Monday, 13 January 2014

Let's Talk about Fruit

We are heading for a cracker of a week of high temperatures. From tomorrow it looks like everyday will be 41C degrees or higher. So I thought that today, being the coolest day and only 34 C degrees, I would whip up some Frozen French Souffles. From the 'Cordon Bleu at Home' cook book, I made "Petits Souffles Glace aux abricots" - but preferring fresh peaches to tinned apricots.
I have made these a number of times but always change the recipe to suit my taste and to use whatever fruit I have on hand. 

Although I grew up in the  middle of an industrial city in England, my fondest memories involve eating fruit. My next door neighbours had a number of apple trees but they only ever shared the ones that fell on the ground, much to my mother's disappointment. My sister and I used to pick blackberries along the roadside in autumn, search the local area for plums hanging over fences and munch through sprigs of red currents from the bushes in the garden. But there was never anything as exotic as peaches. 

I remember the first peach I ever tasted. I was living in Paris at the time and visiting the fruit market very early one morning. There was the largest basket of peaches I had ever seen. It had been raining and the basket was dripping wet, but each peach had only a small sprinkling of raindrops, like they had been kissed by an angel. I held the peach in my hand, stroking the soft, velvety skin with my fingers. Bliss! And when I sank my teeth into the peach and tasted that sweet flesh, I knew I had experienced something special. Since then, peach season has been my favourite, although it comes with side effects - the weather. 

Aussie Farmers delivered my fruit and vegetable box on Thursday and the peaches looked amazing. I didn't really want to cook them, but I thought this dessert would be perfect for the hot weather ahead. 

It is a reasonably long recipe, but I have endeavoured to make it easy to follow, unlike the original one.

Frozen Peach Souffle


Syrup for Cooking Fruit
1 cup Sugar
I cup water
6 Peaches, cut in half, stones removed

Make a syrup by putting sugar and water into a large pan and cook on low heat until sugar has dissolved. Boil rapidly for 8 minutes and the add the peaches.
Cook peaches for 20 minutes or until soft, remove skins and allow to cool. Keep syrup for later use. Blend with a hand blender or mash peaches by hand once they are cool. This can be done the day before and stored in the fridge.

You can use this syrup to cook any fruit. Once you take the fruit out you can use the remaining syrup to make iced tea, use on ice cream as a topping or freeze in ice cube trays for later use.

3 Eggs separated
150g Sugar
60ml Water
Few drops lemon juice
400mls Double cream
1 tbls Sugar extra 
Flaked almonds toasted in a dry pan

You will need 6 ramekins with collars made with baking paper and elastic bands
Italian Meringue

There are two things that need to be done at the same time here!
  • Combine 60ml water, 150g sugar and lemon juice in a pan. Bring to boil on low heat. Once it reaches 115 degrees C (approx 5 minutes) it is ready to use.
  • Once you put the pan on the heat, start to beat the egg whites until firm, adding 1 tablespoon of sugar, then pour the boiling syrup in a stream onto the egg whites while still beating. Continue to beat until it is thick and glossy.
  • Beat cream in a chilled bowl until peaks form and fold into the Italian meringue. Fold in the pureed fruit.
  • Fill the ramekins with the mixture, smoothing off the tops, and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. 
  • Carefully peel off the paper around the souffles and coat the top and edges with toasted flaked almonds.

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