Growing up back home, birthdays and holidays wouldn’t be complete without my mom’s delicious desserts. Of course, there would always be store-bought birthday cakes — moist yellow cakes frosted with chocolate, sometimes, mocha buttercream and studded with colorful sugar flower sculptures, but it was my mom’s homemade sweet treats that I excitedly looked forward to year after year as a kid. My mom’s an excellent cook but she was never into baking and so she made up for it by indulging us with sweets that she lovingly made like powdered milk candies wrapped in delicate Japanese paper, deep-fried bananas with caramelized sugar threaded in bamboo sticks, ube jam, and leche flan.

One of my childhood favorites didn’t need any cooking at all. I remember so many birthdays and Christmases spent enjoying bowl after bowl of my mom’s creamy fruit salad — a wonderful hodgepodge of canned fruit cocktail, thick strands of fresh young coconut, and chewy cubes of sweet nata de coco dressed with cream and condensed milk. We didn’t have access to fresh peaches and pears and so my mom used canned fruit cocktail. She would drain the thick, heavy syrup, which I obligingly drank, and would mix the peaches, pears, maraschino cherries, and nata de coco with freshly shredded young coconut she bought from the farmers’ market. She would add table cream and sweet condensed milk, mix everything together, and chill before serving. It was delicious.

Creme Fraiche Fruit Salad

To celebrate Jun-Blog’s first birthday, I made my mom’s fruit salad but using fresh, local, and organic fruits. Again, one of the many things I love about living in the Bay Area is the access to amazing fresh produce. Peaches, nectarines, and pluots. Bing cherries, and blueberries. And instead of using table cream and condensed milk, I made my own crème fraiche, which is seriously so simple and easy to make at home. I whipped my homemade crème fraiche with a little sugar and mixed it with my summer fruits. It was amazing. I loved the delightful hints of sweetness, sourness, and nuttiness in the crème fraiche. It was simply delicious.

Click here to get the crème fraiche recipe from the great Julia Child in her Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1.


Cherries, Nectarines, and Peaches

Crème Fraiche Recipe,
Recipe by Julia Child from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1

1 teaspoon buttermilk
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Stir the buttermilk into the cream and heat to lukewarm, without going over 85 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a loosely covered container and let it stand in a warm, draft-free place, like inside an oven, until it has thickened. The temperature should not go over 85 degrees but not go under 60 degrees F. On a hot day, this will take up to 8 hours. Otherwise, this will take a day to a day and a half to thicken. It is ready when it is thick, with the consistency of thick cream.

Stir, cover, and chill the cream in the fridge before serving. Crème fraiche will keep up to 10 days in the fridge.

Summer Fruit Salad Recipe

Peaches, nectarines, pluots, cherries and blueberries
1 cup crème fraiche

Wash the summer fruits thoroughly. Remove the pits from the Bing cherries and cut them in half. Cut the peaches, nectarines, and pluots in small pieces.

In the bowl of a standard mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the crème fraiche with one to two tablespoons of sugar. In a large bowl, mix the summer fruits with the whipped crème fraiche or place alternating layers of fruits and crème fraiche in short glasses or bowls.

Fruit Salad with Creme Fraiche

  • tracy @ladyleet

    yum jun! that is happiness in a cup right there! :) always love your photog too. ;)

  • Jun Belen

    Thank you for the tweets, Tracy! I missed you in brunch last weekend. I’ll definitely be there next time!

  • Tess (Out of the Ktichen)

    Gorgeous photos! And a great simple receipe to boot!

  • Jun Belen

    Thank you, Tess! It was my first time to make creme fraiche and was surprised at how simple and easy it was to make.

  • Liren

    To think creme fraiche can be so simple! I love this inspired and fresh take on the Philippine fruit salad I grew up on. For me, it was all about the kaong. And I also always called dibs on the canned peach juice! So good!

  • Jun Belen

    Oh I forgot about kaong. A Filipino fruit salad wouldn’t be complete without those!! Thanks, Liren.

  • Jean

    You know what, I typed a comment to this post earlier today and I must not have hit “submit”. Oops. I had to say how beautiful the fruits were here, especially the blueberries, one of my favorites.

    I grew up eating our fruit salad, too. I guess we all ate the cans of fruit cocktail! :-) I’ve made a cream topping for fruit salad before but I’ve forgotten until now. Yours sounds even simpler than the recipe I followed then.

    These days I chop up a bunch of different fruits: pineapple, grapes, apples, blueberries and store them in the fridge. My husband and I eat them all week. It works great for a lazy girl like me. :-)

    Okay, I don’t know what kaong is. I’ll have to look it up.

  • shetha

    Wonderful!!! I made this back when I was on my nutmeg oatmeal scone kick. They’re made w/ buttermilk so this fit right in :-) At that time, strawberries were in season. But this depth of summertime bounty is always my fave… I use my old empty washed and boiled Bonne Maman jars to create my creme fraiche. They are just the perfect size!

  • katie o.

    it really is that simple? well now i have no excuse.

  • Trissa

    Philippine fruit salad is absolutely fantastic – I remember looking forward to them during the Christmas holidays… this one surely tops it though – your version looks yummier – you can actually see the fruit rather than in being drenched in all that condensed milk.

  • foodhoe

    I used to love the syrup in canned fruit salad too! Your mom made some wonderful sounding treats, the combination of coconut and sweetened condensed milk makes me swoon… this post brings to mind good memories. Photos are beautiful too.

  • deeba

    Excellent…this is just brilliant and very much up my street! Pity that we are staring at then end of the stone fruit season here!

  • Jun Belen

    Yes, Katie, it’s that simple. You totally have no excuse!!

    Thanks to all of you lovely ladies for your kind comments. Hope you all have a great weekend!!


  • Pam @ Kitchen Cookware Set


    Healthy and beautiful looking! Even kids and adults all can eat it alike. For company, I suppose we can place it on nice dressy wine glasses. Thanks for beautiful and simple dessert idea.

  • Xai

    ahhhmazing! i remember those days when i would try to fight over the few cherries inside the fruit cocktail can. goodness, those were the days.. and drinking the syrup… classic! for some reason though i lost the wanting to do that since i got here to the states. lol. :) love the photos!!!

  • Pepy @Indonesia Eats

    It does have a very summery look!

  • sheryl@crispywaffle

    Whoa, this looks off the hook. And it’s so simple! Great photo too.

  • Jun Belen

    Thank you, Sheryl!

  • xandra

    What a lovely tropical fruit salad! It makes me want to be in summer

  • Belindaamywhite

    Can i use the photo for this recipie in my ICT work?
    We are required to ask for permission before we use the images
    and i do not intend to use the image as my own
    it is for educational purposes only.


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