Fresh Fruit Salad (with a Simple Sauce)

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 bleu 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!

Fruit with juice

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!

fruit salad

Fruit Salad

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.

add sugar to fruit

Add sugar

2.  Add juice from one orange


Add orange juice

3.  Toss to mix.


Mix together

4.  Refrigerate for 2-4 hours to allow to macerate, then serve.

fruit salad

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15 thoughts on “Fresh Fruit Salad (with a Simple Sauce)

  1. Promenade Claire

    I love the shot of all the bowls lined up together! And I’ve never really thought about it befor ebut you ar eso right, cut the fruit and let them sit – makes so much sense!
    A faviurite of min ethat I picked up in France is to add a tablespoon of goo djam – like a blackcurrant and the juice of half a lemon and then mix them up and then add the fruit 🙂

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  3. Louise

    Why is it when ever I hear the words Fruit Salad I immediately think Del Monte? Although I have fond memories of fruit salad Thursday nights as a child, my mom would never have mixed this together! GREAT idea. It’s funny how I just never thought to macerate all fruit like I do strawberries.

    Thanks for sharing, Inger. I’m sure it was a hit!!! So nice of the hostess to share too….

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      For years I had no idea what real peaches tasted like after growing up on the Del Monte in syrup! I think the kids like this better than just about anything I make (except perhaps the next fruit salad that I’ll be posting soon).

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