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Timing on prep for decorative fruit

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

One of the parties I'm catering this holiday season is going to end up squeezing me on time. I've organized the menu so to alleviate this issue as a result but I think I'm going to struggle with some of the decorative fruit I like to do on platters or for the table. 


Apples, Pears and Oranges will probably be the extent. Apples and pears begin to look like crap after a few hours even with the citrus spraydown so I'm considering them to be out of the question unless anyone has any tips on that.


I'm wondering how oranges will hold up if I prep them in advance though. The platter in mind is a roast butterflied duck that I serve sliced through the breast on a bed of orange slices that I've channeled before slicing. Then I take some pithless peels and roll some roses out of them. Out of the peeled orange I use the supreme which I know will hold up fine, but if I do this a day in advance, how will the pith and rinds hold up with refrigeration?


Admittedly I have 2 weeks before this party so I can just try all this stuff tonight, but I thought I'd put this up for conversation and see what some of you guys do.


This particular "time squeezed" party will get me a lot of future business if I impress so I'm trying to put my best foot forward.

post #2 of 3

Hey Volpe!

The channeled orange slices - lay them out and put parchment between the layer -and on the top final layer too. Then wrap tight with saran. By doing it this way - the oranges won't stick together nor dry out. They will still look sexy if you do them the day before.

The orange roses should hold up nicely too if you keep them shoulder to shoulder in your insert and mist them with a loose simple syrup and cover tightly with saran again- add that extra touch and toss some seasonal flavor n the simple syrup like star anise and cloves or a flavor component that you are using with your duck -like rosemary or what ever other fresh herb you're using. Just to give that extra dimension of smell. I find misting lightly with simple syrup opposed to water actually keeps them fresh looking for next day service -water is absorbed by the peels too quickly and your garnish starts to dry out next day. Test it out first though - you don't want to leave it to chance and every bodies fridge condition vary with moisture content.


As far as Apples and Pears go -if you have access to a slicer - you could always slice them out super thin and dry them -they add a lovely festive flare and matched up with fresh cranberries - a nice pop of color to your festive theme -all flavor profiles that compliment the duck nicely and the season.


You said it though -always test your executions out before the big day -Lord knows we can all stand to remember that!!

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the tip Dustee. I'm going to try that this weekend.


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