Pop quiz: you are hosting a summer BBQ and you want to offer a dessert that is healthy, refreshing, pretty and easy to make. What do you serve? Hint: it’s not ice cream and it’s not cake (though those desserts are also insanely delicious). It’s a beautiful, sweet and simple fruit tray. That’s right, a perfectly crafted fruit platter is the ultimate dessert dish for your next summer soiree, and we’re here to help you make the best fruit platter yet. And here’s the best part; unlike other desserts, when it comes to fruit you can eat as much as you want. Yes way.
According to Dr. David Ludwig, the director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, “sugar consumed in fruit is not linked to any adverse health effects, no matter how much you eat.” He continues that fresh, whole fruits (sorry, we’re not talking about the artificial flavoring) “contain a bounty of antioxidants and healthful nutrients, and their cellular scaffolding, made of fiber, makes us feel full and provides other metabolic benefits.” In other words, fruit is healthy, which means you can have your dessert, guilt-free.
A tray of fruit is what you need
So why haven’t we all been serving fruit platters all this time? There’s an excellent change you thought fruit for dessert wasn’t exciting or tasty enough. If that describes your sentiments and you thought that a fruit platter was boring you’re a) wrong and b) not doing it right. While a fruit platter is definitely a simple dessert in that it is easy to make and all about the natural flavors of the fruit, it’s also an art form. And when you do it just right, fruit can be just the treat you and your friends are craving.
So how do you take a fruit platter from meh to mouth-watering? When it comes to the flavors you serve, a great fruit platter offers a variety of tastes and textures. You can’t serve only melon and expect to wow anyone. Make sure you include a good mix of flavors ranging from sweet to sour and everything in between. We love to start with melon and then add pineapple and citrus, which add a dose of tart to excite your taste buds.
the fruit variety
Next include crunchy apples and creamy banana, and top it all off with a mix of berries. Go with what is in season and what looks and tastes the best when you hit up your local market. In the summer nothing looks or tastes as amazing as vine-ripened peaches, when it’s available blood orange is a special addition, and don’t forget about kiwi, which is both soft and crunchy (and PS, it’s gorgeous).
Moving on to the look of your fruit tray, it’s important to note that having fresh, tasty fruit is only half the battle. You also need your tray to look attractive—like a work of art. Not convinced that fruit can be artistic and beautiful? Just ask Instagram star Jenny Zhang who, like Business Insider reports, he has almost 12,000 followers waiting to see your beautiful photos from, wait, fruit platters she creates in her bedroom in London.
The color of your fruit tray
Zhang, a business student at the London School of Economics attributes her success to the joy people feel when looking at a beautiful display of fresh fruit. “I think traditionally art is meant to provoke a feeling of some sort and with this new trend of food photography, people get such a satisfying feeling from the photos,” she explains. We agree 100% and if you don’t believe us, just check out her gorgeous work; we dare you not to get inspired.
So how do you make your fruit platter look so perfect? A few tricks to try: First, you can color coordinate, meaning you select different types of fruit from one color group (think reds, blues, oranges etc.) Another tip is to focus on symmetry and organization. A neatly arranged platter is interesting to look at and has a wow factor that a haphazard fruit salad lacks.
Ina Garten (aka Barefoot Contessa) agrees that a fruit platter “can look like a bowl of M&M’s if there are too many colors scattered with no order. Visually, your eye needs to have a focal point and to be able to see each type of fruit.” Lastly, vary the size of your fruits. Garten says she likes “to have one thing that is taller than the rest, such as a large bunch of grapes or a decoratively cut papaya, to give the platter height.”
Last but not least, if fruit alone just isn’t doing it for you, you can always serve your pretty platter with a tasty fruit dip. This creamy dip combines cream cheese with powdered sugar, whipped cream, lemon juice, pineapple juice and lemon zest, resulting in a sweet, indulgent and slightly tart dip that goes well with any kind of fruit. Follow these tips and we guarantee your guests will not be disappointed when they see a fruit tray at your next gathering.
The post Summer simplicity: The subtle art of the perfect fruit platter appeared first on Hispanic World.