Saturday, August 1, 2015

Five Ways To Use Seasonal Fruit

Whether you get your bounty from a tree in your own backyard or a deal at the farmer's market, here are a few ideas on how to utilize seasonal fruits. 
For us in Portland, Oregon, right now, it's nectarines, peaches and plums that are in season and I'm loving the deals.

Isn't it great that buying seasonal fruit means that you get the best prices on fruit that's at its peak both taste and nutrition wise? So stock up, freeze some and enjoy these delicious seasonal fruit treats.

Fruit Sauce: This is so easy to make and a good way to utilize a surplus of overripe fruit.

Pancakes topped with apricot sauce. All I did was mash up a cup of ripe apricots, add some sugar and simmer it over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Soft fruits like apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries and berries transform into a sauce so much faster than firmer fruits like apples.  It really takes no time at all and is so good.

Besides topping pancakes, enjoy the sauces as is or try them on waffles, toast, plain yogurt or ice cream.

Individual Fruit Tarts: Top rounds of pie dough with diced fruit, sprinkle with a sugar topping and bake.

A thyme and ginger scented nectarine tart made with white and yellow nectarines. Click here for the recipe.

The nectarine tarts before baking.

An individual Rosemary Apple Tart. Click here for the recipe.

Mini Pie Triangles: These are made using phyllo dough and come together really fast making them perfect for last minute entertaining.

These Mini Pie Triangles are filled with apples and topped with a bit of cinnamon sugar. Click here for the recipe.
A Mini Apple Pie Triangle in progress. The secret to making these neat and tidy is cooking and cooling your fruit filling first before filling the phyllo dough. This way,  the juices are thickened and contained and won't run all over the place.
Fruit Crumb Bars: Just about any fruit can be used to make these crowd pleasing and easy bar cookies.
A Rhubarb Berry Crumb Bar — Click here for the recipe.

The trick to making Fruit Crumb Bars easy to cut is to bake them in a pan lined with greased aluminum foil. That way you can lift the whole thing out of the pan after it's cooled and cut even-sized squares.
Cobbler: This is always a hit at my house and a breeze to assemble, bake and serve.
Use whatever fruit is in season to make a delicious cobbler. I like to make cobbler for parties because it's easy to serve. I put out a stack of bowls and a quart of good vanilla ice cream next to the cobbler and say "help yourselves." Guests love it! Click here for the recipe.

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