Friday, February 29, 2008

Macerated Honeydew, Cantaloupe and Watermelon with Iced Pineapple Wine

2 cups (1-inch) cubed red watermelon
1 cup (1-inch) cubed yellow watermelon
1 cup (1-inch) cubed cantaloupe
1 cup (1-inch) cubed honeydew
2 cups pineapple wine, chilled (recommended: Tedeschi)
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
In a large bowl, combine the fruit with the wine. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Garnish with mint.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Grilled Peach Cobbler

6 ripe peaches, halved, pit removed
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted cold butter, melted, plus more if needed, divided
8 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup granola
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup prepared caramel sauce, heated
Heat the grill to medium.
Place the peaches cut side down on the grill until browned. Remove from the grill, cut into wedges and place into a gratin dish. To the peaches add half the butter, half the brown sugar and half the cinnamon, and toss. Add the remaining butter, sugar and cinnamon to the granola in a small bowl and toss until combined, adding more butter if needed. Top the peaches with the granola mixture and place the gratin dish onto the grill. Close and bake until the peaches and granola are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Place 1 large scoop of ice cream into 4 bowls and top with the peache mixture. Drizzle with some of the caramel sauce.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Watermelon Salad with Mint Leaves

1 (5-pound) watermelon
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar Salt and pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
6 whole mint sprigs

Cut the flesh from the melon and cut into bite size pieces, removing and discarding the seeds, and set aside. Peel and slice the onion into rings. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time. Add in the chopped mint, taste, and adjust seasonings. In a large bowl, combine the melon, onion, and feta. Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Garnish with mint sprigs. To serve, divide salad among individual plates and garnish with mint leaves.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chargrilled Fruit Skewers

Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 small, ripe mango
1/4 small pineapple, peeled, sliced into 2cm-thick wedges
5 oz strawberries, hulled, halved
1 banana, cut into 2cm-thick slices
1/4 cup passionfruit pulp
5 oz low-fat strawberry yoghurt

Preheat barbecue plate on medium-high heat. Slice 2 cheeks from mango. Cut each cheek into 6 cubes. Remove skin.
Thread mango, pineapple, strawberries and banana alternately onto skewers. Line barbecue plate with baking paper (see tip). Barbecue skewers, turning often, for 3 to 4 minutes or until warmed through.
Place 1 skewer on each plate. Drizzle with passionfruit pulp. Serve warm with yoghurt.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Spiced Cranberry Poached Pears

Ingredients: (serves 6)
6 cups cranberry juice
3 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
1 vanilla bean, split
1 tsp ground star anise
6 firm, ripe pears

Place cranberry juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean and star anise in a large, shallow saucepan. Stir over a low heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Peel pears and remove core from base with a teaspoon. Place in poaching liquid. Cover with a circle of non-stick baking paper - this helps to keep the pears submerged - and then sauce pan lid. Reduce heat to low and cook for 40-60 minutes, turning occasionally, until pears are tender.
Transfer pears to serving plates with a slotted spoon. Spoon over some of the syrup and serve with cream, if desired.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Grapefruit, Strawberry & Grape Salad

Ingredients: (serves 4)
7 oz Ohanez grapes, halved
2 grapefruit, peeled, cut into segments
1 punnet strawberries, hulled, halved
4 passionfruit, pulp removed
2 cups low-fat vanilla yoghurt

Place grapes, grapefruit, strawberries and passionfruit in a large bowl. Toss well to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
Serve fruit salad with yoghurt.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Lebanese Fruit Salad

Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 apple, core removed, diced
1 pear, core removed, diced
1 peach, stone removed, diced
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup dried figs, chopped
1/4 cup flaked almonds
1/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1 small lemon, rind finely grated
1 pinch ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon rosewater essence
vanilla ice-cream, to serve

1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons shelled pistachio nuts, chopped
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Combine apple, pear, peach, apricots, figs and nuts in a large bowl. Mix well.
Add rind, cloves, vanilla, juice and rosewater to fruit mixture. Mix well to combine. Divide between 4 bowls. Top with ice-cream.
Make topping Combine sugar, nuts and cinnamon. Sprinkle over ice-cream. Serve.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Peaches with Orange Toffee Syrup

Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 pounds can peach halves, drained
vanilla yoghurt, to serve

