Mirrored from The OEconomist. You can comment there or here.
More on the “recording stuff I cook and eat, even if it’s not that exciting” theme.
I often make stewed fruit, but I haven’t written about it here, yet, I don’t think. I sometimes joke that I have “childhood fruit trauma”, which means that although I like fruit, I don’t much like eating it if it’s been sitting around in a fruit bowl or in the fridge for a while. I have to either eat fruit as soon as I buy it, or cook it into something. So, this is the simplest way I cook fruit for daily use. I buy whatever’s cheap and good at the market, a kilo or two at a time, and stew it in a minimalist sort of way. The results then get spooned over my breakfast muesli, eaten as dessert with a dollop of yoghurt, or used in other dishes (for instance, in baked goods).
When I stew fruit, I don’t add any sugar, so it’s important to use fruit that’s reasonably ripe and sweet. It can have a bit of bite to it, but if you wouldn’t eat it raw without sweetening, this is not the stewed fruit recipe for you. (In other words, don’t try this with rhubarb!)
The recipe is extremely simple:
- Prepare your fruit in whatever way you want. For apples, I peel then dice them. For small stone fruit like apricots or plums, I simply wash them and halve them, taking out the pits. For peaches, I slice them.
- Put them in a pan, preferably a heavy-bottomed one, with a drizzle of water. Seriously, just a little drizzle is all you need.
- Optionally, add some spices. For apples I usually add cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Most stone fruits I leave unspiced, though combinations like peach and ginger, or plums with cardamom, can be nice.
- Cover them and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally and carefully so as not to break up the fruit any more than you intend to, until soft. The drizzle of water you added should be just enough to stop the fruit sticking to the pan until the fruit heats up enough to let out some of its own juices. So mostly you’re just cooking the fruit in its own juice.
That’s it. I usually put aside a bowl full in the fridge for my breakfasts, and freeze the rest in little containers. I’m hoping, this summer, to start preserving them using the hot water canning method, so I can keep them in the pantry rather than taking up freezer space.