Easy Steps to Make Shaved Ice with Real Fruit

Shaved ice is a snow cone’s lighter, fluffier, and softer cousin thanks to its ultra-thin snowflake-style shred. While you might think it requires fancy machinery to create the perfect texture, you can make professional-grade shaved ice at home with a simple two-step process.

In a series of viral videos on Instagram and TikTok, culinary influencer Frankie Gaw demonstrated how to make shaved ice with nothing more than whole fruit, a freezer, and a Microplane. Gaw throws fresh fruit in a freezer until it’s completely frozen, then runs the frozen fruit over a Microplane to create an all-natural frozen dessert that perfectly mimics the consistency of shaved ice.

This genius hack offers multiple benefits, starting with the preservation of perishable fruit. Not only are you getting the most out of seasonal harvests, but the fruit is a single-ingredient option that saves you energy and money. It also has natural sugar and flavors that substitute the flavored syrups traditionally used in shaved ice. Plus, since you’re using frozen fruit, you don’t need ice.

You don’t need any fancy or costly equipment like a blender, food processor, or ice machine. You can use any fruit that you have on hand and get as creative as you’d like with fruit pairings and whatever toppings you want to throw on.

Ideas and tips when using real fruit for shaved ice

Melon sorbet with fresh melon

Gaw uses frozen strawberries in one video and frozen oranges in another, shaving each fruit with a Microplane over a ceramic bowl and then adding other ingredients to create unique spins on classic desserts. For instance, the “orange creamsicle,” which he made by adding sweetened condensed milk.

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Building on this idea, you could make a classic mangonada by shaving frozen mango into a bowl and finishing it with a drizzle of chamoy. If a piña colada is more your style, you could shave frozen pineapple and young coconut and top it off with a dollop of coconut cream or sweetened shredded coconut. A PB&J-inspired shaved ice might utilize a base of frozen blueberries and bananas with a peanut butter drizzle or a sprinkle of crushed peanuts and sugar. You could even recreate the famous Tiger’s Blood syrup by shaving equal parts frozen watermelon, strawberry, and coconut.

Before you freeze the fruit you plan to use for shaved ice, you’ll need to peel and discard any inedible parts first, otherwise, you’ll have a difficult time trying to peel it retroactively. You can also buy packaged frozen fruit, which will save you prep time and allow you access to your favorite seasonal fruit, year-round. Plus, some frozen fruit is cheaper than its fresh counterparts. If you find your shaved ice melting too quickly, you could use the ice-cream bowl hack to maintain an icy consistency by serving it in a frozen bowl.

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