Nothing accentuates a lovely summer or springtime picnic better than a carved fruit basket. As a centerpiece for the table or picnic blanket, it adds a festive touch and is a great healthy desert after the meals. The great thing about a carved fruit basket is that there are a lot of fruits that are in season all year round so you are always spoiled for choice when it comes to what you will serve.
Using a melon as an example, follow the steps below to make a festive carved fruit basket.
You’ll need these items:
In season fruits
A melon baller
Paring knife or tools for fruit carving
- Determine how many guests will be coming to your table or picnic. You have to match the size of the crowd to the carved fruit basket served. For small gatherings a plain melon, a cantaloupe or a honeydew will do but larger company will require either a larger fruit like a watermelon. Wash it thoroughly.
- Set the fruit down on a flat surface to determine how it will sit best. Make sure the side you choose will not roll on the surface. Most patch-grown fruits have flat sides that are naturally stable so determine which side that is before cutting.Smaller fruits like the honeydew, cantaloupe or melon can have a thinner slice cut out to stabilize it. Or you may opt to just set the fruit in a clear bowl or on a decorative platter.
- Use the pencil and paper as a template to score the markings and figure out if this is how you want it to look. Marking and measuring will help you visualize how the melon will look before you start cutting. Remember that once you start cutting you get no do-overs. So plan how it will look carefully.
- After determining the flat side for stability, position it on that side and set an oval opening at the top with a marker. Score your marks with a sharp paring knife and decide if you want to put in a handle.
- Meet the oval’s 2 long ends. Leave a melon rind strip measuring at least an inch attached to each end. If you’re using a cantaloupe, don’t scoop out too much of the fruit as they have thinner rinds.
- Put in zigzags by dotting a pencil along it. You can use a ruler if you want to be exact. Refer to your template and use a pencil to draw a line halving it. Create another line this time going across so you make a cross in the paper. Notice you have four segments to be cut on the fruit. Keep this paper template on the melon by using pins. Proceed to cut out the top opening of the oval.
- Measure up an inch lower from the first markings and make a 2nd row of dots in between each pin. Use your paring knife to cut a zigzag pattern meeting the dots from the center pin to the top one and finally back to the center. Remove the triangular components or pieces while cutting. Do this slowly and meticulously so you avoid having uneven cuts.
- Use the melon baller to scoop out the melon. Remove the seeds and hollow out the rind.
Dice the in-season fruits and place them in the hollowed out rind with
the melon balls removed in step 8. Serve chilled or at room temperature