Tuesday, 22 February 2011

I have a problem with stone fruit

I buy too much of it.

The Bloke doesn't eat any stone fruit, except for dried apricots. And yes, I can easily get through a couple of kilos of cherries in a week all by myself when they're in season. But right now the markets are packed with plums and nectarines and peaches and plumcots and I wander around thinking "I'll just get half a dozen of these" and "ooh, those look nice, how about I just buy four" and somehow I come home with far too much for me to eat in a week. Especially if I've bought huge punnets of blackberries, strawberries and blueberries as well.

And I have another problem with stone fruit. These days most of them are sold rock hard. Even the peaches from the growers market are too firm to be edible immediately. Stone fruit don't really ripen off the tree, no extra sweetness develops, but they will soften. Pop them in the fruit bowl for two or three days, watch like a hawk, and eat them when they are just softened enough. But if you leave them for even 12 hours longer, they start getting a bit wrinkly and too soft to be nice. And if you then put them in the fridge and leave them for a few more days, some will go off entirely, and some will get a bit squishy in spots.

Here's what I did to salvage the old fruit when I got back from Goulburn.

Recipe: White Peaches in Blood Plum sauce

3 white peaches or nectarines
4 blood plums
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon rose water
2 tablespoons water

Wash the fruit well.
Chop the plums small, removing stones and any nasty dead bits.
Chuck them in a saucepan with the sugar, rosewater and the water.
Bring to a simmer.
Cut the peaches in large pieces - halves, or quarters.
Add them to the plums, and let simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly, then remove peach pieces.
Slip off the peach skins.
Mash the plum sauce, or if you feel energetic, sieve or puree it.
Return the peach pieces, mix well, and chill.

This was a really great outcome - the rose with the blood plum and hint of vanilla is a very good combination. It's obviously adaptable to other fruits; this is just what was in the fridge, but I think I lucked out here. The aromatic white peach holds up well against the sauce, and matches with the rose.

Peach skins are easy to slip off when the fruit is cooked. If you prefer, you can skin them like tomatoes, by standing then in a bowl of boiling water for a minute or two.

Eat these for breakfast - cold with Greek yoghurt and granola, or warm on porridge, depending on what the weather is doing.


Shari said...

Yum - this is a great idea. Phillip's parents often come home with WAY too much fruit for us to get through in the week and I am so sad when I see it going in the bin! We also have a fig tree in our backyard which is soon to be extremely fruitful, so I'll take any fig recipes you've got!

Shari from www.goodfoodweek.blogspot.com

Karin said...

Stone fruit keeps coming at me from all angles too ;-)

My secret? I wash and halve the fruit as soon as I receive it, then microwave (no added sugar or water) for a few minutes, and freeze in lots of smallish containers. Each portion then becomes a handy "piece of fruit" to pack for work lunches.

BJ said...

Don't forget to add LOTS of pears from my tree to your over-resourced fruit bowl! I'm told they're very aromatic this year. Best eating? - my father, a pear-lover, likes them stewed with clove and a little raw sugar. I dare say you (like me) have about 12 different types of sugar in your pantry, but I think the slightly caramel flavour of raw sugar goes well with these milder-flavoured fruits. Apples too. Happy pearing!