Food Display: The Fruit Cascade
The Food Display: Almost as important as the food itself.
More affectionately known to my family as “that pineapple thingy,” the Fruit Cascade has graced the tables of many of our special parties over the years. I originally got the idea from Miss Creative “Aunt” Dianna, of course, when I was planning the bridal shower for our daughter, Elizabeth. It was such a hit that I have been creating the “Pineapple Thingy” over and over again for family and friends alike.
Now to share with you the how to:
What you need to assemble food display –
- 6 10” styrofoam rounds
- Small thin dowel rods
- Several florist picks and “U” shaped metal pins
- Large tray. My glass tray is 18” in diameter. I have also used a large marble slab I got from a discarded antique dresser. It can be kept in the refrigerator and used to serve the fruit cascade, or I use it anytime for just cheese, fruit, vegetables keeping the servings cold for a longer period of time.
Food display ingredients –
- Fruit – (the freshest and most beautiful you can find)
- 2 whole fresh pineapples
- 2 whole fresh cantaloupes
- fresh strawberries
- clusters of black, red, and green grapes
- Leatherleaf ferns from florist
- Small flowers and/or babies breath if desired – I’ve even used those little oriental paper umbrellas for an “aloha” themed party. Be creative.
- Fruit dip of choice – I’ve included 3 recipes below. Only one is needed.
Display Assembly Directions –
Stack 4 Styrofoam rounds together. Then cut 2 additional rounds in half, using 3 of the halves stacked on top of the bottom rounds. Secure with thin dowel rods cut off at surface of the Styrofoam. (see photo)
Slice 2 pineapples in half, lengthwise, keeping the top greens intact with the base of the pineapple. Scoop out the pineapple, leaving shells intact. Store in the refrigerator.
Cut the cantaloupes in half, using a scalloped-edge knife or in a saw-tooth fashion. Carefully separate the halves, discard the seeds. Using a melon baller, scoop out the balls from the pulp and store in refrigerator. Smooth out the inside of the cantaloupes leaving shells intact.
All of this can be done the day before and stored in the refrigerator in air tight containers.
Place styrofoam understructure on your serving tray.
Arrange large leatherleaf ferns on tall, ‘back’ side of the styrofoam to hide the foam. Tack in place with floral picks. Then, arrange the 4 pineapple shells on back side over the ferns. Hold in place with floral picks.
Place cantaloupe shells randomly over the front side of the styrofoam, one on “top step,” others on lower “step” level and on your tray. Secure with floral picks. At this point you can begin to fill in with ferns or flowers or add babies breath to decorate. Place cut pineapple, cantaloupe balls and strawberries in 3 of the cantaloupe halves. I save the top cantaloupe shell for the dip.
Arrange grape clusters over styrofoam securing with floral pins, filling up empty spaces. Arrange strawberries on remainder open spaces making sure to cover all of the styrofoam under structure. Finish off by any needed babies breath or flowers and/or ferns.
Add your favorite fruit dip and a spoon for the dip.
Enjoy when your guests ask “Who was your caterer?”
Recipes for fruit dip:
1. Pineapple-Ginger Dip
2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup plus 1 T pineapple juice
1 T lemon juice
1 T grated orange rind
1 1/2 to 2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted
2 T powdered sugar
Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Stir in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate
2. Fruit Dip – Super easy. I got this from a caterer years ago.
Simply combine 8 oz sour cream, about 1 T of maraschino juice, and 1+ tsp Rum (the real stuff). Add confectioner sugar until juice is absorbed. Refrigerate
Or my personal favorite:
3. Coconut Dip
8 oz cream of coconut
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup shredded coconut
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Mix, chill and serve with fruit.
Stand back and watch your guests oohhhh and ahhhh.