Fruit platters are a common go-to option for any gathering. Like crudités platters, I make them often when I entertain. Fruit is a great healthy option for guests, especially during holiday time, plus it helps add a splash of color to any table. People tend to shy away from fruit arrangements a bit more in the Fall and Winter months do to the seasonal changes in fruit, but you should reconsider. There are lots of great fruit options that are not honeydew or cantaloupe, two fruits my family won’t eat! You can start with dried fruit and nuts, which many people keep as staples in their pantries. Most people also keep some fresh fruit around. So whipping up an attractive platter even last-minute should not be that difficult. Assembling a bountiful and attractive fruit platter, like a great cheese board, takes a little bit of effort, but it’s not that hard. Below are a few tips on how to make a gorgeous, inviting Winter-focused fruit platter that no one will be able to pass up.
Things To Remember In Building A Fall Fruit Platter:
Platter Selection: No matter how many you will be serving, you want your selection to look full and robust. This is how you entice people to eat it. I am already a huge believer that food presentation is critical to enjoyment. Using a slightly smaller serving plate allows you to create this full visual effect no matter what your fruit selection is.
Seasonal Fruit: Always important, but there is some wiggle room. This is harvest time and fruits like apples, pears, grapes, figs, persimmons, and pomegranates are great choices. But these days, you are not as limited as you once were. Most people can find strawberries all year-long at the supermarket. (Raspberries and blackberries not so much.). Strawberries add a great pop to a fruit platter, helping to incorporate a vivid red color and a different taste and texture. For more guidance on what fruits are seasonal this time of year, check out this link.
Dried Fruits: Often overlooked, dried fruits make a great addition to any fruit platter. I am a big fan of dried apricots and apples, which I used here. But there are many other great dried fruits to choose from including pears, apples, mangos, strawberries, cherries and cranberries. Dried fruits are also a great way to add texture and color to any fresh fruit platter.
Nuts: This time of year I especially love whole walnuts, pistachios, pecans, almonds, macadamia and cashews. You can easily make (or even buy) sweet, spicy or salt seasoned nuts. Tamarin almonds, spicy cajun pecans, and wasabi cashews, all can complement sweet fresh fruit exceptionally well. Nuts are also a great protein option for those who may skip out on a sweet dessert, opting for fruit and nuts instead.
Prep Ahead: Once you have decided what to include on your platter, prep ahead. Having all your fruits washed and your dried fruits and nuts ready to go makes assembly much easier. Grapes can we washed and cut into small bunches and stored in the refrigerator until needed. Strawberries can be cleaned and pre-sliced, as can figs.
Platter Assembly: When you are ready to make your platter, have all your ingredients out, sliced and ready to go. Once that is complete, your artistic talents should take over. I suggest taking 1/3 of each type of each fruit and dried fruit and placing it in three different places on the platter. Continue with this strategy being mindful to separate colors, sizes and textures until you ave created a fruit collage covering the entire platter. Nuts I use as fillers. Place small amounts of the nuts in various gaps you have with your fruit. Other filler options include edible flowers, which can brighten up any large platter.