While the days are getting slightly shorter as we move towards the end of February in the Cape, the bountiful summer fruit harvests are almost beyond their peak. I love buying large lugs of locally grown fruit from Blue Jay Farm Stall around the corner from where I live. For a small household, it is almost impossible to eat all the fruit while it is still at it’s freshest, so it is time to make one of my ultimate breakfast treats: poached summer fruit with spiced yoghurt.
It is amazing how the colour of fruit change when you poach them – some intensify, like peaches, while others become a softer shade of pink, like strawberries. I just adore the texture of poached fruit when they are truly poached to perfection: not mushy, but soft and evenly delicate. I serve them for a real breakfast treat with double-cream greek yoghurt, lightly spiced with cardamom, cinnamon and honey. You can also serve them for dessert, with spiced mascarpone or thick cream.
It is always best to use fresh vanilla pods in your poaching liquid, but if you – like me – don’t always have access to the beautiful yet expensive real vanilla pods, just use a teaspoon or 2 of vanilla essence. There is no need to skin your fruit – the skins are really good for you, and it means a lot less effort!
Until next week,
Poached Summer Fruit with Spiced Yoghurt
For poached fruit:
600 ml water
375 ml (1 and a half cups) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence (or seeds of 1 vanilla pod)
3 peaches, 3 pears, and a cup of strawberries (ripe, fresh fruit)
1. In a medium-sized pot on the stove top, heat the water, sugar and vanilla and bring to a simmer.
2. Half the large fruit and remove the pits/stones. Remove green tops from strawberries and keep them whole.
3. Start with the larger fruit, and cook them in the liquid in batches, about 3-5 minutes at a time, until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cook the strawberries last, for just 1 minute, remove and set aside. Reserve the cooking liquid.
4. Cool the fruit and liquid slightly, then return the fruit to the liquid to cool completely in the fridge.
For spiced yoghurt:
• 250 ml (1 cup) double cream greek yoghurt
• 1/4 teaspoon of fine cinnamon
• seeds of 3 cardamom pods (remove husks and use a pestle and mortar to pound the seeds to a fine powder)
• 2 teaspoons honey
Mix all of the ingredients for the spiced yoghurt together. Taste, and add more spices if desired. Serve with the poached fruit and a little of the poaching liquid.
Tip: the poached fruit will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for a few days.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
For more yummy recipes visit www.thefoodfox.com
Recipe, testing and preparation: Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox
Photographed by Tasha Seccombe
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