Fruit Mélange

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Four


Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About

This is a particularly good dessert to serve after a meal of several courses or a dinner with a heavy meat or casserole as the entrée. The variations on a fruit mélange are all but endless. The fruit mélange given here will serve four people and it may be varied according to season as the fruits come to market.

A fruit mélange should be served at the end of the meal.


  • 2 cups ripe berries or fruit (see note below)
  • 1 navel orange
  • 4 dried figs
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons spirits or liqueurs, such as rum, Kirsch, Cointreau, or Grand Mariner (optional)


  1. If the berries or fruit have stems or if they need picking over, empty them into a colander in the sink. Pick over the berries or fruit and rinse under cold water as necessary. Drain well but do not dry. Pour the berries or fruit into a mixing bowl.

  2. Peel the orange and pare away all the white skin. Carefully run the knife into the sections to cut them out. Add the sections to the berries or whatever.

  3. Cut the dried figs into very thin strips, discarding the stems. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and refrigerate until ready to serve. If the spirits or liqueurs are to be used, add them at the last minute. Toss the berries, figs, and spirits together gently before serving.