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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Grand Marnier Fruit Bowl

This is a spectacular company dessert or fruit salad! Although it doesn’t use much Grand Marnier, the flavor permeates all the fruit, tasting like “more.” I can truly say that this is one of my most beloved dessert recipes. My friend Heather gave me the recipe 32 years ago, when I was a mere child.
Grand Marnier Fruit Bowl:
4 navel oranges (see Note)
1 c. each cantaloupe, honey dew, watermelon balls
2 c. whole or halved strawberries (see Further Note)
1 c. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. finely grated orange peel
½ c. orange juice
¼ c. Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
Peel and section navel oranges, removing all white membrane. Combine with melon balls. Rinse, blot dry, and core strawberries. Keep berries whole if small or medium size; halve if large. Cover and refrigerate; do not add to oranges and melon balls. 
In small saucepan, combine sugar, orange peel, and orange juice, bringing to a boil. Boil 3 min. Remove from heat, cooling very slowly. Add ¼ c. Grand Marnier to fully cooled orange solution. Pour over oranges and melon balls, marinating 5-to-6 hours before serving (I stir fruit with a rice paddle, so fruit wont bruise). Stir in strawberries 1 hr. before serving this glorious dessert in your prettiest bowl. Yields 6 servings.
Note: The annoyance of this, Dollinks! When I saw that four navel oranges would cost me $3.75, I told the cashier to forget it! Too costly for me! Instead, I bought four large oranges at half the price. Each seemed heavy for its size: I assumed the weight meant plenty of juice, but I was in for a surprise. Not only was the skin of each orange exceptionally thick (as the photo below shows), but the sections were dry and irregularly patterned. Lesson learned: Sometimes, the more expensive product is the better buy.

Further Note: Marinating strawberries any longer than an hour will turn them pink and mushy. I’ve successfully tripled this recipe for a large party. If you do that, I recommend you serve it in a punch bowl.

Finely grate 2 tbsp. zest before peeling and sectioning oranges.

Remove skin and all white membranes; section oranges.
Measure orange liqueur: 1/4 c. is enough!

Carve a cup of balls for each type of melon.
Seed a ripe, juicy cantaloupe before making melon balls.
Carve melon balls from a fragrant, juicy honeydew. 


The addition of orange juice, zest, and liqueur elevates this 
refreshing summer dessert or salad to new heights! 

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