You can cut away the skins or leave them on.)
For Mango: Place the mango on the cutting board. Slice lengthwise as close to the pit as you can. Score the removed slice one way and then the other creating small squares. Turn the mango slice inside out to create a beautiful mango flower.
For Grapes: Look for small clusters of grapes. Snip away any stems that don’t have grapes on them.
For Pineapple: Slice lengthwise. Scoop out one half to create an empty boat. Cut away the skin from the other half and cut into 1 inch cubes or slices.
Tip #3 Building the Platter
Line the tray with kale, romaine or leafy green lettuce. Place the empty pineapple boat in the center of the tray. Fill with berries, cubed fruit. Add slices of fruit around the pineapple boat. Place kiwi and orange stars, and mango flowers on top of slices of fruit. Top with clusters of grapes and berries.
For more fruit platter tips, watch my how to video!
Two parallel 40-year careers in media and in food that still excite me to this day. 24 farm animals that remind me that there are always needs much greater than mine. A tiny bit of free time here and there to go fly-fishing. And a kitchen that has become the joyful and busy heart of my home and my world.
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