Christmas is, for me, a time of indulgence. I gorge myself on cookies and candies and appetizers and heavy meals. It is one of the special treats of the season, and motivation for a New Year’s resolution. I have been known to serve Christmas breakfast buffets featuring cheese grits, cheese and sausage casserole, bacon, ham, biscuits and all manner of desserts. It’s not how we eat during the year. It’s a special occasion. But it is nice to have some refreshing fruit on the table. But tough to find good fruit in the heart of winter. I love a rich baked fruit casserole, I find this simple bowl of festive fruit really refreshing and a great complement to all the richness of the other dishes.
Bright red apples and juicy green pears get a dusting of mint sugar. This looks absolutely beautiful in a pretty glass or crystal dish, garnished with a few sprigs of mint. It’s also a great way to use some of the pears from that box that so frequently arrives during the holiday.
Christmas fruit salad
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 red apples
2 green pears
2 cups pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 inch piece of vanilla bean
1. Put the lemon juice in a large bowl and add water to fill it half way. This is called acidulated water and will keep the fruit from turning brown.
2. Cut the apple into chunks and add to the acidulated water. Cut the pear into chinks and add it to the water as well. Stir the fruit around as you add it to the water so every surface gets a dunk.
3. Drain the fruit and place in a large bowl. Rinse and drain the pomegranate seeds and add to the apples and pears.
4. Place the mint, sugar and vanilla bean in the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse until you have a fine, damp mixture like wet sand. Sprinkle the mint sugar over the fruit and toss to coat. Taste as you go; you may not need or want to use all the mint sugar.
5. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
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