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Fruits with mint and rose

Serves 6

This is scented, but you can change the scent. Use orange flower water instead of rose, or basil or lemon thyme instead of mint (leave out the flower water if using the different herbs). And of course use whatever fruits are in season and available. They just all have to be ripe and in perfect condition. Try to cut the fruit irregularly. A bowl of chunks looks, well, just like a bowl of chunks…


Ingredients

For the syrup:

  • 175 (6oz) granulated sugar
  • 2 broad strips of lime zest, plus the juice of 2 limes
  • leaves from a small bunch of mint, plus small sprigs of mint to serve (optional)
  • 2 tsp rose water, or to taste

For the fruits:

  • 1 large orange or 1 pink grapefruit
  • ½ small pineapple, carefully peeled, core and ‘eyes’ removed, cut into small pieces
  • ½ just-ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into irregular pieces
  • ½ small Charentais or Ogen melon, skinned and deseeded, cut into cubes or small slices
  • 12 lychees, peeled and carefully pitted (or you can use drained canned fruit)
  • little rose petals, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. To make the syrup, put the sugar in a pan, pour in 450ml (16fl oz) of water and add the lime zest. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring from time to time to help the sugar dissolve. Boil for four minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and mint leaves and leave to cool. Once it’s cold, add the rose water a little at a time, they vary in strength and you don’t want this too scented. Strain out the mint leaves.
  2. Cut a slice off the bottom and top of the citrus fruit so it has a flat base on which to sit. Using a very sharp knife, cut off the peel and pith, working around the fruit and cutting it away in broad strips from top to bottom. Working over a bowl, slip a sharp fine-bladed knife in between the membrane on either side of each segment and ease it out. (If you don’t want to do this, just slice the citrus fruits into rounds, but don’t make them too thick and use a sharp knife. Flick out all the seeds you see.)
  3. Put all the fruit into a large bowl – or individual bowls – and add enough syrup to coat it. (You don’t want to drown it.) Chill before serving with sprigs of mint or rose petals, if you like.

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