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Cascading Fruit Centerpiece

 Cascading Fruit Centerpiece
"It's exciting and fun to build this pretty centerpiece, which I have made for holidays, weddings and showers over the past 20 years," notes Ellen Brown of Aledo, Texas. "The ginger dip is wonderful, or you can fill the fruit cups with other favorite dips, flavored yogurt or whipped topping.
36 ServingsPrep: 3 hours

Ingredients

  • PINEAPPLE GINGER DIP:
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted
  • CENTERPIECE:
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 8 Styrofoam rounds (four 10 inches x 1 inch, four 6 inches x 1 inch)
  • 2 wooden dowels (one 8 inches x 1/4 inch, one 4-1/2 inches x 1/4 inch)
  • Floral metal greening pins
  • 3 to 5 pounds seedless green grapes
  • 3 to 5 pounds seedless red grapes
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • Silk flowers with leaves
  • 3 cups yogurt of your choice

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Cascading Fruit Centerpiece (continued)

Directions

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Stir in
  • coconut. Chill until serving.
  • Cut off pineapple top with a fourth of the pineapple attached; set
  • aside. For dip bowl, cut a third from bottom of pineapple; remove
  • fruit, leaving a 1/2-in. shell. Remove peel from center section of
  • pineapple; core and cut pineapple into chunks.
  • Cut the grapefruit, orange and lemon in half widthwise. Remove pulp
  • from one half of each; set aside. (Save the remaining grapefruit,
  • orange and lemon halves for another use.)
  • Stack two 10-in. Styrofoam rounds and two 6-in. rounds; cover each
  • stack with heavy-duty foil. Repeat with remaining rounds. On a
  • 19-in. x 15-in. platter, pile the stacks on top of each other,
  • staggering them and anchoring with dowels.
  • Place pineapple top on the top circle; position lemon, orange and
  • grapefruit cups on other circles. Place pineapple bowl on platter.
  • With greening pins, attach clusters of grapes onto circles. Randomly
  • add strawberries, pineapple chunks and more grapes to cover the foil
  • and platter. Decorate with silk flowers. Just before serving, fill
  • pineapple bowl with pineapple ginger dip. Fill lemon, orange and
  • grapefruit cups with yogurt. Yield: 1 fruit centerpiece.