Blog Post, Food, Recipe

DIY Fruit Bouquet (without cookie cutters)

We’ve all seen those ads for fruit bouquets, but they are really pricey.  $50+ for some fruit of questionable quality. For my dad’s birthday, I decided to try to make my own. I already had bamboo skewers at home, and I got some fruit from Costco. I forgot that I needed a jar to put the bouquet in, but I improvised. This bouquet makes a lovely gift, or a healthy dessert!

Materials:

  • Fresh fruit (you can use whatever is in season, but I used pineapples, strawberries, honeydew, oranges, and blackberries)
  • Bamboo/wooden skewers
  • Toothpicks
  • Knife (a giant cleaver and small fruit knife for me)
  • Serving plate

I started out with the pineapples, as I knew they were going to be a big component. I had ordered some flower-shaped cookie cutters from Amazon, put they didn’t arrive in time. Therefore, I had to freehand it. They didn’t turn out as bad as I expected. First I sliced the top and bottom off of the pineapple. Then I cut half of the pineapple into slices, leaving the other half for the base. I ended up with four pineapple slices, each one 0.5-1 inch tall. (I only made three flowers because the first one didn’t turn out so great.)

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Now, using a smaller knife (I used a fruit knife), I drew a flower. There really isn’t a trick to it, I just channeled my inner kindergartener. It helped me to visualize the sections first. It’s okay if your first one doesn’t turn out too good, mine didn’t either. Also, it’s better if the petals are too big than too small. You can always cut off fruit, but you can’t add more. As for the leftover scraps, I just put them into a bowl to eat later. If you make the scraps uniform, you could skewer them and add it to your final display.

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They don’t have to be perfect.

Next I moved on to the honeydew. I knew I wanted these to be the leaves, as they are green. I started out by cutting the top third off of a honeydew (I saved the rest for later). After I scooped out the seed, I cut the piece in half. Then I cut each half in half twice more; once horizontally, and once vertically.

From there I began to sculpt the leaves using my trusty fruit knife. A lot of this was freehand, but you want to make a leaf shape. If you don’t trust yourself that well with a knife, just remove the peel (trying your best to keep it round) and you’re done. If you want the leaves to look more leaf-like, round the edges and make the tip taper off. I don’t know the exact number of leaves I made, but you should be able to make at least eight. Some of the larger ones can be cut in half to make smaller leaves. If you have any large chunks of scrap melon, those can also become smaller leaves.

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A snazzy leaf!
Onto the oranges! This was a technique I saw on YouTube, but I knew I has to replicate it. They looked so awesome! Here’s the link, but I’ll try to explain it the best I can. The first step is to get your orange. That’s simple enough. The size doesn’t matter too much, as long as it isn’t one of those baby mandarin oranges. (Actually, I’d like to see that. If anyone out there is feeling adventurous, give this technique a shot with mandarin oranges and tell me how it went.) I mentally divide the orange into 5 sections. I placed toothpicks into it at first, but then abandoned the idea. Working in the middle third of the orange, I used the fruit knife to create a zigzag. This zigzag had 5 “V”s going down, and 5 “V”s going up.

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Reminds me of Charlie Brown

Next I separate the oranges. If your zigzag knife cuts were clean, the top should pop right off. The result is two cool looking sunburst things. If you want to leave them like this, that’s totally fine. (Another alternative is to start out by slicing the orange in half. From there, create 5 little “V”s in each half. Either way should work.)

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My sections were a bit uneven, but they were still cool looking!

Using a knife, I separated the peel from the sweet, juicy part. This created a slit that allowed for the peel to bloom further. Now I sliced two strawberries. I placed the largest five slices of strawberries into the newly created space in between the peel and flesh (is that what it’s called?). I think a picture sums it up better.

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Ta-da!

Speaking of strawberries, I made the rest of them into roses. You want to pick the most generic-strawberry-shaped strawberries that you can. After I washed the strawberries, I took off their leafy green part and slice their tops off. You can keep the green part on, but mine were looking kind of sad. Then I cut 5-6 little notches at the base of the strawberry.

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Use your knife to push the notches outwards, opening them up like petals.

I continued working up the strawberry, creating little notches and forming them into petals. As I went up, the number of petals per row decreased.

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For the top, I just cut the tip in half and spread it out. You can create as many strawberry roses as you want.

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Now it was time to assemble to whole bouquet. I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures of this, but you can consult the picture of my end result to see what I did. You can also arrange the fruit in any way you’d like, this is just what I did. The base of this whole arrangement was the pineapple-half that wasn’t used. For the pineapple flowers, I simply stuck them onto the skewers, then stuck the skewers into the pineapple base. I stuck my favorite flower on a skewer that I cut to be a little bit shorter. I put some blackberries on that skewer too because I thought it looked too bare. For the strawberry roses, I stuck them on skewers with four blackberries already on them. The honeydew leaves were just stuck on skewers. I cut some of the skewers in half so that there would be levels. Some of the leaves were attached using toothpicks. I also used toothpicks for the orange flowers, along with the strawberries and blackberries that were at the base. Tip: Start arranging the lower leaves and flowers first, then work your way up. I started out with the taller ones, and that made it hard to push the shorter skewers in later. 

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The finished product!

Given more time, I definitely would’ve added more fruit and made the display look fuller. Unfortunately, I was in a time crunch, but I still think it looks pretty good. I hope this post helped you, and if you have any questions, comment them down below.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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