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How to Make a Beautiful Hawaiian Fruit Platter - Great for Potlucks & Parties

(Hawaiian Fruit Platter Photo by Bechand - All rights reserved)

(Hawaiian Fruit Platter Photo by Bechand - All rights reserved)

EASY and INEXPENSIVE Way to Arrange an Impressive Fruit Platter

Trying to think about what to bring for a potluck, picnic or party? Throwing a Hawaiian Themed Party or Luau?

This is healthy fresh fruit, in an attractive display - that is fairly inexpensive, but effective. It is very easy to put together, and is guaranteed to impress. Your friends and family will be complimenting this one!

CHEAP - EASY - IMPRESSIVE! This platter is exactly what you want for a party or potluck. It works great on a buffet or as an appetizer plate.

This platter goes great at any party - it does not need to Hawaiian themed. I have brought this to many potlucks at work and church. Everyone loves it!

What Do I need to buy and what do I do to make this fruit display?

Where do I start?

There are 2 shopping lists below :

Shopping list #1 is a MUST HAVE for this display.

Shopping list #2 is a list of SUGGESTED FILLERS to fill in the sections between the pineapple. The fruits you use in the sections between the pineapple and cherries can vary depending on season, taste, and budget. These sections of the platter are referred to as the "filler" sections.

Suggested combos are also below in another section to help give you ideas of what to mix and match. There are also tips for how to prepare the various fruits as well as how to assemble the tray.

There are most likely way more info here than you need, but this page makes this tray dummy proof.

Good luck and enjoy!

Shopping List - Part 1 - The items you NEED to purchase.

These are the MUST HAVE's for this fruit display. You will want to get all of these, plus a few from the "shopping list - part 2" but those are a bit more flexible.

  • 1 Fresh Pineapple
  • 2 Kiwi Fruits
  • 2 Jars Maraschino Cherries
  • 1 pack (or at least 50) toothpicks
  • a selection of 2-3 items from Shopping List #2

Shopping List - Part 2

Pick 2-3 of these

YOU DO NOT NEED EVERYTHING ON THIS LIST!! - Pick only 2 or 3 fruits

You will have a nicely full fruit platter if you get everything in shopping list #1 and pick a few from this list to fill in. TIP: look for contrasting colors and shapes (see below for suggested combos).

  • 5 Oranges
  • 1/3-1/2 lb Seedless Grapes (any color)
  • 1 Cantaloupe
  • 1 Honeydew Melon
  • 1/2 - 1 cup Blueberries
  • 1 cup - 1 pt Strawberries
  • 3 Sliced Bananas (regular size)
  • 4 Sliced Apples - with skin on (for color)
  • 1 Small Watermelon
  • 1 bunch Mini Bananas
  • 1 Star Fruit
  • Any other fruits you want to add it. Look and see what is in season or on sale.

PHASE 1: Pineapple Preparation

This is the part that sets this platter apart from others.

This looks a bit complicated but it is VERY EASY! Simply follow the steps below. It is really NOT COMPLICATED - I just wrote a lot to give give you as much help as possible. If you are handy at all in the kitchen, you can likely breeze through this. Click the images to enlarge them.

THE PINEAPPLE :

Shop - clearly the center of attention for this display! You want to pick a well shaped one - especially one with a nice looking stem.

Scroll to Continue

1. CUT THE TOP OFF THE PINEAPPLE ABOUT 1 INCH BELOW THE STEM.

Be sure that your cut is straight. (You can make that initial cut 1.5 inches if you are afraid that your cut wont be straight to allow for more room to adjust if needed.)
I find that a bread knife is the best to use for this.

What kind of knife should I use to cut the pineapple?

You will want to use a good bread knife - again, something you should have anyway. You could try a different type of knife, but it will probably take a bit more effort than a bread knife.

If you don't have one, you should treat yourself - here are a few inexpensive options:

All rights reserved

All rights reserved

hawaiian-fruit

2. SET THE TOP IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR PLATTER WITH THE STEM AIMING UPWARD

SET THE TOP IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR PLATTER WITH THE STEM AIMING UPWARD and check straightness. If it does not sit straight up, trim the bottom so it is flat and the stem stands straight. Leave the stem in the middle of platter.

hawaiian-fruit

3. LOCATE THE MIDDLE OF THE PINEAPPLE CORE.

Before cutting, note the circle that runs through the middle of the pineapple -this is the core. It tends to be more firm than other sections of the pineapple and less desirable to eat. It will ultimately need to be removed, but it is easiest to do after the pineapple is cut into sections. Mark the middle of the core with a dot for reference with a knife or other tool.

hawaiian-fruit

4. PLAN OUT YOUR CUTS

You will be cutting from the center of the core (marked above) outward into 5 pieces. You may want to score it with lines to ensure you get even pieces. Using a knife, mark 5 lines going out from the center at as evenly spaced as possible. (After you do this a couple times, you likely can eyeball it.)

hawaiian-fruit
hawaiian-fruit

5. CUT PINEAPPLE INTO 5 EVEN SECTIONS

It's okay if it's not perfect, but aim for 5 even sections. If you marked the lines, follow them as much as possible. You may need to lay the pineapple on it's side to do the cutting. Be sure to use a sharp enough knife to cut pineapple, but KEEP CONTROL ENOUGH TO STOP AT THE CENTER. Since you are making 5 sections, you don't want to cut it straight through. (If you mess up and cut it in half, you can adjust to make either 4 or 6 sections instead of 5. It won't look , but it doesn't usually look quite as good, and is more difficult to put together with 6 sections. You may opt for just 4 sections if that happens ... for ease with assembly. Again the look is not quite as nice as 5, but tends to be better than 6.)

hawaiian-fruit
hawaiian-fruit

6. REMOVE THE CORE

Take each section and slice a small amount (about 1/4 inch) off the pointed part of the cut. Remember how big that core was when looking down from the top. The new sections have 1/5 of that core at it's point. Take your sharp knife, and glide down the point to remove the core and discard. The sections should now have a flat top and the rind still on the bottom.

hawaiian-fruit
hawaiian-fruit

7. REMOVE PINEAPPLE FROM RIND

Lay down one section of pineapple on a cutting board. Start your cutting at the bottom end (what used to be the bottom of the pineapple). Cut downward just below the rind where fruit starts, and go down following the fruit. Turning as the pineapple turns, so that you are simply separating the fruit from the rind. The aim is for the fruit to remain in one piece and the rind to also remain in one piece. I often go down one side and up the other so that I encircle the full section, this way I get one piece. Repeat this for each of the 5 sections, storing the fruit directly on the rind as you cut it. Simply separate the rind from fruit, but do not remove it. The rind will now serve as a display for the fruit, and keeping it on the rind will keep the shape and looking good.

hawaiian-fruit
hawaiian-fruit

8. CUT PINEAPPLE INTO THE BITE SIZED PIECES

I suggest keeping the fruit on top of the rind during cutting, as it is difficult to put it back together if you remove from the rind (but can be done, just makes for a bit of puzzle putting together ...) Cutting into the bite sized pieces is done fairly simply with one slice down the middle of the section of fruit along the flat section that was formed during the removal of the core. Cut down the fruit, but not through the rind. Now turn the pineapple so that you are cutting in the opposite direction from that cut to form the bite sized pieces. Cut these sideways cuts 4 times down each section - totaling 10 pieces of pineapple per section once this cutting is done.

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PHASE 2 - The Cherries

This tops off the showpiece.

After you've done the initial Pineapple Preparation, it's time to add the cherries. You will need at least 50 good ones, so I suggest getting two jars. You may have a little waste but one jar usually doesn't have 50 and certainly not 50 good ones.

hawaiian-fruit

1. OPEN JAR OF PINEAPPLE AND DRAIN LIQUID

Open jar, place 2 fingers over cherries and turn over to dump liquid out leaving cherries in jar. You may want to save half a jar of liquid in case you have leftover cherries for storage, but you likely wont need all the liquid.

hawaiian-fruit

2. DUMP CHERRIES OUT OF JAR ONTO DISH

You can do one jar at a time so you have less to deal with on the dish. When they are on the dish, you can see them and work with them easier than directly out of the jar.

INSERT TOOTHPICK INTO CHERRY. Use just the good looking ones.

hawaiian-fruit

3. ATTACH TOOTHPICK TO PINEAPPLE CHUNK

Place cherry on top of one of the pineapple bite sized pieces (still sitting atop the rind), and push the toothpick through to hold it on. Use two hands - one to stabilize the cherry in desired location, and the other to push in the toothpick, making sure to leave enough toothpick out for guests to hold and lift the pineapple and cherry.

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4. REPEAT ATTACHING CHERRIES

Repeat attaching the cherries until every pineapple chunk has one. There should be 5 in a row on either side of pineapple section, totaling 10 per pineapple section and 50 at completion of platter. Take the effort to align the toothpick cherries straight as possible, so it looks neat and tidy. (Go for same angle on the toothpick, and same l

Prepare the rest of your fruits - Fruit Prep Step #3 - TIPS! (on each suggested fruit) - Read before shopping or chopping

You're going to need two or three of these fruits. Keep it simple. Here is some info for shopping for the fruit, as well as how to prepare it for this platter.

  • ORANGES :

    Shop - less expensive for the bulk, they take up a bit of room, look very nice, and get more bang for the buck

    Chop - Cut into wedges. I usually cut in half, then half again, and then each of those parts into 2 or 3 sections. (Oranges go great with grapes. I place oranges in filler sections before the grapes.)

  • SEEDLESS GRAPES :

    Shop - Any color, pick a color that is not overused in other fruits on the platter

    Chop - Clip them into small clusters of 4-6 in a bunch, so people can get a few easily and they don't roll around.

  • CANTALOUPE :

    Shop - Fairly inexpensive but full on platter. One goes a long way. Nice orange color - works great with the Honeydew melon. I would not use Cantaloupe and Oranges due to similar color - go for color variety.

    Chop - Be sure to cut into similarly size and shaped pieces if you can. Usually just regularly cubed cantaloupe (approx 1 - 1.5 inch squares) works great in this platter.

  • HONEYDEW MELON:

    Shop - Another good filler. Nice Green color (would go well with cantaloupe - avoid using with other green fruits)

    Chop - Cut in uniform pieces if possible for the best presentation. Usually served in cubes about 1 inch in size.

  • WATERMELON :

    Shop - one of those smaller watermelons (cantaloupe sized) works great for cutting and fitting on platter, and usually provides less leftover fruit - but you can also use just part of a full size one you might already have or save the rest for another occasion.

    Chop - I usually suggest cutting into cubes such as with the other melons. The as with cantaloupe, the rinds are nice accent in other platters, but with all the pineapple cherry stuff in this one, the color and texture from rinds are not needed, and are actually overkill.

  • BLUEBERRIES :

    Shop - you don't need many, but if going for a multi-colored fruit platter, it does give a different color. I would use sparingly though due to the round shape as they compete with the cherries. Would also avoid choosing these if using grapes for same reason - simply too many circles. Blueberries may be nice with the Cantaloupe and Honeydew melons for a darker contrast color and to break up all those melon squares, but may not be needed if using accent fruit like kiwi or star fruit.

  • STAR FRUIT:

    Shop - they are more expensive than other fruits, and less familiar, so people likely won't eat as much - unless they're a curious bunch, but they do make for a nice display. One should be plenty for nearly any platter.

    Chop - Cut thin to get the most bang for your buck

  • BANANAS - REGULAR SIZE:

    Shop - These can add another inexpensive bulk fruit, but are less colorful, so don't go overboard here. They do break up a punch of color though if using bold colors like those offered by many berries. Would be nice option with strawberry and blueberry mixture.

    Shop - I suggest chunking these by slicing them into one inch chunks. I suggest doing this last minute to avoid browning.

    Another alternative to these are the mini-bananas - see below - Both are usually liked by guests.

  • MINI BANANAS:

    Shop - Get a nice looking bunch of mini bananas - the little ones - they are usually right near the regular ones in your grocery store. Make sure they will be ripe on the day of presentation - they ripen in same time as regular ones.

    Chop - These are served together in bunch for accent - and usually take up nearly one full section on platter (with just a few pieces of whatever fills the other 4 sections)

  • STRAWBERRIES:

    Shop - I would get only one box of them. Look for nicely shaped ones, not too big. Decide if using for bulk as a main fruit or more sparingly as an accent. I prefer these as an accent due to the unique shape as well as its red color - as so much red is in the cherries, you don't want to compete with the cherries.

    Chop - Usually served cleaned but whole, can also be sliced in half and displayed with flat side down to make them go farther.

  • APPLES:

    Shop - Green or Red can be effective. Can get both and mix if you want. Yellow ones usually are also too pale with the pineapple - Get nicely colored apples.

    Chop - I suggest washing but leaving the peels on for color ! They look too pale without the peels. Cut them into 8 slices per apple, and be sure to remove the core and seeds.

  • ANY OTHER FRUITS:

    Shop - see what is on sale, what you might already have, what other fruits you love, what is in season etc...

    Chop - prepare as you would for any other fruit platter - I usually suggest leaving peels on for added color, texture and effect.

Accent Fruits - The LAST step fruit prep - #4 - Add these at the end to trim your platter

These are pretty fruits that add a beautiful look to your platter. Sometimes more expensive, they can all be used in small amounts as a little goes a long way.

These should be added LAST to the platter! (So they don't get covered with any other fruits!)

You only need to pick 1 or 2 of these. You don't want to have too much going on.

  • KIWI - Some people leave the skin on these and just slice. I prefer peeling them and slicing them so that the guest does not have to complete the preparation at the table. These are pretty and are best displayed if the last thing put onto the platter. I consider these an accent fruit.

    Shop - you can add more if you like, but 2 is usually enough - they really do make a difference in the presentation, so I wouldn't leave out even if you get only one.

    Chop - cut in rounds thick enough to not be floppy. Skin on or off - your choice.

  • STAR FRUIT - Similar to Kiwi, these should be cut thin, but do not peel. It is nearly impossible to peel these things. The skin keeps their shape. They are beautiful, yet less colorful, so choose only if you have plenty of other color.
  • BLUEBERRIES - These can just be scattered across the tops of the filler sections. Again, a few go a long way with presentation.
  • MINI BANANAS - If adding these to a platter - I suggest leaving them in a bunch, and placing them in one section in the front for display. I would not separate, as they do not have the visual appeal separately. I will often place a kiwi at the top of the bunch (see photo at the top of this page)
  • STRAWBERRIES - Usually served cleaned but whole, can also be sliced in half and displayed with flat side down to make them go farther. Can be used sparingly as an accent, but can also be used in bulk as a main fruit (I prefer as an accent due to the red color - as so much red is in the cherries, you don't want to compete with the cherries.)

What Size Platter does this fit? - How big is this fruit platter?

Ideally, you want a platter that is approx.14 inches round.

This is the size that I use, and it ALWAYS fills perfectly with the size of the pineapple center and slices. I have done it on 12 inch and 16 inch, and it does work, but it does not end up quite as perfect. So, if you are going for perfection - go for 14" round. Why not, if your going to the effort to make a nice platter, why not make it perfect.