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place the sugar into a saucepan. Cook, over low heat, tilting the pan back and forth until sugar dissolves and turns golden.
Remove from heat. Add orange juice (taking care as syrup may spit). Return to heat and cook, stirring, until toffee dissolves and syrup is smooth. Bring to the boil and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until syrup thickens slightly.
Place the peaches in a heatproof baking dish. Pour over the syrup and bake for 10 minutes or until peaches are warm. Serve warm with yoghurt.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Crispy Baked Apples

Ingredients (serves 4)
1/4 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 Royal Gala, Golden Delicious or Sundowner apples, halved
olive oil cooking spray
4 scoops low-fat ice-cream, to serve

Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine almonds, sugar and cinnamon on a plate. Spray cut sides of apples with oil. Dip cut sides of apples into almond mixture.
Spray apple lightly with oil. Place on a baking tray, cut sides up. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Serve warm with ice-cream.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Poached Pears with Hot Chocolate, Rum & Raisin Sauce

Ingredients (serves 4)
1/2 cup caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
4 small beurre bosc pears
1/2 cup seedless raisins
2 tbs dark rum
1/2 cup good-quality dark chocolate
3/4 cup pure (thin) cream
Crumbled amaretti biscuits, to serve

Place sugar, juice, vanilla pod and seeds in a pan with 2 cups water. Place on the cooktop at the highest setting, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring just to the boil, then reduce heat to level 3 and simmer while you prepare pears. Peel, halve and core pears, leaving stems intact. Poach in the simmering liquid for 6-8 minutes (depending on ripeness) until softened.
Leave pears to cool in the liquid. For sauce, soak raisins in rum for 15 minutes. Stir chocolate and cream, in a small saucepan at level 3 on the cooktop, until smooth. Stir in rum and raisins. Serve pear halves drizzled with warm sauce, and top with crumbled amaretti

Monday, February 18, 2008

Lime & Mint Melon

Ingredients (serves 4)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 large fresh mint sprigs
2 inch-piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
2 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tbs finely shredded fresh mint, extra
about 1/4 honeydew melon, deseeded, peeled, thinly sliced
Thick natural yoghurt, to serve

Combine the water, sugar, mint sprigs and ginger in a medium saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil, without stirring, for 5 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Remove and discard the ginger and mint sprigs.
Add the lime juice and extra mint to the syrup and stir to combine. Divide the melon among serving bowls. Drizzle with the syrup and serve with yoghurt, if desired.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Chargrilled Watermelon & Feta Salad

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 Naturally Sweet Personal melon
2 tbs Bertolli extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs red wine vinegar
3.5 oz Greek feta
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
Freshly ground pepper
16 pitted olives
Watercress sprigs, to serve

Cut the watermelon into 3/4 inch thick slices and remove the rind. Mix the olive oil and red wine vinegar until well combined.
Heat a chargrill pan over a medium-high heat. Chargrill the watermelon slices for about 30 seconds each side or until lightly charred. Divide among serving plates.
Crumble over the feta and top with the red onion and olives. Drizzle with the dressing and season with pepper. Scatter with watercress to serve.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fruit Salad with Nut Ricotta Cream

Ingredients (serves 4)
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 passionfruit, halved
2 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into 1cm-thick slices
2 ripe nectarines, halved, stone removed, cut into wedges
5 oz fresh berries (such as raspberries, blackberries or youngberries)

Nut ricotta cream:
9 oz fresh low-fat ricotta
1/4 cup hazelnut meal
2 tbs yellowbox honey
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

To make the nut ricotta cream, place the fresh ricotta, hazelnut meal, honey and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Use an electric beater to whisk until light and fluffy. Place in an airtight container.
Combine the lemon juice and passionfruit pulp in a medium bowl. Add the bananas and nectarines and toss to combine well. Spoon into an airtight container and top with the fresh berries.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pineapple and Kiwifruit with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

1/4 pineapple, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
4 kiwifruit, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup strawberries, hulled and finely diced
1 tbs honey
1 tbs balsamic vinegar

Lay the pineapple and kiwifruit decoratively on a large platter. Cover and refrigerate until required.
In a bowl combine the strawberries, honey and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle the fruit with the strawberry balsamic dressing and serve immedi ately.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Watermelon Wedges

1/2 small watermelon, skin on
1/2 cup strawberry jam
7 oz desiccated coconut

Cut watermelon into triangular wedges 3/4 inch thick. Warm jam in a microwave for 30 seconds on high.
Spread coconut on a plate or sheet of baking paper. Brush jam over the watermelon flesh, then dip each wedge in coconut.
Place coated wedges on a baking paper-lined tray and freeze overnight. Serve chilled.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Refreshing Melon Fruit Salad

