Warm Tropical Fruit Salad Bruleé


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I’d completely forgotten about this delicious warm fruit salad, but I’m forever grateful to whatever synapse fired and reminded me, so I could a) make it; b) photograph it, and c) eat it!

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I can’t accurately date it, but a recipe further on in my old recipe notebook is dated 1993, so let’s just say it’s over 30 years old! Vintage then – just like me! :)

If you’ve been looking for that ‘special’ dessert, one that is easy-peasy, and can be made in advance, then you may just have found it, and may I introduce you two?

This is going on my Christmas entertaining rotation this year. And like a lot of things, it’s not just for Christmas either!

Please see NOTES at the bottom for serving suggestions, and other stuff..


  • A large heat-proof and grill-proof serving dish – Pyrex is ideal.
  • Chopping board and sharp knife
  • Zester, and juicer
  • Jug for whipping cream
  • bowl for muscovado sugar
  • A heat-proof tray, if you’re using individual bowls
  • A domestic grill or a gas cooking blowtorch (I’m too nervous for one of those!)

INGREDIENTS: This will feed about 8 for dessert, or 4 with second helpings!

  • 1 large pineapple, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 large ripe Mango, cut into chunks See NOTE 1    Tropical Fruit Salad (16)
  • 2 large, thick-skinned oranges, peeled and segmented with no pith See NOTE 2
  • 1 large or two small bananas, cut into thick diagonal slices
  • zest and juice of 2 Limes
  • A good glug of Rum – optional

Then later on/when ready to serve:

  • 250-3050mls whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 80-100g light Muscovado sugar, broken up (it’s always a bit sticky)


  • Put all the prepared fruit into a bowl – I tend to use the dish I’m going to serve it in, but whatever suits you at the time.
  • Add the zest and juice of the limes.

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  • Stir in the rum, make sure everything is coated.
  • Cover and chill until needed. You can do this a day or two before serving. The lime juice will protect the bananas.

TO SERVE: About 1-2 hours before serving:

  • Remove fruit salad from fridge, give it a good stir,  and decant it into your serving dish/bowl(s)
  • Put the grill on ‘high’. Set a rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
  • Whip the cream
  • Break up any lumps in the sugar
  • Gently spoon the cream over the fruit, covering it completely – don’t be too precious about this, it’s going to spread anyway.


  • Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the cream.


  • Place the dish under the grill, about 6inches/15cms from the heat source.
  • Stand there and watch it for 4-5 minutes.. I don’t need to put this in capital letters do I? 😉
Yes, I had to turn my head at this angle to see it!

Yes, I had to turn my head at this angle to see it!

  • As soon as the sugar starts to go a deeper shade, you can remove it. It never takes more than 5 minutes, but burnt sugar is not a pleasant thing, so do keep a close eye on it!


  • Using oven gloves or a thick tea towel, carefully remove the dish from the grill, and put it – uncovered – somewhere out of harm’s way until you’re ready to serve. The sugar will stay crisp for about 40 minutes to an hour, but even if dinner runs over time, and the sugar softens, it will still have given the cream a lovely caramel flavour. I like this salad at room temperature, so only put it back in the fridge if you feel you must.
  • Serve up and enjoy the compliments coming your way..

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  1. Preparing the fruit. Please remember, especially when you’re busy, that you do not have to do all the prep yourself – you can buy packs of fresh mango and pineapple chunks all ready-prepared in the supermarkets. It’s a bit more expensive, but if time is an issue, just go for it!
  2. Preparing the oranges: Use large, thick-skinned oranges and a sharp knife. Cut of the top and bottom. Put the orange on its flat base, and cut off the peel, as close to the fruit as possible. Then, holding the orange over the bowl to catch the juice,  lift the orange, and cut directly into the wall of one segment. Remove the pith, and ease the segment out of its place, pop it onto the bowl, and continue until all the fruit segments are removed and you’re left with just the pithy bits. Give those a good squeeze to extract the last of the juice.

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  1. Serving dishes: The original recipe suggested individual bowls, but I worried about putting my fine china bowls under the grill, so I just make this in the Pyrex dish you see in the pictures. Any fairly shallow dish will do nicely. I have a 2inch/6cms deep Pyrex quiche dish which would also be perfect for this recipe.
  2. If you are using individual bowls, for safety’s sake, put them all on a heat-proof tray before putting them under the grill.

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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