This instructable will guide you through some of the basics to creating fruit centerpieces. All you will need is a good knife, a few toothpicks, some fresh fruit, and your imagination. I am self taught and have made a few centerpieces for various summer occasions (when fruit is in season!).
I have included photos of some of my carvings including a watermelon rose, parrot, various flowers and more. Some of these are a bit more advanced, but a cantaloupe swan is a perfect starting point. Here I will guide you through constructing a beautiful and tasty swan.
Step 1: What You Will Need
It is best to work with fruit that will not brown when left out for extended periods of time. I try to refrain away from using apples, bananas, etc since those fruits will oxidize. Your best friend to prevent oxidation is lemon juice and cold water.
Here are some of the common fruits and veggies I use to sculpt with:
many, many more
Step 2: Making a Swan
For a swan you will need to use a rounded fruit and the only materials needed are toothpicks and a knife. Before cutting into the melon practice the technique on an apple, it works just as well.
To begin we cut off one side (about two inches worth) of the melon to make a flat bottom. Do not throw this piece away as this will be used to carve the head.
Step 3: Carve the Swans Head
Using the extra piece from the bottom level the curved side and cut off the rind to make a one inch thick piece of melon and carve it into a basic swan shape. Essentially this is a hook shape with a larger head and pointed beak. Place this aside until the body is curved.
Step 4: Carve the Wings
Carving the wings is easy.
Make cuts on the top and sides of the melon to make the feathers. We cut nested 45 degree cuts in sets of 4 or 5. This is best explained by looking at the photos and viewing the attached video. Make sure not to cut in too far, otherwise the wings will lose their structures.
Watch me carve the wings:
You can make a more complex swan (as I have done in the front page photo) by adding more sets of wings to add interest. You be the judge of this as it may depend on the size of your melon.
Step 5: Assemble and Finish
Attach the head to the body with two toothpicks, skewers, etc (whatever you have in the house).
Fan out the wings and display your masterpiece. Use your imagination, make flowers, reeds, etc with various other fruits and veggies. I particularly like this to be the center of a beautiful and colorful fruit tray.
Note: this can be made in advance a few days before the party, just be sure to collapse the wings and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
Finalist in the
Play With Your Food Challenge