1/4 watermelon, peeled
1 cantaloupe, halved, seeds removed
1 honeydew melon, halved, seeds removed
1 champagne melon, halved, seeds removed
Toffee lime syrup
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 passionfruit, pulp removed

Cut watermelon into 1.5 inch pieces and remove seeds. Place into a large serving bowl.
Cut cantaloupe, honeydew and champagne melon into wedges. Remove skin and roughly chop flesh. Place into bowl with watermelon. Toss gently to combine. Refrigerate until required.

To make syrup:
Place sugar into a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Cook, tilting saucepan back and forth, until sugar dissolves and turns a deep golden colour. Remove from heat. Add lime juice. Return to heat. Stir over low heat until toffee dissolves. Set aside to cool completely.
Before serving, stir passionfruit pulp through syrup. Pour over chilled fruit and serve immediately.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Strawberry Fruit Jelly

6 oz strawberry and raspberry quick set jelly crystals (Notes & tips
Quick set jelly is made from vegetable gum (extracted from red seaweed) instead of gelatine, and sets in under an hour. Quick set jelly has a firmer texture than regular jelly. Regular and quick set jelly are interchangeable in all jelly recipes.)

3 cups boiling water
2 1/4 cup strawberries, hulled, halved

Place jelly crystals in a large heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water. Whisk until crystals have dissolved. Stir in 1 cup cold water.
Pour 1/2 cup jelly into a 3 inch-deep, 6-cup capacity rectangular pyrex loaf dish. Place in freezer for 5 to 10 minutes or until set.
Place a single layer of strawberries, cut side down, onto set jelly. Pour over another 1 cup jelly. Return to freezer for 10 minutes or until set. Repeat twice with remaining strawberries and jelly. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.
Dip base of dish into hot water for 30 seconds. Invert onto a serving platter. Serve with cream if desired.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fig & Date Sticky Toffee Puddings


Melted butter, to grease
3/4 cup whole dried figs, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups boiling water
4 earl grey tea bags
4.5 oz butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup, firmly packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Double cream, to serve

Butterscotch sauce:
1 cup, firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup thickened cream
2 oz butter, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 F. Brush eight 1-cup capacity metal dariole moulds with melted butter to lightly grease. Place on a baking tray.
Combine the fig, date, water and tea bags in a medium heatproof bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes to soak. Remove and discard the tea bags.
Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until combined. Fold in the flour and bicarbonate of soda alternately with the fig mixture until just combined. Spoon mixture evenly among prepared moulds.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Set aside for 5 minutes before turning onto serving plates.
Meanwhile, to make the butterscotch sauce, combine the sugar, cream and butter in a medium saucepan and stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.
Pour the hot butterscotch sauce over the puddings. Serve immediately with double cream, if desired

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Peach Shortcakes

9 oz mascarpone
2 large yellow peaches, wedges
8 shortbread rounds (good quality)
2 tsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl.
To serve, spread shortbread rounds with the mascarpone mixture. Top each with some peach wedges and another shortbread round. Dust with extra icing sugar and serve.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Spring Fruit Salad

5 large pink grapefruit
1 cup white sugar
1 vanilla bean
3 pounds seedless watermelon
3 Red Delicious apples
14 oz red grapes, removed from stalks
18 oz punnets strawberries, sliced

Juice 1 grapefruit. Combine sugar and 1/2 cup grapefruit juice in a small saucepan. Cut vanilla bean through centre, leaving bean connected at base. Scrape soft black seeds out of centre. Add seeds and bean to sugar mixture. Stir over low heat for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved and syrup just comes to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, without stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Allow to cool completely.
Using a knife, remove skin and pith from remaining 4 grapefruit. Cut into wedges. Remove skin from watermelon. Cut flesh into 2cm cubes. Cut apples into quarters. Remove cores and discard. Dice apple.
Arrange watermelon in a large serving bowl. Top with grapes, apples, grapefruit and strawberries. Drizzle with syrup. Serve

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Toffee Apples

17.5 oz demerara sugar
2 tsp vinegar
2 oz unsalted butter
1 tbs golden syrup
8 medium apples
8 thick wooden sticks

Place sugar, vinegar, butter, syrup and 1/2 cup water in a pan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, turn heat to medium and boil until deep golden (or until sugar thermometer reaches 285 F). Insert a stick into each apple, dip into toffee, then sit on baking paper for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Raspberry & Custard Tart

2 cups gluten-free plain flour
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 oz chilled Nuttelex dairy-free margarine, chopped
2 egg yolks
2 tsp iced water
3.5 oz fresh raspberries
Pure icing sugar, to dust

Custard filling
2 cups soy milk
3 eggs, lightly whisked
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup caster sugar

Place flour, sugar and margarine in the bowl of a food processor and process until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolks and water and process until dough just starts to come together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Press the dough into a ball and knead until almost smooth. (Don't overwork the dough.) Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
Preheat oven to 350 F . Place dough between 2 sheets of floured non-stick baking paper. Roll out to a 12 inch disc. Line a round 9 inch fluted tart tin, with removable base, with pastry and trim excess. Lightly prick base with a fork. Place in fridge for 15 minutes to rest.
Cover pastry base with baking paper and fill with pastry weights, rice or dried beans. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Remove paper and pastry weights, rice or beans. Bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 F.
To make the custard, place soy milk in a saucepan and bring just to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat. Whisk eggs, vanilla and sugar in a bowl until combined. Quickly whisk hot soy milk into the egg mixture. Strain through a sieve into a jug.
Pour the custard into the cooked pastry case. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until just set. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Top with raspberries and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Apple & Fig Tart

2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup caster sugar
5 oz butter, chopped
2 tbs iced water
3 Granny Smith apples, core removed
2 tbs caster sugar, extra
1 fig, quartered into wedges
2 tbs almond meal
Extra fig slices, to decorate (optional)
3 tsp honey, plus extra to drizzle
Reduced fat thickened cream, to serve

Process flour, caster sugar and butter until coarse crumbs form. Add water. Process just until mixture starts to come together. Wrap the dough in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll dough out on non-stick baking paper or on a lightly floured surface until 1/4 inch thick. Use pastry to line a 8 inch fluted flan tin with a removable base. Trim the edge and prick base with a fork. Line with non-stick baking paper and fill with rice or baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and rice. Bake for another 8 minutes. (If base puffs up slightly, push down very gently with the end of a wooden spoon.)
Thinly slice apples and toss with the extra caster sugar. Cut each fig quarter lengthways into three thin wedges.
Sprinkle almond meal over the pastry base. Arrange the apple in a spiral to make two layers of apple. Reserve the smaller pieces to fill the space in the middle. Arrange figs evenly over the top layer by tucking them between the apples. Place extra fig slices in the middle section if desired. Drizzle apples and figs with the honey. Bake for 30 minutes. Drizzle with extra honey and brush over the fruit. Set aside to cool slightly. Serve with cream.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Coffee & Raspberry Trifle

2 1/2 heaped tbs Italian ground coffee (Lavazza Caffe Espresso brand)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/4 cup thickened cream
1 tbs icing sugar mixture
2 cups bought vanilla custard
9 oz sponge finger biscuits
2 oz chocolate flake bars (Cadbury brand), crumbled
9 oz punnets raspberries

Place coffee in a coffee plunger and pour over the boiling water. Stir. Replace plunger lid (do not push down). Stand for 3-5 minutes. Push down plunger. Pour into a large heatproof bowl. Set aside for 20 minutes to cool to room temperature.
Use an electric beater to whisk cream and icing sugar in a bowl until soft peaks form. Fold in custard until just combined.
Quickly dip one-third of the biscuits, one at a time, into coffee. Arrange biscuits over the base of a 6-cup capacity glass serving bowl. Top with one-third of the custard mixture and smooth the surface with a spoon. Scatter over one-third of the raspberries and chocolate. Repeat, in 2 more layers, with the remaining custard mixture, raspberries, chocolate and biscuits.
Cover the trifle with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours to chill and develop the flavours.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Chocolate, Fruit and Nut Logs

9 oz shortbread biscuits
1/2 cup NESTLE White CHOC BITS
1 cup fruit medley
3/4 cup shelled pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
14 oz can NESTLE Sweetened Condensed Milk
6.5 oz NESTLE White Melts, roughly chopped
2 oz butter

Crush biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl. Add choc bits, fruit, 1/4 cup of pistachios and 1/4 cup of walnuts. Stir to combine.Combine condensed milk, melts and butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool. Stir into biscuit mixture. Form biscuit mixture into 4* 10 inch-long logsFinely chop remaining nuts. Spread over a sheet of baking paper. Roll logs in nuts. Cover and refrigerate until set. Wrap in cellophane and tie with ribbons.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Banana Tartlets

