Tropical Fruit Salad with Coconut Whip Cream
Summer is Here!
Rising temps and hot ovens are not my idea of fun in the summer. The last thing I want to do is start whipping up a baked treat in the hotter months… especially in the desert that is Phoenix, AZ. Let’s give ourselves a break. Especially when it comes to the thought of what to serve for dessert. We want easy, delicious and simple.
If you spend a lot of time cooking in the kitchen, dessert tends to become an afterthought, something you want to throw together at the last minute or have someone pick up at the store on their way over. After cooking a large meal or entertaining, the only thing you want to do is relax, kick back and enjoy the rest of the evening. I get it. After all, you deserve a break, you earned it.
My go-to dessert formula works every time: Take something that’s already sweet, like fruit, dress it up a little and now you’ve got something special. Works every time. Enter the Fruit Salad of your dreams! It’s impressive, so easy you can do it in your sleep, and the taste will blow everyone away. You don’t have to think about it. In a few easy steps, you’ll be ready to serve. Cut up the fruit, make the coconut whip cream, throw on some garnish. Et voila!
I’ve even made a handy You-Tube video on how to make the whip cream and plate your salad. Scroll to the bottom for the video how-to and recipe.
1. Cut up the Fruit
For this salad, tropical fruits work best. Think bananas, watermelon, mango, pineapple, etc. You can prep most of it a day ahead. Cut up the melons, mango, pineapple or any other hard fruits a day ahead, store in an airtight container and it’s ready to go right before serving.
To add interest and different heights to your plate, which will make it a little more “dressed up” cut the fruit up in different sizes and shapes.
2. Make the Coconut Whip Cream
This step needs to be done right before serving if you want really stiff peaks. For a softer, foamy-like texture feel free to make the whip a day ahead and store in an airtight container. It’s a preference thing so there is no right or wrong answer.
Just make sure your coconut milk is super cold and shake it really well before using. Also, using full-fat coconut milk will give you a silkier, creamier texture. Using a ‘light’ coconut milk will give that frothier texture. Again, the choice is yours on what texture you like. I chose to go with a foamier, frothier texture for this since it made it seem lighter… like summer in a bowl.
The Garnish in this recipe is non-negotiable, people! It’s what takes your fruit in a bowl and turns it into dessert worthy status. You can add as little or as much garnish as you like but again, think tropical. Pineapple Chips, Coconut chips, macadamia nuts, chili, lime and its zest… get creative. You’ll want crunch, spice, acid and zing to elevate your fruit bowl. Salt, spice, acid and crunch all play around the fruit to create an addictive, mouthwatering dish you’ll crave all summer long.
So now you know. But, let’s talk about your most important garnish… SALT. Not only does it add a crunchy texture and look pretty on the plate, it serves an important purpose. Salt in this fruit salad is essential in bringing out the sweetness in your fruits. Don’t pass it up. When I travel, one of my favorite things to do is grocery shop at specialty stores to look for unique and local ingredients I could use creatively. While in Mexico City, I found Jamaica salt, which is made from hibiscus flowers. It’s beautiful in color, herbal in quality and went great in this recipe. You could use whatever type of crunchy, coarse sea salt and it work well in your fruit salad!
Let’s not forget SPICE. I found “Jica Chips,” which were a surprisingly delicious addition! Get them here. The chips added that crunch, spice, and zing all in one!If you can’t find these, or don’t want to, just add a pinch of chili powder or Tajin to the top of your salad… you can’t go wrong.
Let’s Make Dessert
Tropical Fruit Salad with Coconut Whipped Foam
Prep – 30 Minutes Active Time: 10 Minutes
½ Pineapple – Cut into cubes
1 Small, Seedless Watermelon – Cut into large chunks
1 Mango – Peeled, cubed or sliced
1 Melon – Cubed, Sliced or balled
2 bananas – thin sliced, on the bias
1 orange – skin cut off and cut into segmented round discs
2 kiwis – peeled, sliced or cubed
Other tropical fruit such as dragon fruit, jicama, papaya, etc
Coconut Whip Foam:
1 Cup Heavy Cream
¼ Cup Lite Coconut Milk
2 Tbs Confectioners Sugar
Lime Wedges, Lime Zest, dehydrated Pineapple Chips, Jica Chips, crushed Macadamia Nuts, Coarse Sea Salt or other garnishes such as black sesame seeds, chili powder seasoning like Tajin
Cut the hard fruits up to a day ahead and store in an airtight container. Slice the banana right before serving.
Make the whip cream: In a stand mixer or a large bowl and hand-held mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream, sugar, and coconut milk until firm peaks form. (When turning your whisk upside down, the peak will form strong but the tip will fold over on itself)
Plate the fruit in small serving bowls or a large platter. Arrange fruit so there are varying heights and the fruit is randomly placed on the plate for variety. If serving in a bowl, mix fruit together and place in the bowl. Season all over with lime and coarse sea salt. If using Tajin, sprinkle on fruit. Top with crunchy garnish such as chips and nuts. Top with Coconut Whipped Foam, sprinkle on lime zest. Serve with an extra lime wedge.
Lisa at Seven Spice Life