1 small bunch fresh mint , leaves picked, stalks reserved
2 limes , zest and juice of
1 vanilla pod , scored lengthways, seeds scraped out, pod reserved
For the fruit
1 punnet ripe strawberries
2 handfuls cherries
2 punnets blackberries
1 small punnet redcurrants
2 ripe peaches
1 small cantaloupe melon
natural yoghurt , to serve, optional
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Make the syrup. Place the sugar and mint stalks in a small saucepan with 200ml water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat off, then add the lime zest and juice, vanilla pod and seeds. Mix it all together and place to one side to cool down. You want a lovely thick syrup, but remember it will thicken as it cools.
Wash the fruit gently in cold water and drain in a colander. Halve and stone the cherries and chop any larger berries in half, then spread them out on a wide, flat dish. Halve and stone the peaches and apricots, then cut them into nice wedges and put with the berries.
Halve the melon, scoop out the seeds and chuck them away. With the same spoon, over the dish of fruit, scoop out curls of melon until you reach the green skin. Pour half of the syrup over the fruit, cover and chill for a while, so it soaks up all that lovely flavour.
To serve, pick out the mint stalks, then sprinkle over the mint leaves. Serve with dollops of natural yoghurt if you like, and a little jug of your leftover syrup for drizzling over.