There’s more than one way to skin a… mango – so put away your knives and grab that water glass. Here are six techniques to up your fresh fruit game this summer.
Ever wonder how those perfect dotted discs of dragonfruit come to be? It’s easier than you think. Though it doesn’t quite look like it, dragonfruit is really easy to peel. Just top and tail, make a cut from end to end and pull back the skin like a banana.
Summer is pavlova season. But there's no need to fear a mixture that splits before it’s even in the oven, weepy meringue or a cracked shell. Donna's here to help you achieve the ultimate pavlova.
“The Duchess of Northumberland introduced to me to a lot of ingredients - some with aphrodisiac qualities - so I wanted to cook something that would impress and excite her! This is a classic Vietnamese dish called bun bo xao which features many of those elements.” Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom
This refreshing and icy dragon fruit shake is exactly what I need on a hot day in Vietnam. The secret ingredient is the condensed milk! It adds a hint of intense sweetness to the more subtle sweet and slightly sour flavour or the dragon fruit. You could also use mango, avocado or pomelo in this recipe.
Gone are the days of picking pea-sized bits of lychee shell away with your fingernails. By clicking off the stem with your thumb, making a crack and squeezing the (opposite) pointy end of the fruit you can pop out a dent-free piece of fruit in less than half the time.
This is a very refreshing salad, crunchy with texture, hot with chilli and laden with herbs. The lychee gives small hints of sweetness that seems to bring everything together. It is a perfect dish for lunch on a hot summer day.
If you like your desserts in the style of Carmen Miranda’s hat, this one is for you. A different, but really delicious version of pavlova, this is particularly good with fresh lychees if you can bear peeling them. You can use tinned, but the flavour is not as good. It’s best to get everything ready in advance, then put it all together at the last minute and serve at once before the meringue has a chance to go soggy.
If you’re not in the game of cutting up mango hedgehogs, a simple trick to getting the peel off a mango cheek is to slide it over the edge of a wide and thin water glass. It doesn’t make a nice smooth edge like a knife does, but for smoothies, sauce or a decent party trick it works a treat.
It's amazing how much natural flavours shine through when you keep things simple: only fruit and natural yoghurt are required for this simple gelato.
This one’s less of a trick and more of a how-to for getting the most out of your piña. If you slice the skin off thinly and leave the pokey eyelets exposed you can follow the natural pattern all the way round cutting diagonal ridges with a sharp knife. It not only saves extra sweet flesh, but looks quite impressive. The only thing to note here is that the ridges will flow perfectly on the diagonal in only one direction, so follow them with your finger before making the first cut.
You can leave the core in if you like, but it contains the highest concentration of bromelain, which is the protein-dissolving enzyme responsible for the post-pineapple binge sore mouth feeling.
This golden tart has the elements of the French classic - a crisp pastry base and sticky caramel topping, but replaces apples with pineapple laced with Cointreau and chilli.
This banana cream cheese frosting is sublime! The pineapple flowers take some time to dry out, but they don’t require much effort. I've found that I get the best results with a ripe pineapple – the flowers have a better, brighter colour and dehydrate more rapidly. They're not only pretty, but edible and truly delicious, too. The pineapple flowers can be made a few days in advance.
Gone are the days of bashing half a pomegranate over a bowl until left with a mess of red juice and half-cut arils. We’re about to teach you about pomegranate anatomy. The thing has natural segments and will open up like a jeweled star-fish. This technique is even easier than it looks (we did it in one take), just make sure to use a small, sharp knife and don’t cut too deep or you’ll end up severing the arils.
It is so easy to put this dish together, and yet it makes such a big impact with its sharp, clean flavours. The hazelnut dukkah can be kept for up to a year – but I am sure you will eat it all before then! It is best stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Visually spectacular and wonderfully wholesome, this Israeli salad teams sweet elements, such as pomegranate and raisins, with savoury partners, like roasted cauliflower and pine nuts.
It’s a polarizing fruit, and after picking up the thorny beast you may be attempted to attack back using a knife. What some may not know is that the durian splits open naturally in a line along the highest point of each segment. These bumps are like pods for the sweet and stinky flesh, which you can carefully dig out the fruit with a spoon or your hands. It will ripen from the bottom first, so push down to find a natural split and work your way back toward the stem from there.
The bright and tropical flavours of summer are captured in this cheery cake. And it's a coconut lover's dream, with all three layers incorporating coconut!
This slightly sweet Japanese fruit sandwich is a perfect middle-ground between healthy and indulgent. For best results use bread that has been slightly sweetened and fruit at its peak ripeness.