Fruit is great, it’s healthy, delicious, fat free, rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and beta-carotene, to name a few. Most fruit is portable and comes in easy to open packages. We are trending toward serving fresh fruit for dessert when entertaining, which is a good thing. But remember, when serving fresh fruit it must be of the highest quality, and be presented in an attractive and palatable manner. A bowl of fresh fruit on your table with a plate of cookies next to it won’t encourage your guests to partake. Slice your fruit up into user friendly pieces, peel it if necessary and serve it in dessert plates with dessert forks, and remember, this needs to be done just minutes before serving. You can even skewer them and serve with a whipped cream dip.
Tropical fruit such as paw paw can look mushy and unappetising unless it is firm and unblemished. Bananas are a no-no unless included in a fresh fruit salad. Apples tend to go brown quite quickly. Citrus fruits need to be segmented or pulped. Grapes need to be split into two and the seeds removed if in a salad or, they need to be seedless. You can also serve up fruit in delicious and healthy desserts. Cooking or poaching fruit, serving it up in fruit crisps or baking is just as delicious, but not as high caloried as traditional desserts. Baked apples, pineapples and flambéed bananas are all very delightful. You can give your guests the option of enjoying their cooked fruit with or without ice cream.
Remember to choose the best quality ice cream and flavours that will go well with your fruit dessert on hand, my choice would be French Vanilla or homemade coconut.
Brown Sugar Pineapple Crisp
1 medium pineapple, peeled and cut into one inch chunks
2 tsp aromatic bitters
8 tbs brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
6 tbs butter
Combine bitters with pineapple and two tbs sugar, place into a greased casserole dish.
Combine margarine with flour and rub into flour until mixture resembles fine crumbs, add sugar.
Clump the mixture together with your hands, and cover the pineapple with this mixture, make sure all the fruit is covered. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 35 –40 minutes until crisp and bubbly.
Baked Stuffed Apples
2 tbs butter
1/3 cup brandy or rum (optional)
2 tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
Combine raisins with brandy or rum, set aside for about 20 minutes
Wash and remove the core from the apples making a cavity in the apple, leave the base of the apple in tact.
Combine butter with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Add to raisin mixture, carefully spoon the filling into the apple cavities.
Butter the apples
Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes.
This is a longtime West Indian dessert, that is simple but spectacular, when you flambé the bananas!
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into quarters lengthwise.
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pint vanilla ice cream
In a heavy skillet over moderate heat melt the butter and add the brown sugar and cinnamon.
Stir until mixture begins to bubble.
Add the bananas and simmer for ten minutes.
Add the run and with a match ignite, let it burn briefly and then smother the flame with a heavy pot cover.
Continue to cook for a further five minutes.
Serve over vanilla ice cream immediately.
Confused...Challenged? Now you can write Wendy with your questions on food and cooking at [email protected]
Q. What is dark muscovado sugar?
A. This is just another type of brown sugar and can be used interchangeably with our very own brown sugar. Dark brown sugars are sugars with a higher molasses content than the golden brown sugar we are getting currently on the island. Feel free to substitute for the muscovado sugar.
Q. Can you give me the correct name for ‘five fingers’ and give me some uses?
A. The other name for five fingers is Carambola or star fruit. It is best eaten fresh for its refreshing qualities. It can also be served with vinaigrette in a lettuce salad and also juiced and sweetened for a delicious beverage.
Q. How can I make cream of coconut?
A. To make cream of coconut, break your coconut, remove the flesh then grate in a blender preferable with one cup of hot water per coconut used. Blend well.
Let sit for about 30 minutes, then strain your mixture through a tea towel, squeeze all the excess milk from the coconut. Now place your coconut milk into the refrigerator.
The mixture will separate, the cream will surface and the milk will be below this. Simply spoon off the cream and use.