With perfect colors and shapes picked by Mother Nature, seasonal fruit makes the ultimate centerpiece for special occasions. Whether you create something small and simple, or opt for something more elaborate that spans the table, your guests will be drawn to your artful arrangement.
But, you want your guests to do more than simply admire your artistry. You want them to indulge in the fresh, seasonal bounty you've arranged. This is the secret to a truly memorable fruit centerpiece - they have to taste it!
"I'm very choosy about the fruit I use in my centerpieces," said Frog Hollow's Chef Becky Courchesne, who is known for creating incredible arrangements for her dining party tables. "The fruit needs to be perfectly ripe and ready to eat."
That's why Frog Hollow Farm is the best source for centerpiece ingredients - our fruit is more than just beautiful. In summer, our stone fruit is drip-down-your-chin juicy within a day or two of arriving at your doorstep. During the fall, our apples are crisp, delicious, and ready to eat. Our persimmons - which make gorgeous additions to any centerpiece - are crisp or creamy, depending on the variety you choose. And don't forget the winter harvest of pomegranates and citrus bursting with color and flavor.
Chef Becky creates memorable fruit centerpieces with Frog Hollow Farm's offerings throughout the year, and you can too! Get some ideas:
What is a Fruit Centerpiece?
You're an entertainer, or you're planning for a wedding or holiday gathering. At these events, you've primarily set up flowers or another decorative accent at the center of each table.
But, we say, why not give guests something to eat - and make your decorations more sustainable? A fruit centerpiece does both: The appearance dazzles the eyes, tantalizes the senses, and tides over guests until the main course - and, later, might even accent your dessert!
In creating the perfect fruit centerpiece:
- Realize that fruit can be used on its own - cut in various configurations or arranged based on color - or combined with other decorative accents, like candles or leaves.
- Think about size of fruit, as well as how you arrange and present your fruits.
- In terms of weddings, pick fruit that's in season and that highlights your theme.
- If you participate in a fresh fruit delivery program, start with what you have and play around with various arrangements and themes. We've provided some ideas below.
Creating a Fruit Centerpiece
Step 1: What's in season?
Frog Hollow Farm grows and harvests fruit nearly year-round. Take a look at our seasonal offerings and pick your favorites. Throwing a spring or summer soirée? Our early and late variety peaches, nectarines, plums and pluots make lovely and edible table accessories. Planning a fall feast? Our Warren Pears have made an appearance on Oprah's shopping list - we think you and your guests will love them, too!
Step 2: Select complementing crackers, nuts, and cheeses.
Half the fun of going to a party is trying new foods. Fruit, crackers, nuts, and cheeses give your guests a delicious range of flavors and textures to mix and mingle. Add our small batch Olive Oil Rosemary crackers for a savory crunch. Carmody cheese, handcrafted by Bellwether Farms in Petaluma, pairs nicely with fruit in any season. And, Old Dog Organic Toasted Walnuts are sweet, warm, and irresistible - they're also highly addictive, so have an extra bag on hand!
Step 3: Select a theme.
With four seasons and your endless creativity, you will never run out of ideas. We've compiled some fruit centerpiece ideas below.
Step 4: Arrange your fruit
Fruit centerpieces utilize multiple configurations based upon how guests will snack upon your offerings. Popular formations include:
- Tiered, using a multilayered tray
- In a bowl, vase, or basket
- Along the center of your table in a garland formation - ideal for larger groups or longer tables
Step 5: Complete the presentation
Flesh out your theme and align it with your décor. Make use of existing decorations - from candles to leaves - or use what you can find outdoors. Arrange all fruits and foods so that they're accessible and easily viewed by your guests.
As a note, when you're using natural materials to adorn your fruit, make sure they are non-toxic. Chef Becky favors fig, mulberry, and olive branches and leaves. Wash the leaves, branches, and fruit - you don't want dirt, dust, or insects making an entrance at your party. And, if you're serving peaches, gently brush off some of the fuzz with a soft cloth before serving. Some of our peach varieties are very fuzzy. Your guests will find it easier to eat a peach when some of the fuzz has been removed.
Fruit Centerpiece Ideas
Here are a few of Chef Becky'ss go-to themes:
For a recent summer picnic, Chef Becky time-traveled to the Renaissance and created a fruit centerpiece with a Shakespearean theme. She cut branches from fruit trees around the farm - she wanted her guests to harvest their own delicious treats right from the table.
"The trick is finding branches with fruit that has plenty of color, but is still green enough that it stays on the branch when you arrange it," she says.
She used natural accessories like wooden cutting boards and wedges for cheeses, nuts, and crackers. To add flavor and color, she placed fig leaves and mulberry leaves - both edible - under the cheeses. To pull the theme together and add color and depth, she arranged olive branches, sunflowers, and amaranth down the center of the table.
Old Dutch painting
Chef Beckyhas also recreated the rustic ambiance of an Old Dutch painting with her centerpieces. Using raised pedestals and platforms, she arranges ripe, seasonal fruit and grapes in cascading vignettes at the center of the table.
No time for themes? You can make an easy fruit centerpiece by arranging greenery down the center of your table and adding fresh, ripe fruit on top. Becky puts tea lights in canning jars to add some sparkle to these easy arrangements.
Fruit centerpieces are fun and creative ways to decorate for several types of special occasions. Just make sure you keep a stack of napkins nearby for all that juiciness!