I always count down the days until my favorite summer fruits starts to flood the farmer’s market stands. Oranges and apples are nice, but nothing can beat the taste of a ripe mid-summer peach or a juicy pint of strawberries. They are delicious in compotes, pies, jams, or tarts but I think that they are best eaten plain.
So often people feel entitled (myself far too often included) to a sugar-packed treat after dinner or even after lunch. However, when fresh fruits are so sweet and delectable, there’s no need to turn to goodies with added sugar because fruit tastes even better. Fruit takes less time to prepare, is far healthier, tastes better, and can be even prettier than any baked treat.
The next time you’re entertaining and need a fun way to end the meal, give this fruity basket a try. Its cute presentation will thrill kids and adults alike!
Summer Fruit Watermelon Basket
Adapted from the National Watermelon Promotion Board
- 1 pint of blueberries
- 1 pint of raspberries
- 1 pint of strawberries
- 1 large seedless watermelon
- Cutting board
- Kitchen and paring knives
- Nontoxic green dry erase marker
- thin rope or ribbon
- Large bowl and spoon
- Melon baller
- cookie cutters in hearts, stars, and other fun shapes
- Rinse strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Cut the strawberries in half and set all berries aside.
- Wash watermelon and pat dry.
- Place the watermelon on its side and cut off the bottom 1/4 to 1/2 inch so it can stand up flat. Make sure not to cut too deep into the white part of the rind so that the liquid doesn’t leak from bottom of the melon.
- Stand the watermelon on its cut end then use the dry erase marker to draw a line about 1/3 of the way down from the top, around the whole watermelon. Use the rope or ribbon to make sure that you make a smooth line going around the melon.
- Pick a point on the line and find the corresponding point on the exact opposite side of the watermelon. From those points measure 1 inch to the right and to the left. Connect those points by using the rope to draw two parallel lines across the top forming the handle.
- Use the paring knife to cut along the horizontal line and two vertical lines. Go very slowly with gentle force so as not to break or crack handle. For best results, hold paring knife like a pen, but only cut half way into rind. Once you complete that first cut all the way around, go back and cut the rest of the way through the rind. Doing the cut in two steps will ensure a cleaner line and smoother cuts.
- Make a cut around the inside perimeter and carefully remove the trimmed rind and flesh. Try to remove as much as possible in large portions that can later be sliced and used with the cookie cutters.
- Scoop out remaining flesh from base, trying to leave as much flesh intact. Remove it in larger pieces that can be used for making watermelon balls or bite-sized chunks.
- Using cookie cutters, cut shapes from watermelon. Se the shapes aside on a paper towel to drain.
- Use the melon baller to scoop out balls of watermelon.
- Then use a large spoon to remove any unsalvageable watermelon and puree it and mix it with lemonade or freeze it to make popsicles.
- Start filling the carved out melon with a mixture of watermelon and berries from the first step. Make sure to save the fruit cut outs for the top of the melon.
- Arrange any remaining fruit around the perimeter of the melon.
- Optional: Use a shovel or cake mix sand to create a beachy vibe.