Mar 18, 2011
They're called fruttini, and they're a clever little dessert. The concept is easy, fruit pulp gets scooped out, made into sherbet or gelato, which then returns back in the empty fruit peel, in the form of delicious, chilled filling!
The one portrayed above is a typical citrus display of fruttini, but the seasonal selection is virtually boundless. I've seen fresh frozen and gelato-filled pears, strawberries, whole pineapples, melons, figs, grapes, apricots, bananas, papayas, a huge watermelon at a party, and then chestnuts, walnuts... and even fennel, radishes and onions!
The futtini-mania has picked up momentum over the years, and I'm sure they've become popular overseas too. There's an artisan gelateria, Matteo Napoli (fruttini's presumed inventor) that sells them online–but ships to Italy and Europe only.
There are plenty of sherbet recipes on the web, I found this one particularly easy, that's of course if you own an ice cream maker. I don't, so what I do for "homemade" fruttini is even better.
I purchase the best quality artisan gelato I can find in flavors corresponding to what fruits I have in the house. I then scoop out the pulp from my fresh fruits and use it for fruit salads or marmalades. All I have to do then is simply fill the emptied fruits with the purchased gelato. It's easier to do with fruits that have a thicker rind, and I'm not trying this trick with kiwi fruits ever again.
I store the self-assembled homemade fruttini in the freezer and take them out 10 minutes before serving.