Monday, December 15, 2008

Stewing in my own juices

So, what do you do when you have fruit trees that grow a boat load of fruit? You make stuff with them.

My parents have two apricot trees on their suburban block. This years' crop has been bountiful and my father has been gleefully making apricot jam, stewed apricots, apricot this and apricot that.

He gifted me a little over a kilo of apricots for my own cooking pleasure. So what do you make when you already have a

cupboard full of apricot jam? Apricot Pie, of course.

So, the apricots need stewing right? In Mrs Beeton there is a recipe for stewed fruit (but strangely not even a recipe for apple pie) and I just discovered yesterday a recipe for Apricot Jam in the 'Australian Cookery' section of the book (apparently Apricot Jam is exclusively Australian... or else lots of people in Australia have an excess of apricots. - One other recipe in the Australian section is 'APRICOTS AND RICE' - but we'll get to Australian Cooking soon)
You'd think stewed fruit would be easy and that all the recipes would be pretty much the same. No fear... Mrs B's is quite different from the recipe I got out of Cookery The Australian Way. I'll put them side by side (or in brackets) so we can compare.


1lb of fruit (500g of fruit - that's pretty much the same)
4 oz of sugar (1/4 cup of sugar - Mrs Beeton has double that)
1/4 of a pint of water (1 cup of water - She also has half the amount of water)

METHOD - Apples and pears intended for stewing should be peeled, quartered and cored. Gooseberries should have the tops and tails cut off; rhubarbs usually sliced, and if at all old the stringy outer skin is stripped off. Other fruit, such as cherries and plums, should have the stalks removed, but the stones may be taken out or not, as preferred. Bring the water and sugar to the boil, add the fruit and stew very gently until tender. Or place the fruit, water and sugar in a jar, stand the jar in a saucepan of boiling water, and cook gently until tender.

TIME - About 1/2 an hour. SUFFICIENT for 3 or 4 persons.

I love how you can stew the fruit in the jar all ready to put away once they're done. Fabulous!

(Cookery The Australian Way just calls for everything to be put in the pot, brought to the boil and then simmered until soft (about 5 to 10 mins))

For the pastry I used the short crust pastry found below. Overall, this was very tasty, however the pie did get a little squooshed when I was un-tinning it. Still tasty - just not as attractive.

No comments: