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Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

Fruit Vinegar

Pear Vinegar (infused with chamomile) and Concord grape vinegar (infused with lemon thyme) 

When people think of vinegar, salad dressings and pickles usually spring to mind. Rarely does one think of fruit. But after staring wistfully at the couple hundred apple cores left from Thanksgiving pies, I researched fruit vinegars to use these fruit scraps that would otherwise be resigned to the trash heap. There are many ways to make vinegar but the simplest method is to ferment sugar into alcohol which is then oxidized into vinegar. Fruit, ripe with sugar, quickly ferments into alcohol so exposing it to air often spontaneously results in vinegar, much like wine that was forgotten about for decades or more. And like wine, fruit vinegars can preserve the aroma and flavor of fruit well past their harvest months. Peach, cherry, pear, raspberry, Concord grape, apple…any fruit is fair game for making vinegar.

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Pastry Trends 2016

Food trends are a funny phenomenon. While some trends seem spectacularly silly in retrospect (hello, bone broth and paleo diets!), other trends, like organic food, morph into staples of our culinary conversation and help us connect to the food world at large. Food trends can fundamentally change the way we eat. I couldn’t buy coconut and corn flour at the supermarket if gluten-free foods hadn’t been one of the top food trends of recent years. Unfortunately, food trends are not tied to taste.  I’ve suffered through the proliferation of overpriced, dry cupcakes and Cronut wannabes simply because they were well, trendy.

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Fruit Kimchi with Coconut Tapioca

Fruit Kimchi with Coconut Tapioca

Fruit seasons can be remarkably short and I am always looking for techniques to preserve fruit to use during the off-seasons. Earlier this year, I wrote about a burgeoning obsession with harnessing the power of fermentation in desserts because under ideal conditions, most foods naturally ferment and the results are digestible and delicious. So much of our most treasured foods wouldn’t be possible without bacterial fermentation—yogurt, sourdough, cheese, bread, and wine. Kimchi, the traditional Korean side dish of spicy, fermented vegetables, appealed to me as a method of fruit preservation because, unlike pickling, the vegetables are not cooked and their natural flavors and textures can be better preserved.

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Blueberry Sorbet Cream with Rhubarb and Honey Graham Crackers

Blueberry Sorbet Cream with Rhubarb and Honey Graham Crackers

I love sorbet but sometimes it just doesn’t satisfy. I want something richer, but not as rich as ice cream. This sorbet cream satisfied on all counts. It had a dense, creamy texture that reminded me of ice cream but finished with the refreshing, fruity flavor of a sorbet. There are already so many terms for frozen desserts—semifreddo, gelato, ice cream, sorbet, sherbet, parfait—that it seems superfluous to add another to the mix.

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Fruit Compression

Pardon my long absence, but I’ve been working on a cornbread recipe that is driving me down a dark and tortuously winding road. The cornbread’s flavor is perfect—barely sweet, corny, and buttery—but the texture leaves much to be desired. The bread is so moist that it’s almost gummy and sours in two days if left on the counter. So while I shelved this project out of sheer distaste for the volume of cornbread I’ve eaten during the last month, I’ve stumbled onto a new obsession: compressed fruit.

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