The Best Fruit Salad!
Ripe delicious melons pair with a creamy and sweet mascarpone base to create a delightful fruit dessert. The salty pistachios and crunchy amaretti cookies are an extra surprise as is the fresh fruity flavor from the vinegar.
Sweet, ripe fruit is essential for this dessert, so consider these tips when purchasing your melon: Good, ripe cantaloupe is heavy for its size. The smell should be sweet and musky. Also, be sure to press on the stem end which should yield slightly to the pressure.
Certainly, this fruit salad is wonderful with melons, but BE BRAVE and change out the fruit, adding strawberries or cherries, plums, peaches or blueberries. It will be delicious with any of them.
Another great variation is to mix the mascarpone cheese with lemon curd in place of the honey adding a nice citrusy tang to the base.
Enjoy this easy, Mediterranean style dessert especially on a hot summer day or after a particularly sumptuous meal.
Fruit desserts are the best!
Melons & Mascarpone
(* indicates my preferred ingredients – see notes for alternatives)
1 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons Runamok Maple Syrup * (more to your preferred level of sweetness)
1 teaspoon O&V Melipone Vanilla *
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream (if needed)
8 cups chopped cantaloupe melon (or a combination of cantaloupe and honeydew)
1-2 tablespoons sugar (optional based on the sweetness level of the fruit)
4 tablespoons O&V Lime & Ginger vinegar * (reduced by half))
1/3 cup chopped salted pistachio nuts
Zest from one lime
Crushed O&V Amaretti cookies for garnish *
In a small bowl combine the mascarpone cheese, honey or maple syrup, Melipone vanilla until smooth. Create a nice spreadable, creamy consistency by adding a tablespoon or two of cream if needed.
Reduce the vinegar by half till sticky and thick.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped melon with the sugar (if using) and allow to sit for 5-7 minutes. Skip this step if your fruit is sweet enough and doesn’t need the added sugar
Spread the mascarpone cheese over a platter and top with the melon. Sprinkle the top with the pistachio nuts, lime zest and crushed amaretti cookies. Drizzle with the reduced vinegar.
Serve immediately (see Chef Note).
Active time: 15 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes
If you wish to pre-make this dessert, prepare each component and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Compile the dessert and add the pistachios, lime zest, amaretti cookie crumble and vinegar drizzle just before serving to prevent them turning soggy.
* I love the flavor of the Lime & Ginger vinegar but you can replace with the Lemon Vinegar, Honey Ginger vinegar, or even Elderflower Apple Lime vinegar. At a pinch this can be made with lime juice, but it loses the subtle flavors of the vinegar and makes the dish one-dimensional.
The Runamok SugarMakers Cut Maple Syrup and Melipone Vanilla add tremendous flavor. Feel free to use a local honey and a good quality vanilla instead.
I love the crunchy sweetness of the Amaretti cookies, but any other sweet crumbly cookie will be suitable.
All highlighted products are available at Oil & Vinegar stores.
Categories: Dessert, Soups & Salads, Fruit Salad, Melon and Mascarpone, Lemon Curd, Lime & Ginger Vinegar, Honey Ginger Vinegar, Elderflower Apple Lime Vinegar, Runamok Maple Syrup, Melipone Vanilla, Amaretti Cookies, Mixed Fruit Dessert, Creamy Fruit Salad, Pistachio Nuts,