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By Steven Raichlen

"Flautas De Fruta" Fruit 'Flutes'

Yield: 4 servings

To crisp the flour tortilla tubes without deep-frying, roll and tie them around cannoli tubes (or French cornet molds) and bake them in the oven.

   Two 8-inch flour tortillas, cut in half
   1 Tablespoon melted butter
   ¼ cup sugar
   1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
   ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
   1½ cups diced fruits, including starfruit, mango, bananas and/or oranges
   1½ cups berries, including blueberries, raspberries and diced strawberries
   2 Tablespoons honey
   2 Tablespoons toasted walnuts, chopped
   Spray oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Warm the tortillas on a nonstick baking sheet until they're soft and pliable, 1 to 3 minutes. Brush each tortilla on both sides with melted butter. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and cloves in a bowl and stir to mix. Sprinkle one side of the tortillas with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Oil the cannoli tubes with spray oil. Roll half a tortilla around each cannoli tube (starting with the cut side of the tortilla, which should be positioned parallel to the tube) and tie it in place with a piece of string. For ease in unmolding the tortillas, have one end of the cannoli mold extend ½-inch beyond the edge of the tortilla. Sprinkle the outside of the tortilla tubes with the remaining sugar.

Arrange the tubes on the baking sheet and bake until the tortillas are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the resulting flutes to a cake rack. Remove the cannoli molds by gently twisting and pulling. Let the flutes cool to room temperature (they'll crisp as they cool), then cut and remove the strings. The recipe can be prepared several hours ahead to this stage. (Store the flutes in an airtight container to keep them crisp.)

Combine the diced fruits and berries in a mixing bowl and gently toss. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon-sugar mixture, or to taste.

To serve, stuff some of the fruit salad into the tortilla flutes, using a tiny spoon. Arrange the flutes on four plates or on a platter and spoon the remaining fruit salad over them. Drizzle the fruit and flutes with the honey and sprinkle with the walnuts. Garnish each with a sprig of fresh mint and serve at once.


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