1/2 cup toasted macadamia nuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup caster sugar
6 sheets filo pastry
2 oz butter, melted
4 bananas
Thick cream, to serve

Passionfruit sauce
1 cup caster sugar
12 passionfruit, flesh removed

To make the sauce, place the sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to high and boil for 5 minutes. While the sugar syrup is boiling, place the passionfruit flesh in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds (this helps separate the flesh from the seeds). Add the flesh and seeds to the syrup and cook for a further 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To make the tartlets, preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a baking sheet.
Place the nuts and 4 tablespoons sugar in a bowl and mix well.
Lay one sheet of filo on a workbench, brush with some melted butter, then sprinkle with about 1/2 tablespoon of the nut and sugar mixture. Repeat with the remaining filo, butter and nuts until you have a pile of 6 layers. Use a 4 inch pastry cutter to cut out 6 rounds from the pastry, discarding any excess. Place the 6 pastry stacks on the greased baking sheet. Cover the stacks with a piece of baking paper, then place a slightly smaller baking tray on top to weigh the pastries down. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden and crisp.
Preheat the grill to high.
Slice the bananas into thin diagonal slices and fan out on top of each pastry disc. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Grill for 1-2 minutes until the bananas have charred slightly and the sugar has caramelised. (Alternatively use a kitchen blow torch.) Place each banana tartlet on a serving plate. Serve with a dollop of cream and passionfruit sauce. Excess sauce will keep for up to 1 week refrigerated, and tastes terrific served over ice-cream.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chocolate Strawberries

5 oz milk chocolate
5 oz dark chocolate
5 oz white chocolate
2 pounds large strawberries, washed, dried

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Break milk chocolate into even pieces. Place into a heat-proof bowl.
One-third fill a saucepan with water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Place chocolate bowl over saucepan (don't let bowl touch water). Stir with a metal spoon until smooth.
Dip one-third of the strawberries into chocolate. Place onto tray. Repeat with dark and white chocolate. Refrigerate until set.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kiwi Fruit Puree with Mango & Passionfruit Gelato

4 mangoes or 2 cups of mango pulp
6 oz caster sugar
1 lime, zested
3 limes, juiced
1 1/4 cup thick cream
6-8 passionfruit, halved
12 kiwi fruit
Biscotti, to serve
Remove flesh from mangoes and place in a food processor. Add 2 oz of the caster sugar and the zest and juice of 1 lime. Process until smooth then transfer to a bowl. Whip cream lightly, then fold into the mango mixture to combine.
Place mixture in a shallow container and freeze until frozen at the edges. Scoop the passionfruit pulp from the fruit, then add to the gelato mixture. Beat with an electric beater, pour back into container and refreeze.
Alternatively you can use an ice-cream maker. Churn the cream and mango mixture in an ice-cream machine for 10 minutes, or until semi-frozen. Add the passionfruit pulp and churn for a further 10 minutes.
Peel the kiwi fruit, place the flesh in a food processor with remaining caster sugar and lime juice and process until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Divide the kiwi puree between serving bowls, top with a scoop of gelato and biscotti.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Spiced Fruit Compote

3/4 cup water
orange rind
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup, firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
7 oz pkt dried fruit salad mix
5 dried figs, halved lengthways
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, cut into thin wedges
Combine water, orange rind, orange juice, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high. Add dried fruit and figs, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add apple and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes or until tender. Spoon into serving bowls.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Grilled Mixed Fruit

1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
4 bananas, halved lengthwise
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons simple syrup, recipe follows
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat.
In a medium bowl, toss the fruit in the sugar to coat. Grill over medium heat, until a golden crust begins to form on the fruit, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
In another medium bowl, mix together the mint, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Arrange the fruit on a serving platter, drizzle the mint syrup over top, and serve.
Simple syrup:
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
In a saucepan, combine water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Take pan off heat and cool the syrup before using. Any extra cooled syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Square Watermelons?

