Category:  Fruit and Jams

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Cinnamon Apples

In Fruit and Jams On November 23, 2011 0 Comments

Every year at Thanksgiving, I like adding a new dish to my repertoire. I recently posted Butternut Squash Risotto as a first course for the holiday dinner. Keep in mind that tomorrow’s fare could add 3 pounds to your scale the next day, aka Black Friday, the day you’ll shop for a holiday dress or suit. Don’t know about you, but I’m staying in my tight black dress way past January 2nd!

No worries. I’ve come up with a foolproof plan. I turned my fav apple pie dessert into a guilt-free holiday treat. Freshly sliced apples are cooked with raisins and cinnamon (no sugar). After the apples have cooled, I can snack on them as much as I like without worrying about an expanding waistline.

Try the recipe – you’ll love it.

Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 to 8 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
5 to 6 medium-large apples (any variety)
¼ cup raisins
½ cup cold water
½ cinnamon stick, cut into slivers
Dash ground cinnamon

1. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples.

2. Place apples in a 4 to 6-quart saucepot with raisins, water, cinnamon stick and ground cinnamon.

3. Bring to a boil and cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until apples are tender.

4. Transfer Cinnamon Apples to a glass or porcelain bowl and cool.

Serve and/or refrigerate up to 5 days.
Text & Photograph © Nancy DeLucia Real

Mochi Watermelon Ice Pops

In Fruit and Jams, Fun Foods On August 21, 2011 0 Comments

Yesterday was a HOT day and I felt like eating something fresh and fun! I immediately thought of picking up a sweet, crisp watermelon at the supermarket – a delicious summer fruit. For the fun part, I was thinking of frozen treats or yogurt and all the toppings that I go crazy over (especially those chewy bits of mochi). I think you figured it out, right?

These watermelon pops are lots of fun – each bite is a curious surprise!

Active prep time: 10 minutes
Inactive prep time: 4 hours or overnight (for freezing)
Makes: 10 ice pops

Ingredients:
4 cups watermelon chunks (1-inch pieces)
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup unbleached, granulated sugar
10 plastic ice pop molds
1 cup mini mochi pieces (available at most frozen yogurt stores)

1. Put the watermelon, lime juice, water and sugar in a blender and “pulse-blend” until ingredients are mixed, but not watery. Taste and adjust sugar or lime juice levels.

2. Divide the watermelon mixture evenly among 10 ice pop molds.

3. Place a few mochi pieces on top of the watermelon mixture in each mold.

4. Add plastic ice pop stick or wooden popsicle stick and freeze 4 hours or overnight.

To Unmold Mochi Watermelon Ice Pops:

1. Place exterior section of ice pop molds underneath hot, running water until the ice pops fall out.

2. When unmolding, if ice pops are watery all around, place them on a metal baking sheet and return to freezer for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve.

Text and Photograph © 2011 Nancy DeLucia Real

Kiwi, Mozzarella & Papaya Skewers

In Appetizers / Starters, Fruit and Jams, Fun Foods On July 3, 2010 2 Comments

Lookin’ to make a splash with a fresh and colorful appetizer this summer? Here’s a cool, mouth-watering recipe. These cute looking kiwi, mozzarella and papaya starters appeal to the eye as well as to the palate. And when this bright platter makes its appearance, you’ll notice your guests’ eyes pop out of their sockets and hear them utter the word, “Wowwwwwww!”

Prep time: 25 to 30 minutes
Makes: 4 to 6 skewers

Ingredients:
1 Hawaiian papaya
1 bunch watercress, rinsed and spun dry in a salad spinner
5 kiwis, peeled
1 pint cherry tomatoes (2 cups)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella balls (one-inch mozzarella balls packaged in water)
Six 12-inch wooden skewers
Melon ball scooper
Salt and pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1. Cut papaya in half and remove seeds with a spoon; set aside.

2. Remove largest and most perfect leaves from watercress stem; set leaves aside and discard stems.

3. Using a melon ball scooper, carve out one-inch balls from the flesh of both papaya and kiwis, setting them aside on a plate as you go along.

4. Take 1 skewer and put it through the center of a watercress leaf, making sure the leaf is pushed to the opposite end of the skewer.

5. Add a mozzarella ball, a watercress leaf, a papaya ball, a watercress leaf, a tomato, a watercress leaf and a kiwi. Repeat pattern until skewer is complete.

6. Assemble the remaining skewers in the same manner.

7. When all skewers are assembled, place them on a serving platter.

8. Sprinkle the skewers with a dash of salt and pepper, followed by a drizzle of the olive oil.

9. Serve immediately.

Alternatively, prepare up to 4 hours ahead, cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The Kiwi, Mozzarella & Papaya skewers will keep, refrigerated, up to two days (by the next day, the kiwi may not be as firm but it will still be edible).

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real

Springtime Strawberry Jam

In Fruit and Jams On March 19, 2010 0 Comments

Spring and all of nature’s bounty are finally here! I was so excited when I saw the first fresh crop of strawberries at my local farmers’ market, that I immediately created this recipe for homemade strawberry jam. It’s natural, light and delicious on toasted bread, or as a topping for ice cream, yogurt or cookies. And the best part is that it only takes about 20 minutes to make.

Active prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Inactive prep time: 2 hours (for cooling)
Makes: 1-1/2 to 2 cups

Ingredients:
4 cups (1 quart) whole fresh strawberries
1/2 cup pure cane sugar (this sugar is light golden and less processed)
1/2 cup water
Juice of half a lemon
1-1/4 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water in a small cup or glass

1. Rinse and dry the strawberries.

2. Remove stems and cut the strawberries into fourths lengthwise.

3. In a 3-quart saucepot, combine the strawberries, sugar and the water.

4. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. After 3 minutes, mash the strawberries with a potato masher, and cook an additional minute. Stir in the lemon juice and the  cornstarch mixture.

6. Taste and, if a sweeter jam is desired, add 1 additional tablespoon sugar. Cook and stir for an additional 30 to 45 seconds.

7. Remove from heat, cover and cool completely.

Transfer to an airtight glass container and refrigerate up to one week.
Makes 2 cups

Text ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real