Some of the fruit salads I had as a child put me off for many years. Over-sweet and with dull combinations of fruit, including the inevitable canned cherries, they gave no hint of how inspired a fruit salad can be. Think of the colour of the fruit and how the flavours will complement each other. I usually use syrup made from freshly strained orange juice sharpened with strained lemon juice and mixed with a dash of liqueur. Allow about 300ml (¼pint) syrup for about 1kg (2lb) fruit. Except when soaking fruits in wine or in liqueur beforehand, it is best to make up fruit salads only shortly before serving.
Wash and dry any firm fruit not being peeled. Prepare the fruit, by hulling berries and slicing or cutting larger fruit into chunks. Apples and pears discolour very quickly so it is best to leave their preparation until last.
Gently mix the pieces of fruit together in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice or liqueur, and caster sugar to taste if not adding syrup later. Cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm without touching any fruit and chill in the refrigerator.
Prepare the fresh orange juice syrup mixture and chill well. Shortly before serving, pour the chilled syrup over the fruit and gently toss to coat all the pieces of fruit thoroughly. Serve in a pretty glass bowl to show off all the fresh fruit colours.