Tag Archives: fruit

apricot fig bread

Oh no! It has started to rain here. And from what I have been told, will not stop until sometime next June. In defense, may I suggest some fresh apricot fig bread and a mug of hot tea? I have made this bread a few times and, as with most quick breads, it is best the first day. This bread is easy to throw together with whatever dried fruit you have on hand, but I really liked the combination of dried figs and apricots. It is whole grain, potentially vegan, and not too sweet.

Apricot Fig Bread

adapted from fannetastic food

2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour or spelt flour

1/3-1/2 cup cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, or sucanant

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cardamom

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup applesauce (I have used a combination of applesauce and yogurt before and it has turned out fine)

1 large mashed banana (or 1/2 cup yogurt)

1 egg or flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with three tbsp water, set aside to thicken)

1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/2 cup dried mission figs, chopped (I have used prunes instead and it is also delicious)

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder and soda, and salt. In another bowl, mix together the applesauce, mashed banana, and flax egg or real egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold until everything is just combined. Fold in the dried fruit, and pour into a greased and floured pan. I used a 8″x 8″ pan, but you can also use a loaf pan or make muffins. Sprinkle on a bit of coarse sugar and rolled oats to make it look pretty. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean. For the 8″x 8″ pan, it was about 30 minutes; a loaf pan will take 45-50 minutes.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under breakfast, from the pantry, fruit, quick, sweets

apricot blackberry jam

Summer after summer, I have wanted to start canning. I didn’t want to can in our small kitchen here in Seattle, afraid that it would be too messy or there would not be enough room to work. However, all of these worries were uncalled for and I have been making lots of jam and pickles this summer. One of my favorites so far is this apricot blackberry jam, which, I think is better than apricot or blackberry jam. I used half apricots and half black diamond blackberries with a split vanilla bean and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. I also prefer to make a low sugar jam and, as a result, need to use a commercial pectin to thicken it up a bit. There are some rules that you need to follow if you want to actually can, be sure to read some general guidelines from the ball canning site or book.

I have been baking the jars to process them, instead of using the traditional water bath because my biggest pot is not quite big enough to accommodate standing pint jars with an inch of water on top. This method definitely is much easier and less intimidating, but I found the results a bit less reliable than the traditional water bath. Whichever  you chose, you will hear little “pings!” as the jars cool and the lids get vacuum sealed.

Preserving is much easier and less intimidating than most people think it will be. You don’t need to can 20 pounds of fruit in order to can. All you need is a couple pounds of apricots and berries to stretch the August into winter.

Apricot Blackberry Jam

2 cups mashed apricots (about 1 pound)

2 cups mashed blackberries (about 1 pound)

2/3 cup apple juice or white grape juice

1/2 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar

1/2 large lemon, juiced and zested

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

low sugar commercial pectin (i used the ball low sugar pectin, 3 tbsp)

Prepare the fruit. Pit and slice the apricots, no need to peel. Rinse and mash berries and apricots together. In a wide mouthed pot, like a dutch oven, Combine the apple juice, mashed fruit, lemon juice and zest, and the split vanilla bean and bring to a boil, constantly stirring. I usually cook this down until the juices are a reduced. Stir in the pectin and bring the jam back up to a boil. Stir in the sugar and boil hard for about a minute. If you wish to process and can this jam, follow the standard process. If not, spoon into clean glass jars and store in the refrigerator (eat soon) or freezer.

1 Comment

Filed under breakfast, fruit, gluten free

apricot and raspberry tarts

i love to bake fruit desserts, especially homey looking ones.  i made these free form tarts for the office aids walk bake sale and they seemed to be very well received!  one of the things that i will miss the most about san francisco is the farmers market and the productive califorian weather and soil.  i wanted to use up some of the pie crust that i made and froze awhile ago and i knew i wanted some sort of fruit pastry.  i originally planned on a rhubarb filled pastry, but happy quail farms was sold out and these beautiful apricots from twin girls seemed perfect for these tarts.  a bonus of 2 pints of raspberries made their way into my bag when i bought 3 pints (!) of strawberries.  later in the kitchen, i thought about the classic pairing of stone fruits and almonds and i made an easy frangipane with almonds and a bit of powdered sugar.  this paste provides a nice barrier against the pastry to prevent sogginess.  while these tarts look pretty fancy, they are much easier to make then an actual pie because of the very free- form shape.  i made mini sizes to be used in the bake sale, but a large tart would be a great end to a dinner party with a generous dollop of barely sweetened whipped cream.

free form fruit tarts

inspired by the farmers market

you can switch out the fruit based on the season.  apple is classic, rhubarb would be amazing, and mixed berry would be the height of summer.

pastry-

your favorite pie or tart pastry, such as this one; i doubled this

make sure it is well chilled

almond frangipane-

1 cup of almonds

1/4 ish cup powdered sugar

pinch of salt

combine these in your food processor until a paste forms, but not until it turns into almond butter.    i do not have a food processor so i just did it in small batches in my blender.  you might need to add a bit of canola oil to get it started.  set aside.

fruits of your choice

egg wash (1 beaten egg with a bit of milk)

raw sugar for sprinkling

assemble:

preheat oven to 375.

divide out the pastry dough into 4 or 5 pieces if you want mini tarts.  or simply roll out (into vaguely a circle) the dough  for a large tart.  spread the almond frangipane thinly over the dough and layer on the fruit.  fold the excess crust up over the fruit to contain the juices.  lightly brush the pastry with some of the egg wash and sprinkle on a bit of sugar.  bake until the crust is well browned the fruit soft.  cool on a rack and serve.

before

after!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized