A palm tree made from partially hollowed-out pineapples surrounded by luscious fruits makes a stunning display that your guests will remember. Cut up the fruit the evening before and store it in plastic bags, then arrange the fruit right before your guests arrive so it stays cold. Assembling the palm trees takes about 20 to 30 minutes and can be done where you plan to serve the fruit.
Place the plastic foam in the basket. Wrap the foam and the basket with a piece of floral wire as if you were wrapping a ribbon around a gift package. The wire secures the foam and tray together.
Cut off the top and bottom of one pineapple as straight as possible and discard these pieces. Put the remainder of the pineapple on the foam and trace the bottom of the pineapple with a felt-tip marker. Set the pineapple aside and push a wooden skewer, blunt-end down, three inches into the plastic foam one inch inside the outline you drew. Push the two remaining skewers inside the outline in a triangle formation so that each skewer is equidistant from each other.
Remove the core with the pineapple corer. Use the corer to remove two more "cores" of the fruit itself to make the fruit lighter so it won't tip over. Leave at least one inch of fruit next to the skin.
Slide the pineapple down onto the ends of the three skewers that you inserted into the foam in Step 2.
Push three skewers, pointed-ends down, five inches deep into the top end of the first pineapple. Arrange the skewers in a circle about an inch away from the sides. Snip off 1/2 inch of the protruding ends so they're pointed.
Cut the bottom and top off the second pineapple. Remove the core and two other cores of fruit. Push it onto the protruding ends of the skewers until it meets the cut top from the first pineapple.
Push three skewers, pointed-ends down, five inches deep into the top end of the second pineapple. Snip off 1/2 inch of the protruding ends so they're pointed. Cut the bottom off of the third pineapple. Core it three times. Slide it down the skewers.
Push the artificial palm fronds into the crown of the pineapple to resemble the top of a palm tree.
Cover the base of the plastic foam with kale leaves. Use toothpicks to hold the leaves in place and to fasten them around to cover the edges between the foam and the basket's edge.
Make a border of small fruits, such as lemons, limes and tangerines, around the edges of the plastic foam. Insert a toothpick into the bottom of the fruit and then into the foam. The border of fruits keeps the other fruits from rolling off the tray.
Arrange the fruit around the pineapple palm tree. Place a few larger whole pieces of fruit against the base of the palm tree.
Things You Will Need
- Plastic foam sheet, 3 inches thick
- Basket bigger than the plastic foam sheet
- Floral wire
- 3 pineapples
- Felt-tip marker
- 9 wooden skewers
- Pineapple corer
- Artificial palm fronds or fern
- If the palm tree is top heavy and wants to tip over, stabilize it. Lay a 12- to 16-ounch container of bottled water on its side at the opposite end of tray as a counterweight. Wire it by pushing a piece of floral wire over the bottle and through the foam and the basket. Twist the ends of the wires securely on the bottom side of the basket. Cover the bottle with a few kale leaves and drape grapes over it.
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