Hello Everyone! Today’s post is a special one as this is my 100th recipe on the blog! I wanted to make something special, for my 100th recipe post, but I wasn’t in the mood to bake a cake for it because I baked one just last week, and I will be baking one this coming Thursday ready for my Mom’s birthday on Friday!
Anyway, today’s recipe is a classic dish that you will find on every Filipino’s table during Noche Buena (the eve of Christmas) and/or Media Noche (New Year’s eve) feasting celebrations. ‘Fruit Salad’ is a general term referring to a dish that is typically composed of an assortment of fruits, fresh or canned. The Filipino version of the fruit salad consists of these fruits, condensed milk, and table cream, making the dish a rich and sweet dessert. I personally don’t like the use of canned fruits just because of the amount of preservatives in them. Anyway, there are plenty of fresh fruits that can be bought at the local markets – and Philippine mangoes are in season right now so why substitute that for canned fruit cocktail?! However, buying a can of fruit cocktail is definitely cheaper for the average Filipino.
Here’s what you’d get if you use canned fruit cocktail to make your fruit salad; not as vibrant as the one above right? Also, by using fresh fruits, you get to play around not only with the type of fruit but with the many colours as well, for example vibrant green kiwis or bright orange mandarins/papayas? Take your pick! Just don’t forget to include bright yellow mangoes and definitely those luscious red dragonfruits.
Now, I’ve had a look at a few recipes online and none that I have come across add cheese in their fruit salads. From what I know, or I guess what my mom has told me is that, since this would normally be a dish served during Christmas and New Year’s time, a fruit salad would not be complete without the addition of pieces of queso de bola. Queso de Bola (translated: “ball of cheese”) is just Edam cheese, traditionally sold in spheres with a pale yellow interior and a coat of red paraffin wax.
Other than fruits, fresh or canned, and cheese, palm seeds and nata de coco can also be added. I love nata de coco; I’d always fish these out from the serving bowl! Nata de Coco, for those of you who don’t know, is produced by the fermentation of coconut water. It is translucent and has a jelly-like and chewy texture.
- 3 young coconuts, flesh removed and shredded*
- 1 can (380ml) Nestlé cream
- 1 can (570g) palm seeds, with syrup
- 1 jar (340g) nata de coco, drained
- 1 red dragonfruit, cut into chunks
- 1 green apple, cut into chunks
- 1 red apple, cut into chunks
- 1 ripe Philippine mango, cut into chunks**
- 1/2 block (125g) cheddar cheese, diced
- 1/2 pineapple, cut into chunks
- 1/2 large pomegranate, peeled and deseeded
- 3 tbsp condensed milk
- Handful of small black and red grapes
*The best thing about using fresh young coconut is that you get to have a nice tall glass of fresh coconut juice! The best thing in the world especially if you’re living right on the equator and experiencing high 30s all year round!
**You can use any other kinds of mango i.e. Kensington Pride mangoes, but honestly, Philippine mangoes are simply the best!
- Combine all the fruits (except the dragonfruit), cheese, palm seeds with syrup, and nata de coco in a large serving bowl. If you add the dragonfruit in now and mix everything together, its colour will bleed into the cream and make everything pink!
- Add the condensed milk and cream and mix well, being careful though so that the fruits still remain intact and do not get crushed when mixing. Once everything is mixed, top with the dragonfruit chunks.
- Chill in the fridge/freezer for at least three hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
– Ally xx