More and more people are turning to their own ingenuity to feed themselves without the need to rely on supermarkets. Organic fruit and vegetables are becoming ever-more expensive in stores because, unlike their chemically enhanced contemporaries, it’s more difficult for farmers to grow them naturally. Not only does it take hard work, it also takes time and ultimately (without preservatives) the harvest begins to deteriorate quickly once picked; thus losing quality and money. Whether you have a small/medium-sized garden or a huge allotment a simple planting weekend during one summer weekend could help you to bring these two fruity dessert recipes to life.
Picking the best ingredients
There a lot of step-by-step tutorials online on how to set your garden up for growing fruit. Taking care of the earth you’re going to be growing the plants in is just step one, but often it’s simply a case of planting a fruit tree or bush an waiting for it to mature. Choosing some fruits to grow is easy but, if you’re looking for the best ingredients for summer desserts, pick out cherries and apples from an online fruit nursery. Mail order can be the most low-cost way to buy plants (yes, they actually post them to you!) and the plants will be sent out in containers that protect the roots from damage or drying out. Once safely home, gently take the plant out of the pot and plant it in the soil you’ve prepared.
image source – Bruin
The American classic
Sweet cherry pie is a classic in the United States. This fruit is particularly intense in flavour which many people may find sour, so it’s important to wait until they are completely ripe before picking. Cherries are ripe for the harvest when the colour starts to turn to a blood red shade. The cherry flesh softens underneath the skin, which you can test with a slight pinch. The All-American Cherry Pie is world famous for being so simple yet filling. A sprinkle of caster sugar allows the cherries to cook in their own juices, and giving each bite a melt-in-your-mouth quality. It’s a great end to a summer’s meal and any sourness of the cherries can be contrasted with vanilla ice cream for those who aren’t so keen on the intense flavour.
image source – George Hodan
Toffee Apple Pudding
You’ll notice that apples are be ready to be picked when the peel becomes softer however, the best way to work out if your apples are ready to be picked is the colour. Younger apples are harder and the colour is slightly faded; ripened fruits will have a rounder shape, be a little heavier and the colour will be bolder and fuller. Once ready to be picked and peeled they’ll make the much-loved British dessert Toffee Apple Pudding. Although traditionally made with Bramley apples, any variety will do as the cooking process brings out the natural sweetness of the fruit and intensifies it. It’s a sticky filling with nuts, toffee, butter and brown sugar, all bound together by a beaten egg. Enjoy!
Please share your favourite recipes for using home-grown fruit in the comments below – what would you make with a bucket of fresh apples or a bowlful of of cherries? Let me know your ideas for yummy summer desserts 🙂