My mom told me I need to post simple recipes, "Who makes all that gourmet crap you make?" and "Who buys $45 worth of stuff to make one recipe?" Ahem...mea culpa. I wouldn't say I make gourmet food...maybe occasionally, but really, everything I make is pretty simple, really, it's not gourmet! It's not! It's really not! Me protesteth too much?!? Well, this Minted Fruit is simple...sliced fruit is a no-brainer...anyone can slice fruit, put it on a platter and call it good. But...adding fresh mint sprinkled over the top with a drizzle of sparkling cider syrup...now you're talking special, as in Easter Brunch special - and by golly, if we don't make things special for Easter then when can we?!? So mom, this is simple AND special!
You can use any fruit you'd like - strawberries, grapes, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, bananas, pears...whatever is available. Wash it, dry it, slice it up and arrange it on a pretty platter.
Sparkling cider is combined with sugar, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. It's cooked until it's reduced a bit and syrupy...and then a drop of vanilla is added...sweet, fragrant and just what the fruit needs to make it into a bonafide speical holiday brunch dish!
Minted Fruit with Sparkling Cider Syrup - Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
2 navel oranges
2 blood oranges
1 ruby red grapefruit
1 cup berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc., or a combination of berries)
1 cup sparkling cider
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
8 to 10 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced or minced
Wash and dry all fruit. Cut away the entire peel of the oranges and grapefruit, making sure to remove all white pith. Peel banana and slice. Slice pear, removing core. Slice berries, if desired. Arrange fruit on a pretty platter, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the syrup.
To make the syrup: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sparkling cider, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. Allow to cool.
When ready to serve, scatter mint over fruit platter and then drizzle sparkling cider syrup over the top, to taste. Or you can serve the syrup alongside the platter and let your guests serve themselves. Makes about 6 servings.