Introduction: Fruit Bouquet

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Make your own edible arrangement quickly and cheaply with this easy tutorial. 

When flowers aren't quite right, or you want a present that's slightly more unique, a fruit bouquet is just the thing.  Completely customizable to suit any tastes, this special treat can be whipped up in an instant.   (Can anyone say "last-minute gifts"?)

What better way to get in your 4-servings a day, than this custom-made, personalized fruit basket slash flower bouquet with a twist! 

Step 1: Materials

Gather whatever fruit looks fresh that you or the recipient are fond of.  (If you're around for the receiving of the gift, there's no reason not to include a couple treats for yourself!).

You'll also need:
  • Skewers - I ended up using two different sizes, but a pair of good scissors will suffice!
  • A vessel to make the arrangement in - not too tall, and something kind of wide and opaque.  I started off with a clear vase, but you could see all the skewers through it, and that was not attractive.  I ended with a white tea pot.
  • Some clay or foam to stick the skewers in  (optional, really - it didn't serve me at all)
  • Chocolate for dipping (also optional)
  • Parsley to fill in as greenery

Step 2: Prep Strawberries

If you can get strawberries, they can really make this arrangement pop.

Clean them well and skewer them.  I cut the tops off of mine because they were white, and I didn't like the way that looked.  (Granted, the fact that  I can find strawberries in February at all is quite something, so I'm not complaining.) 

I really really wish I hadn't cut those tops off.   I ended up using a blueberry on the skewer to try and keep them from sliding down the points.  It didn't work.  Don't cut the tops off :D

I chose one or two lovely strawberries to perfect  this rose making technique, and used them as the centerpiece to the bouquet.

Step 3: Cut Pineapple

I love fresh pineapple, and it's a large enough fruit that it provides you quite the palette to play with.

To test the freshness of a pineapple, pull the leaves from the top.  If they come away easily, you've got your self a good one.

Slice the pineapple in 1/2" (1 - 1.5cm) or so slices.  Then, using a cookie cutter or knife, you can cut these slices into whatever shapes suit your fancy. 

I happened to have a flower and a heart cookie cutter, and they both worked perfectly.

To make the flower, I skewered the center of the pineapple, and used a blackberry for the center.  Here's a tip:  blackberries bleed.  Next time I'll use a melon ball.

Step 4: Dipping Fruit in Chocolate

I used this great Instructable to guide me in dipping my strawberries.  Great double-boiler techniques there, as I ruined my first batch of chocolate in the microwave.  I'm beginning to think I'm not cut out for this candy-making stuff.

You can dip any or all of your fruits in the chocolate.  Make sure they are as dry as you can get them, as any water in the chocolate will turn it against you.  I stuck with strawberries I'd dried in a paper towel.  No need to press my luck.

Step 5: Arrange

Continue cutting and styling your array of fruit however it suits your fancy.

Use taller skewers in the center, and shorter ones to the outside.  Experiment with different angles to fill out the shape.

I made sticks of blueberries to try and emulate hyacinth.  They were delicious.  I also added some crescents of canteloupe and stems of blackberries to fill out the arrangement.  Finally,  I added sprigs of parsley to fill in the space between the skewers. 

After this experiment, I have much more respect for the people who make these arrangements professionally.  Though it cost me a fraction of the price, and took very little time, I succeeded in making an enormous mess of my kitchen, and have yet to perfect the art of arrangements.

Nonetheless, the receiver was thrilled, and I got to munch on some yummy fruits as well.   It was a great (if last minute) present!

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