Preparing Fruit

Even though there are so many different kinds of fruit, their preparation remains the same. First remove the inedible (or undesirable) parts. Then cut or slice what’s left into pieces that are relatively (but not obsessively) the same size.


Some fruit requires no more than pulling off a stem.

For other, sturdier fruits (like pineapple) you must cut off the top and bottom.
Be sure to stabilize round fruit on the cutting board and insert the knife securely before cutting.


Small cores are easiest to remove by cutting a cone around them.

With larger fruit it’s easier to peel and cut the fruit first, then remove the core from a smaller piece.
For medium cores, as in apples and pears, see Apple Pie.


For thin-skinned fruit like apples, pears, and mangoes, you can use a vegetable peeler and stroke either away from you or toward you, whichever feels more comfortable in your hands.

Another way is to trim, core, and quarter the fruit first, then hold the pieces in one hand and remove the peel with the other by pulling toward you with a paring knife.

Trim pineapple to stabilize it on the cutting board; then cut downward between the peel and the flesh, following the contours of the fruit. This technique works well for citrus and wedges of melon too.


For small stone fruit—like cherries and olives—it’s easiest to smash them first. (If you want to keep them intact, you’ve got to fish the pit out with a paring knife.)

With large stone fruit, slice around the equator, then wiggle the pit free. If it does not release easily, just cut slices downward into the flesh and pull them from the pit.

Melons are seeded like cucumbers and squash—with a spoon. (The exception is watermelon, where you have to poke and scrape with a fork.)

The only way to remove citrus seeds is to fish for them (and even then you won’t get them all, so don’t go crazy!).

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