Farmers in the southern Japanese town of Zentsuji have figured out how to grow their watermelons so they turn out square.
It's not a fad. The technique actually has practical applications. "The reason they're doing this in Japan is because of lack of space," said Samantha Winters of the National Watermelon Promotion Board in Orlando, Florida.
A fat, round watermelon can take up a lot of room in a refrigerator, and the usually round fruit often sits awkwardly on refrigerator shelves. But clever Japanese farmers have solved this dilemma by forcing their watermelons to grow into a square shape. Farmers insert the melons into square, tempered glass cases while the fruit is still growing on the vine.
The square boxes are the exact dimensions of Japanese refrigerators, allowing full-grown watermelons to fit conveniently and precisely onto refrigerator shelves.
But cubic fruit comes with a caveat: Each square watermelon costs 10,000 yen, the equivalent of about $82. Regular watermelons in Japan cost from $15 to $25 each.
At $82 apiece, Winters said she didn't know if there would be a market for square-grown watermelons in the United States.
"I think that's a pretty expensive watermelon," she said. "Maybe they give them as gifts. Maybe it says something for the gift-fruit market, perhaps."
But Winters also said that there does appear to be a growing U.S. market for watermelon that is more refrigerator-friendly. She said the industry is hearing from consumers that size matters.
"Our growers grow round, seedless melons in various sizes," she said. "And that's one reason why we grow the smaller watermelons ... so they'll fit into a refrigerator."
Winters added that so-called fresh-cut watermelon is widely available at U.S. groceries, another possible solution to a crisis created by oversized melons.
A recipe on the board's website calls for half-inch watermelon squares for use in martinis.
"You can find two-inch cubes" in groceries, Winters said. "They have watermelon that's cut in quarters and halves. And you can find clamshell containers with fresh-cut watermelon in there as well." Watermelon also can be pureed and poured into ice-cube trays for freezing.
So it seems U.S. watermelon lovers will have to settle for fresh-cut for now, and the $82, square watermelon won't be showing up at American groceries anytime soon.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Easy Fruit Bowl

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon anise extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 oranges, peeled and sectioned
3 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
2 large apples, cubed
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 pound seedless green grapes
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, lime juice, anise and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Combine fruit in a large bowl; add dressing and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Basic Jam Recipe

1 lemon, halved
18 oz fruit remove stone or stalk and chop fruit
1 1/2 cups white sugar
Juice the lemon. Place fruit, lemon juice and the rind halves in a large microwave safe bowl. Cook, uncovered, on High/100% power, stirring occasionally for 6 minutes.
Add the sugar and cook on High/100% power for 20 minutes or until the jam reaches setting point. (To do this, cool some jam on a chilled saucer and run your finger through it. If the jam wrinkles and stays separate it is ready to bottle.)
Discard lemon rind and spoon the hot jam into a clean jar. Invert for 2 minutes then turn upright to cool.
Notes & tips
Make the most of summer berries and stone fruit with just the touch of a microwave button. You won't believe how easy it is

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Baked Fruit Slice

1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup custard powder
2 tablespoons icing sugar
125g butter, cubed, chilled
1 egg
2 tablespoons iced water
425g canned pie apple (see variation)
1 cup fruit medley or mixed fruit
1 teaspoon mixed spice
icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Combine flours, custard powder and icing sugar in a food processor. Process for 20 seconds until well combined. Add butter and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg and water. Process until mixture comes together in a ball.
Remove dough from food processor. Knead gently until smooth. Cut in half. Flatten each half into a 2cm-thick disc. Wrap in greaseproof paper. Place in fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
Roll each piece of pastry out into a 26cm square. Place 1 piece onto prepared tray.
Combine pie apple, fruit medley and mixed spice. Spoon over pastry, leaving a 1cm border. Place second square of pastry on top. Press edges together.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until pastry is firm and light golden. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Dust with icing sugar. Serve with clotted cream or ice-cream, if desired.
Notes & tips