TIP - I usually cover it with tin foil, so it really doesn't matter what it looks like, but when I have a pretty platter, I leave it off. If your platter is "busy" patterned, I would suggest using the foil ... if it is plain color or clear, you can leave it off.

hawaiian-fruit

Assemble The Tray

The Fun Part!

Thse are the manual assembly directions, to be completed after fruit is prepared.

  1. Place the Pineapple stem in the center of the Tray.
  2. Place the 5 pineapple sections (with cherries attached and sitting on the rinds) on the tray. The bottom edges (what used to be the bottom of the pineapple) in towards the stem.
  3. Arrange your assorted fruits (the bulk fruits for the filler sections) - should be 2 or 3 varieties - in the sections in between the pineapple/cherry/rind sections. (see tips section and suggested combo section for ideas and specifics) -- TIP -Use one section for the mini-bananas with only a few of the other fruits if using mini-bananas-see pic at top of this page.
  4. Add accents to top the filler sections - sparingly for nice effect.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and chill until serving time. ENJOY !!!

(Photo by bechand)

Subsititutions

If you don't like maraschino cherries - you can substitute for purple/red grapes. The green ones could also be used, but they against the yellow pineapple, they're not as vibrant. Be sure that any grapes you are using don't have seeds - you don't want them to have to spit out seeds at the party.

If you do opt to change out the cherries for grapes, you may want to add some strawberries for the red color that packs a punch in this platter.

I personally, like the cherries - and they taste great with the pineapples - but I do realize that some people do not like the sweetened fruit.

hawaiian-fruit

TIP: TOOTHPICKS!

You are going to want to bring the rest of the box of toothpicks and have them accessible for guests - If not, the middle fruit will not go as fast as the pineapple.

Also, if you bring a dip the toothpicks are handy for guests to use when dipping.

Photo by Gerwin Sturm

Holiday Season!

This is a beautiful fruit platter to display at a Thanksgiving Gathering, or at a Holiday Celebration.

People are often asked to bring something, or want to bring something to a holiday event, why not bring this impressive fruit platter?

Thanksgiving Fruit Platter

Christmas Fruit Platter

Looking for fruit or food for any of these holiday gatherings?

Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), Winter Solstice, Hanukkah,Christmas, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, Eid-ul-Fitr (end of Ramadan)

Do You Think You Would Ever Make This Fruit Platter?

Other Great Hawaiian Fruit Platter Ideas

Here are some other ideas for Hawaiian fruit platters to make your luau a smash:

Hawiian Fruit Dips

Some people like to serve a dip with fruit platters - these are 2 similar dips that goes well for Hawaiian Fruit !

Both start with different base dip, and then you add the Hawaiian elements.

  • Serve in a bowl next to fruit platter, topped with a little fruit in the middle for a nice presentation - (A slice of Kiwi and a couple grapes look nice, but anything from the platter, cut small would do fine, placed in the center on top of dip)

Dip #1 - Begin With : - (easy - manual mix - no machine needed...)

Follow these initial steps to make a thinner dip base, then use the common steps below used for both dips

  • In a large bowl :

    -Wisk 1 1/4 cup of MILK with a box of VANILLA INSTANT PUDDING (regular size box 3-4 oz) till nearly pudding like consistency.

    -Then add in 1/2 cup of SOUR CREAM and mix well.

Dip #2 - Begin With : - (Needs Food Processor)

Follow these initial steps to make the thicker dip - as well as the common steps below used for both dips

  • In a Food Processor, mix all 3 until smooth :

    - 1 8-oz package of CREAM CHEESE (can use reduced fat as desired)

    - 8-oz of Plain Yogurt (can be low fat or fat free)

    - 1/2 cup of Splenda (can use real sugar, but it is really not needed)

Both Dips (#1 and #2) Continue With : - Common Steps to be used for BOTH dips

Continue with these steps after following one of the above sets of initial steps to complete one of the dips!

This list is used to finish out either of the dips.

