{RECIPE} Carnarvon Fruit Mess

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… I’ve started to think about what might be on the menu for Christmas lunch this year. I’ll be cooking… Chef has the day off, but I’m letting him put his feet up, as he has a very hectic festive season this year. Last night he got home at 1am after a massive function, and it’s not even December yet!

A little bored of my usual pav or trifle, I’ve been looking for some fresh ideas for dessert.  The Carnarvon Fruit Mess “the ultimate summer dessert” by Chef Russell Blaikie (Head Chef/Owner of Highgate’s MUST Winebar) fits the bill perfectly. Produce, fresh from the Gascoyne region of WA, is served up in Russell’s fruity dish using seasonal Carnarvon produce.


 Chef Russell Blaikie  Pic: Gascoyne Food Council


Whether you recreate this fruity n festive dessert, have a colourful fruit salad, or fruit on a cheese platter, you can put the best of local produce delivered straight from Carnarvon on your shopping list this Christmas… Sweet and juicy grapes, divine mangos, delicious paw paw, refreshing melons and creamy bananas are all going to be reddily available throughout the summer. Plus the regions top quality rangelands beef, goat and incredible seafood including prawns, crabs and fish.

Russell has been travelling to the Gascoyne region for over 5 decades and is always blown away by the quality of produce.

“Fruit and vegetables grown in Carnarvon have a unique sun-drenched flavour and sweet ripeness. The growers along the banks of the Gascoyne River are fanatically committed to producing high quality, beautifully flavoured fruit and veg.” said Russell.

RECIPE: Carnarvon Fruit Mess

Serves 6 people


 Pic: Gascoyne Food Council



1 wedge Carnarvon watermelon, cut 6 thin slices, and cut the rest into large dice or ball with melon baller

½ Carnarvon rockmelon, cut into large dice or into balls with a melon baller
½ Carnarvon honeydew melon cut into large dice or into balls with a melon baller
½ ripe Carnarvon pawpaw, cut into slices
500 grams ripe bananas, peeled, diced and frozen

Lime-Gin syrup

Juice and julienne zest of three limes
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup water
60 ml gin

Passionfruit Jelly

The pulp of three passionfruit
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup water
5 titan gelatine leaves

Mango Custard

The flesh from Carnarvon mangoes, pureed
3 egg yolks
50 grams sugar
10 grams cornflour

Chantilly Cream

300ml whipping cream
50 grams sugar
Some small meringues for garnish




Pic: Gascoyne Food Council


Lime-Gin Syrup Bring a small saucepan of water to boil, drop in julienne zest and cook 20 seconds, remove and chill in iced water. Drain and reserve.
Bring sugar, lime juice and water to boil, remove from heat and cool. When room temperature, add gin and cooked zest, reserve in refrigerator

Passionfruit Jelly Bloom gelatine leaves in cold water until they become soft.
Place passionfruit pulp, sugar and water in small saucepan and bring to boil.
Strain through fine strainer to remove seeds, then place about ¼ seeds back into the liquid. Return to stove and bring to simmer again. Squeeze excess water from gelatine leaves and add to liquid, simmer until dissolved and pour into thin layer 3-4MM thick onto a plate. Cool in refrigerator.

Mango Custard Heat mango puree in a small saucepan to simmer, meanwhile whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together.
Pour mango puree over egg mix, whisking to combine, place back in small saucepan and cook over low heat until set (approx. 85C if you have a thermometer). Strain, cool and reserve.

Chantilly Cream Beat cream with sugar to soft peaks, reserve in refrigerator

Banana Ice-cream Place the bananas into the bowel of food processor, blitz to a creamy consistency, reserve in freezer.

To put it all together:

Place Chantilly cream into large bowl, add a generous amount of meringues into the bowl (reserve some for garnish) and add several generous scoops banana ice cream. Place a large dob of the cream onto the plate, garnish with the entire range of fruits, pipe mango custard around the plate, drizzle with lime syrup and drape with pieces of the passionfruit jelly.


 Pic: Gascoyne Food Council


Gascoyne Food Council’s Competition

In order to celebrate the start of the season, Perth residents can go in the draw to win a fantastic hamper valued at $500. The hamper will be filled with fresh Gascoyne produce and lots of other festive goodies to help feed a crowd. To enter go to Gascoyne Food’s facebook page between the 1st and 8th of December.

Want more local inspiration? Watch Channel 9’s Delish show, airing on Saturday December 2, at 7pm. It will be focused on the Gascoyne region and it’s amazing produce. 

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