Canned pie apricot may be used in place of canned pie apple

Monday, January 14, 2008

Start strawberry season, and healthier eating, now

The strawberries I've been seeing and buying in my local supermarket and produce market have been terrific lately.
Although peak season for strawberries is considered to be April-June, our farmers are doing something right, because these Florida and Louisiana strawberries are delicious.
We've been enjoying them sliced on cereal, layered in peanut butter and jam sandwiches and in brown-bag lunches.
But if you want something a little more special without overdoing your calorie and fat budget, today's recipe may be just what you are looking for. You might even think ahead to Valentine's Day. This dessert would be special enough for a romantic dinner.
Strawberries are delicious and nutritious. Just eight strawberries contain more vitamin C than a medium orange. As you may know, vitamin C is important for our immune system and for keeping the body's cells healthy and strong.
Like most fruits and vegetables, strawberries have plenty of phytochemicals that do wonders for our health. Strawberries are a rich source of anthocyanins and ellagitannins, two types of phenols. The anthocyanins help give strawberries their beautiful color and protect the body's cells from the harmful effects of oxygen.
The ellagitannins in strawberries may help lower the risk of developing cancer.
In addition, strawberries, and fruit in general, may help lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). This disease is the main cause of vision loss in adults.
A study published in Archives of Ophthalmology showed eating three or more servings of fruit a day could cut the risk of ARMD by 36 percent, when compared to adults who eat less than 11/2 servings of fruit daily. In this study, researchers found, while vegetables also contain many of the same antioxidants and phytochemicals, fruit consumption made the most difference in lowering incidence of ARMD.
Strawberries can help you work in all those fruit servings. Slice them into yogurt or cottage cheese, or put them in a blender with blueberries and bananas and a little soy milk for a quick breakfast smoothie. Add cut-up strawberries to green salads or mix them into muffin batter. Or eat them for dessert, plain or embellished, like the shortcake recipe I've included today.
The more you add fruit -- including strawberries -- to your diet, the better your health can be.
A serving of the strawberry shortcake recipe offered today will provide just a tad over a half-cup of fruit. For most men and women, the recommended amount is 11/2 to 2 cups of fruit per day.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dragon Fruit

The pitaya (also known as pitahaya, dragon fruit, huǒ lóng guǒ ("fire dragon fruit"), strawberry pear, nanettikafruit, or thanh long) is the fruit of several cactus species, especially of the genus Hylocereus, but also see Stenocereus. Native to Mexico and Central and South America, these vine-like epiphytic cacti are also cultivated in Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia. They are also found in Taiwan, Okinawa, Israel, and southern China. The pitaya blooms only at night; they are large white fragrant flowers, typical of cactus, that are often called Moonflower or Queen of the Night.
The species Stenocereus gummosus in the Sonoran Desert has been an important food source for Native American peoples. The Seri people of northwestern Mexico still harvest the highly appreciated fruit of the pitaya agria (Spanish), which the Seris call ziix is ccapxl - "thing whose fruit is sour".
The plant has adapted to live in dry tropical climates with a moderate amount of rain. The dragonfruit sets on the cactus-like tree 30-50 days after flowering and can sometimes have 5-6 cycles of harvests per year. There are some farms in Vietnam that produce 30 tons of fruit per hectare every year.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fruit Pizza

Pizza Dough:
1 package store bought sugar cookie dough
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 large peach, sliced
1 large green apple, sliced
1 large orange, sectioned
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
6 ounces fresh blueberries
6 ounces fresh raspberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1/2 cup chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Flatten cookie dough onto a 6-inch pizza pan. Bake until firm to touch, about 11 to 15 minutes. Cool. In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar. Spread the baked cookie with the cream cheese mixture and decorate with sliced fruit. In a small bowl, combine melted white chocolate with chocolate syrup. Top the pizza with remaining berries and chocolate mixture. Slice and serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fruit Facts

Fruit is one of the most naturally existing nutritious and healthy foods in this world. It is always recommended to eat at least 5 pieces of fruits everyday.

Fruits have their own origin. They specifically originated in one part of the world and subsequently migrated to other parts either through explorers or traders. For example, Columbus took the pineapple to Spain from America.

Botanically, fruit is identified as the ripened ovary of a flowering plant. They are usually fleshy, sweet or sour in taste and plucked naturally when fully ripe. The well-liked sweet fruits are apple, mango, banana, and orange whereas citrus fruits like lime, lemon, and grapefruit are immensely popular for their tangy sour taste.

In various parts of the world, fruits are eaten after drying. Examples of these types of fruits are raisins, prunes, and apricots.

You must be wondering about the benefits of eating fruits. Here are several reasons:
Water is most necessary for human body and fruit is the only natural food that consists of 80% of water. No other food can meet the water requirement for the human body like fruit does.
In this junk food dominated society, fruit is the only natural food that contains less bad-cholesterol.
Fruits are the ultimate stimulating factor for your brain. They can be said to be the fuel for the brain. If you want to enhance your memory power, you should consume fruit regularly.
Fiber, fiber and more fiber - nothing else satisfies the fiber requirement for your body easier than fruit. Thus, it helps you fight corpulence, high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.