Recently in fruit Category
Some recipes, you see it for the first time and you know you have to try it out. This was the case with this 101 cookbooks recipe for sparkling cranberries.
Time consuming, but extremely simple. Macerate fresh cranberries in simple syrup (same volume sugar and water as the cranberries) overnight, which for me turned into a few days in the fridge cos I didn’t have time. Drain the cranberries and toss in caster sugar, let dry on a baking sheet overnight, toss again in granulated sugar. Mine didn’t turn out as picture perfect as Heidi’s, but I’m happy. They are delicious, with the sharpness of the berries contrasting with the sweetness of the sugar. And very, very Christmasy.
The first time I came across quince paste was in Australia, and I’ve been lucky enough to have had quince paste in my fridge for many years. I had to throw them away when I moved. Which was why I was so ecstatic to see fresh quinces at the store last week.
Quince the fruit looks like a pear, which was a surprise to me. I’d never googled it, for some reason in my little brain I thought it’d look like kumquats for no good reason other than the ‘q’ factor. Heehee.
This time I did google, and learned that in its raw state the fruit is inedible. Mostly it’s cooked and made into a paste or jelly. In Spain it’s called membrillo and is eaten with manchego, a hard cheese made from sheep’s millk — to the extent that it seems to be the national snack.
This quince paste recipe is straightforward but time consuming:
- peel, core and chop 6 quince fruits (about 4-5 pounds)
- cover with water and simmer for 1-1.5hrs until tender
- strain water away, blitz until smooth
- return to pan and cook for 2hrs until thick — took me longer than that
- dry in low oven (100°C is the lowest mine goes) for 12hrs — again, took me longer than that, and it never really solidified like the commercially bought ones I used to have
Oh, so worth it, so delicious. And I went especially to the new french market to get the manchego cheese. Then I spread the paste over like jam. The manchego is nice, it had a rosemary crust and a mild taste. I’m thinking I can substitute comté or gruyère to pair with the quince.
8oz plain flour
1lb cooking apples
(above pic is double)
Rub butter and flour together until breadcrumb stage, add sugar. This can be made in advance.
Peel, core and cut apples into slices and arrange at the bottom of an oven dish, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon to taste.
Add crumble mixture on top of apple.
Bake at 180°C for 30mins until golden.
Serve with lots of custard or vanilla ice cream.
Alternatives to apple: add blackberries or blueberries in which case splash some balsamic vinegar for flavour.
Note for my American readers: sorry, I have no idea how weight translates to cups. Basically the ratio is 4:2:1 for flour vs butter vs sugar. 180°C is 350°F.
pineapple pear dragon fruit pomegranate passion fruit nata de coco - described (rather unappetisingly) as a chewy, translucent, jelly-like food product produced by the bacterial fermentation of coconut water
Dragon fruit is otherwise known as pitaya. It looks red and cactus-like on the outside, and is white with black seeds on the inside. It tastes a little like prickly pear or kiwi, personally I don’t find it has a lot of taste on its own but it seems to absorb other flavours well in a fruit salad.
The history and mythology of Eton Mess is quite well known. This is a quick recipe and is always popular. I don’t like whipped cream so I use mascarpone instead. The trick is not to make the mess too early otherwise the meringue will melt. I also use ready-made meringue — I’d use my own if I have time, but I won’t put the recipe here.
Mix broken meringue pieces with strawberries, raspberries or other berries
Whisk mascarpone, milk and icing sugar until smooth
Spoon mess over fruit and fold gently
Decorate with strawberries