Remember my brunch menu from a few weeks ago?

Here’s the recipe for the fruit salad!

winter fruit salad

I am normally not a fan of fruit salad. I find it annoying to make and typically unsatisfying to eat. I always feel obliged to put some on my plate, so as not to feel too “walk of shame” as I head back to my seat with my dish overflowing with doughnuts, pancakes and bacon. But the fruit is either slimy or under ripe (or sometimes both) and is rarely worth the space I made for it.

That said, the RIGHT fruit salad is really the perfect counterpart to any brunch menu. Be it eggs, french toast, bacon or the usual pastry suspects, a clean refreshing fruit salad can be a lovely accompaniment.

winter fruit salad

Well I am here to tell you that this fruit salad is just that. Smitten Kitchen has done it again and I will ALWAYS make this salad to serve with a winter breakfast or brunch. The flavors are clean and not-too-sweet, it’s lovely to look at and really delicious. And best of all it can be done in advance – the night before, even.


Winter Fruit Salad
from Smitten Kitchen

3/4 c. sugar (150 g.)
3 star anise
1/2 a fresh vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
8 dried  apricots, halved
4 dried figs, quartered
4 2-inch long pieces lemon zest, peeled with a vegetable peeler
Juice from the same lemon
3 Bosc pears
1 Granny Smith apple
Seeds from half a pomegranate

Fill a medium saucepan with 4 c. water. Add the sugar, star anise, vanilla bean and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, and cook until all the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool for 5 minutes and then stir in the figs and apricots. Let it cool completely.

Meanwhile, core the pears and apple (and peel if you like). Slice thinly lengthwise, place in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.

Once the syrup with dried fruit has cooled, pour it over the apples and pears. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill it overnight in the refrigerator.

The next morning, using a slotted spoon, ladle the fruit into a serving bowl, sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and serve. Remove the vanilla beans (you can rinse and save what is left of them for another use) and lemon peels if you wish, or leave them in for decoration.

Note: Syrup can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a day or two. Hot syrup can be poured over the dried fruit and kept in the fridge for a day or so. Prepared salad keeps in the fridge for a day or two, but is best fresh.

(print this recipe)

This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver


  1. Hotly Spiced on January 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Yes, there are fruit salads and then there are fruit salads. I grew up with the nasty ones that had banana, granny smith apples and oranges in them – dead boring. Yours however, is very refreshing and interesting looking.

    • sheri silver on January 24, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Agreed – I think you will love this – so easy to make and always impresses!