Sunday, February 6, 2011

playing with fruit

those of you who have tried our recipes, dessert recipes in particular, will know that i love to use fruit purees in place of eggs. the sticky toffee, the granddady and inspiration for this substitution, uses pureed dates, the choc fudge, pureed prunes, our take on black forest, pureed cherries and on this menu, pureed pear. the playing with pears dessert has been a big hit, so this is the recipe.

for the cake you will need 200g self-raising flour, 150 g caster sugar, i tsp bicarbonate of soda. mix these together in a bowl, sift if you like. i added some almonds, 50g or so and a little almond extract as well but you don't have to.

the wet mix is pealed and cored pears, let's say four small to medium and a little water. place this in the microwave and heat for a couple of minutes. blend this mix and you need about 450-500ml of hot puree. mix in 100 ml of veg oil and then pout over the dry mix. you need to work quick because the bicarb will start to react straight away, so get the oven up to 160C and have a cake tin ready (it's easier if you use the teflon type things). bake for a minimum of 30 minutes and then check to see if it's springy.

pear and lime sorbet: this was the last addition, 25ml of lime juice, 150g caster sugar and a little water. place this in the microwave and heat to dissolve the sugar. add three pealed and cored pears and puree. i add a little xantham gum now, probably about an eighth of a tsp and puree this in. cool and than place into an ice cream maker and you'll have a sorbet in 30 minutes.

pear and ginger jelly: three pears, some water and one sachet of vegegel. you need about 500ml of liquid here. puree pears with a teaspoon of crystallised ginger and the vegegel. heat in a microwave until boiling, taking care to take the mix out and stir every minute. place in a tray and allow to set.

poached pears: peal and core the pear, cutting the end so that it will stand up. make a sugar syrup from sugar and water and add whatever spices you want; star anise, cinnamon, vanilla ....depending on how ripe the pears, poach until tender.

we plate a little of the cake, a pear, a scoop of sorbet and some jelly, and add a little toffee sauce for good measure.

hope you enjoy this because it is a recipe that can be, and will be, adapted for many fruits.