Thursday, 8 March 2012

Good Fruit Gone Bad

Now that our family has downsized with two chicks flown the nest I am finding that I am over-shopping and end up with too many left overs.

What to do when the fruit in your crisper is past it's crispy, yummy stage but seems such a waste to throw out?  Bake with it that's what.


First there are these plums and peaches.  The plums are actually fine for eating but there were a few bad ones amongst them and because the teenager got a couple of those, that means that the rest won't get eaten now.  The peaches however are at the stage where the skin is a little wrinkled but the fruit inside is good so I decided to try making a 'Cherry Clafoutis' (pronounced cla-foo-tee) but substitute this fruit instead.

Past their good eating date
A Clafoutis is a traditional French country dessert.  Basically it is lightly stewed fruit baked in a cake like batter, so I think it will work just fine with my peaches and plums.

Fruit Clafoutis

Ingredients
400 - 500gms fresh fruit
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp butter

Method
In a food processor or blender prepare the batter mix by placing flour, salt, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, vanilla extract and milk into the bowl and processing until it is smooth.  Leave to rest while preparing the fruit.
Stove to oven pan is the easiest to use
Melt the butter in a frypan or oven proof skillet (I used the base of my stovetop Tagine).  Add the peeled and thickly sliced fruit.  Cook for 2 - 3 minutes until the fruit has softened a bit and then sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and turned to a syrup and then pour the batter over the fruit and bake in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes until the top is browned and the batter has puffed up around the fruit.  The eggs are what makes the batter rise so don't open the oven door while baking or it may collapse.

Fruit Clafoutis fresh from the oven
Serve with cream or ice cream, or cut into wedges and dust with some icing sugar and serve with tea or coffee.

Next I had four bananas which had been kept in the fridge and the skin has gone brown.  Now there is no way anyone around here is going to eat these, despite the fact that if you peel them they are perfectly fine inside. I love Banana and Walnut Loaf and these bananas are perfect for that.

Banana and Walnut Loaf
I made two loaves by doubling the recipe as I had to use up 4 bananas. I'll freeze one for another day.

Banana Walnut Loaf


Ingredients
100g butter
1/2 brown sugar
1 cup Self Raising flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Bi-carb Soda
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 large or 2 small ripe bananas
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup walnut pieces roughly chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 180C and line and grease a loaf tin
In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar.  Add all the other ingredients and stir until only just combined.  Spoon into loaf tin and bake for approx 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the loaf is brown on the top.

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