Who’s ready for the countdown to Christmas?! I was going to make a paper chain with Lincoln a couple weeks ago but forgot and didn’t think four loops would drape anywhere beautifully. That is to say, I’m not super on top of my Christmas traditions at the moment, but may have started a new one that’s so fun and festive it won’t matter that “Penny” formerly known as “Patch” aka Lincoln’s Elf on the Shelf has been perched in the same spot on the mantle since last Thursday, nor that Mama forgot to pre-purchase tickets for the sold out Santa Express train experience this weekend and we had to settle for riding cramped trains with metal cages at the mall instead.
Who needs clever elves and hot cocoa on an actual train when there’s Fruit Christmas Trees to build and eat?!
Seriously – if you are tapped out on sugar and Christmas cookies, enter these final few weeks of the holidays on a fresh and healthy note by building a Fruit Christmas Tree with your kids, friends, or yourself then serve during Christmas Eve cocktail hour, leave it out for Santa, or let it star as a healthy holiday dessert table centerpiece.
Moms, if you’re searching for things your kids can do while on break from school over the next couple of weeks, say hello to at least an hours worth of activity between picking out, prepping, and popping fresh fruit onto toothpicks stuck in a fresh pineapple and pear base. Of course it could go a lot quicker than that – I assembled my Fruit Christmas Tree from start to finish in about 30 minutes – but this project is one you can stretch out and feel great about letting little ones devour the finished product.
While Lincoln didn’t get in on the assembly action this year, I have no doubt we will make this Fruit Christmas Tree together for many, many years to come as a tradition I can feel really good about. As far as this year, time’s a-tickin’ so snag some fresh fruit and get to work creating this fabulous fresh Fruit Christmas Tree!
Start with a ripe pineapple. The best way to tell if a pineapple is ripe is to pull out one of the fronds on top – if you can pluck it out easily, it’s ripe!
Slice the top and bottom off, then cut a small slice off the top.
Insert a star cookie cutter into the thin slice, which will become the tree topper. If you don’t have a star cookie cutter – no problem, just use what you’ve got!
Set the star aside then slice a little off the sides of the pineapple to create a cone shape. Eat the trimmings. :)
Next take a bamboo skewer and push it through the center of the pineapple. This is why having a ripe pineapple is important. If it’s underripe it’ll be hard to get the skewer pushed through the core. Next, spike a slightly underripe pear onto the skewer leaving the end uncovered – that’s what you’ll stick the star onto at the end!
Tree trimming time! You could use whatever fruit you love or have on hand, but I used an assortment including clementines (always have these in the house around this time of year!) kiwis with the skin left on so they don’t slide off the tree, strawberries, blackberries, and red and green grapes. Raspberries, blueberries, or chopped cantaloupe would work great too!
Start placing toothpicks into the “tree” at a slight angle then add the fruit, breaking the toothpicks if necessary. I found it best to place the bigger fruits first – strawberries, orange slices, kiwis, etc. – then fill in the gaps with small fruit like grapes and blackberries.
Keep going until the tree is completely filled up – have FUN with it!!
Stick the star topper on the skewer, then serve. Talk about merry and bright!
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Fruit Christmas Tree
Start a new holiday tradition with a beautiful and fresh Fruit Christmas Tree! Perfect for parties, a dessert table centerpiece, or a healthy treat for Santa.
- 1 ripe pineapple
- 1 pear (a little underripe works best)
- 2 clementines, peeled and segments separated
- 3 kiwi, ends trimmed then chopped into sixths with skin left on
- 8oz strawberries, stems removed
- 6oz blackberries
- 1-1/2 cups red grapes
- 1-1/2 cups green grapes
- 1 bamboo skewer
- Slice top and bottom off pineapple then cut a thin slice from the top. Press a star-shaped cookie cutter into the center of the thin slice then set star aside. Slice a little off the sides of the pineapple at an angle to create a cone shape. Push the bamboo skewer through the center, then skewer the pear on top, leaving the top of the skewer uncovered (you'll skewer the star on top at the end.)
- Place pineapple onto a serving tray then insert toothpicks around pineapple and pear at a slight angle, breaking a little off if necessary, then add fruit. I found it easier to place most of the bigger fruit first then fill in with the smaller fruit like grapes. Add the pineapple star to the top of the skewer then serve.
- You can make the Fruit Christmas Tree several hours ahead of time but keep covered with Glad Press 'n' Seal or Saran Wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Use whatever fruit you like - blueberries and/or raspberries would also be fine to use!
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Big or little, young (just maybe not too young!) or old, this edible Fruit Christmas Tree is going to knock everyone’s socks off. Healthy and so, so beautiful. Hope you start a new tradition this year – enjoy!