  • Stir in 1 8-oz can of CRUSHED PINEAPPLE liquid and all
  • Stir in 1/3 cup of SHREDDED COCONUT (may be omitted, but it does make it more Hawaiian like to have the coconut!)
  • OPTIONAL : Can add a little of any of your other fruits from platter as well - puree before adding.
  • OPTIONAL : Can add a little red food coloring or some of that left over Cherry Liquid to make a nice pink color if desired, but white also looks nice with the colorful fruit platter. - THIS IS A WAY TO USE SOME OF THAT LEFT OVER CHERRY LIQUID ! - WILL GIVE THE PINK COLOR, AND A LITTLE TASTE TOO ! - YUM !
  • Refrigerate (covered) to chill before serving - (the dip with the pudding mix may require up to an hour to have it set up well.)
  • Serve in a bowl next to fruit platter, topped with a little fruit in the middle for a nice presentation - (A slice of Kiwi and a couple grapes look nice, but anything from the platter, cut small would do fine, placed in the center on top of dip)

Did you make it ?

If you make one and are proud - do share a pic with me at BECHAND@aol.com. I can add it here so everyone can see YOUR handy work !

Hawaiian Party Games

  • Hawaiian Games
    A great selection of games for Kids or Adults - for Hawaiian Parties.

Guestbook

CaztyBon on May 23, 2013:

I love your Hawaiian Fruit Platter. Your lens is very informative and creative.

Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on April 13, 2013:

This sounds like a good idea. I love fruit platters at all my parties.

teamnana on March 22, 2013:

I will try this for a party! Thanks for all the details and creativity!

JeffGilbert on March 07, 2013:

Wow, this is really a great idea for fruit platter. A great lens!!

norma-holt on January 05, 2013:

Beautiful and detailed ideas here. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2013 (wait for publication). Hugs

maryseena on December 06, 2012:

awesome! Hawaiian meals just got better.

Birdlady LM on October 25, 2012:

What a wonderful lens. I love all of the attention to detail and the photos and step by steps are amazing. I also love Hawaii and tropical fruit. Great lens!

Heidi Vincent from GRENADA on September 30, 2012:

I squid-liked this lens on a previous occasion. I returned to BLESS it today!

K Bechand (author) from NY on September 24, 2012:

@Heidi Vincent: That is the one that I made, and the one the page gives directions for - the others were just shown as other choices - glad you liked it - give it a try sometime.

Heidi Vincent from GRENADA on September 19, 2012:

Great fruit platters. The one in the intro is especially lovely.

anonymous on September 02, 2012:

Wow really looks amazing!!

Great lens

K Bechand (author) from NY on August 25, 2012:

@anonymous: It is way easy - easier than it looks, and looks impressive when going to a party or potluck ...

anonymous on August 22, 2012:

This platter looks amazing. I wish I had read it earlier because I am going to a birthday party tonight and this would be perfect. I will definitely do this in the future!

jenjenjenga on August 13, 2012:

awesome!!!!!!!

anonymous on August 05, 2012:

Love your instructions on how to make a Hawaiian Fruit Platter!

wedpittsburgh lm on July 26, 2012:

What a great lens!

beckyf on July 26, 2012:

Excellent page! We go to a lot of church potlucks, and this is great inspiration for a different twist on the usual fruit platters.

Bill from Gold Coast, Australia on July 26, 2012:

mmmm, you are making me hungry. You have done an awesome job in putting this page together. Well done, I especially love all the photos throughout the steps.

Moe Wood from Eastern Ontario on July 26, 2012:

I had to "pin" this because I know there will come a time in the future when I will need to make this platter. Excellent how to!

henrygdance on July 26, 2012:

i like i t

henrygdance on July 26, 2012:

i like i t

CristianStan on July 22, 2012:

God fruit is so good isn't it? I dream of being able to visit Hawaii and taste all these amazing fruits in a smoothie!