Wednesday, September 2, 2009

summer fruits

With the weekly fruit and veg box, I sometimes find that I have more of one type of produce than I would usually pick. This is a great problem to have, in general, because it causes me to be more creative. But sometimes I feel as though I am racing against the clock to use up all the wonderful fresh goodness before anything goes bad. It feels like a juggling act to use the fruits and veg in the right order, and also in coherent meals. Today I found myself with six plums that were starting to get a bit soft inside.

One perfect use for softer than average fruit is to stew it. Just put it in a pan with a bit of water and some honey or sugar (if you like) and cook gently for an hour. I have done this before in the slow cooker and cooked on low for two hours. Then use this as a topping for porridge, museli, or as a dessert with pouring cream, whipped cream or ice cream.

Another excellent use for soft fruit is to bake it into a cobbler, a crumble or a tart. I made a tart tonight with the plums. I made up a single pie crust (the quick and easy pie crust from The Joy of Cooking with a touch of sugar added) and then sliced the fruit inside. Then I just sprinkled with sugar and baked until the crust is cooked and the fruit was very soft.

This works well with so many fruits. I used plums tonight, but I think it would taste good with peaches, nectarines, apricots, red currents, black currents, rhubarb, apple, or any mixture of these. This could be a solution for the neglected fruit in your fruit bowl right now!

Quick and Easy Pie Crust

1 1/2 c flour
1 t salt or 1 T sugar
1/2 c shortening, at room temperature
3 T water

Mix flour and salt/sugar. Add the shortening and cut in with two knives or a pasty cutter. Use your fingers if necessary.
Add the water one tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together into a ball.
Roll out on a floured surface and press into the pie plate.

Fill with fruit and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 375 F/190 C for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden and the fruit is very soft.


Anonymous said...

Hey Sarah,

This is a great idea! I always find myself in the situation of softening fruit and vegetables, especially when I'm living alone, because I can't consume the produce as fast as several people.

I love the pie crust recipe because it's still healthy and there's not too much sugar that goes into it.

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