Growing up, I tended to view fruit salad with suspicion. I would find it at picnics blended up with fluffy stuff of unknown origin, tasting not fresh with undertones of oil and additives. Or again at a friend’s birthday party embellished with mini-marshmallows in assorted pastel shades.
Definitely, not a natural food item.
My epiphany came while doing a semester abroad in Ireland. One evening, my cordon blue educated host served a fruit salad that looked deceptively simple. Off guard, I ladled up a serving and found it dripping with a slightly sweet, slightly thickened, amazingly delicious sauce. What magic!
Despite fears of a complex answer, I asked for the recipe and was blown away. She simply added the juice from an orange and a tablespoon of sugar to cut fruit, then let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple hours. (Note that it is important to cut the fruit to allow some of the juices to release, so even halve your grapes.) The sugar slightly softens the fruit and draws out the juices–a process known as maceration! Hand me a spoon!
While this is clearly more work than simply handing out whole pieces of fruit, it is a great summer treat. With this for dessert, my kids may even forgive me if I bring home another rotisserie chicken to keep the house cool!
Simple Fruit Salad
- 4 cups of fresh cut fruit (juicy fruits in particular)
- 1 whole orange (I have used OJ in a pinch)
- heaping tablespoon sugar
1. Sprinkle 4 cups of cut fruit with sugar.
2. Add juice from one orange
3. Toss to mix.
4. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours to allow to macerate, then serve.