Macerate: (mac·er·ate) to soften or separate into parts by steeping in a liquid. Yes, it’s a technical term—and one that I always thought sounded suspect. Like something out of a Biology 2 lab. But, take my word for it, this can turn a simple fruit salad into something extraordinary.
I’ve made this fruit salad for years, using different combinations of fruit, depending on the season. And it never fails. It still amazes me every time I dip in a spoon!
Of course, fruit is pretty great in the first place, but the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts here. Not to get all zen or anything! Then there is that sweet juice scooped over the top.
I first tasted this when I was a college student studying in Ireland–made by the Cordon Bleu educated “mom” of the family I lived with. When she relayed how easy it was, I could hardly believe it.
You simply take a variety of cut fruit and top it with a little sugar and some orange juice. The orange juice forms the sauce base and the sugar helps draw juices out of the rest of the fruit. In a couple hours—magic!
Just be sure to use a lot of juicy fruits to help create the sauce. Apples and bananas won’t be big contributors! I make it a lot in the summer when it is easy to pick up a beautiful bounty! Todays fruit salad includes mangos, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, plums, grapes and kiwi. (And yes, my kids claim we have nothing to eat.)
The other thing I must mention about this, is it is a great way to use up neglected fruit. Like when the berries all come in and then your kids consider the plums and pineapple like red-haired stepchildren. Put it all in the simple fruit salad and it will all be loved!
- 4 cups of cut fruit of different varieties (see note)
- 1 large orange, juiced (or 1/4-1/2 cup orange juice in a pinch)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar.
- Place cut fruit in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle with sugar and orange juice.
- Toss to mix, then cover and place in refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Serve, making sure you scoop up the juice.
- Be sure to use a substantial percentage of soft, juicy fruits.
- Usually this disappears the first day, but you can refrigerate leftovers and eat them the next day.
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