Fruit Parade, I Mean Puree

The surprisingly warm weather this weekend had me thinking of making a fruit puree to commemorate the final days of summer. Not to mention, I had a container of raspberries from Stanley's taking up space in my fridge. If you've ever purchased the amazingly cheap produce at Stanley's before, you know that time is of the essence. It may be cheap, but you sure as heck better use it fast too, or you'll be throwing it away stat. I'm making a raspberry flavored ganache next weekend for a macaron order, which calls for some raspberry puree, so I figured I'd give it a trial run and then reap the benefits of my labors throughout the week. 

Puree's are insanely easy to make and the options are quite endless as to what you can do with them. And they're certainly not limited to just raspberries (or berries in general). There are plenty of savory purees to sink your teeth into as well. And purees are often the bases for the start of more complex dishes and (mostly) desserts (i.e. ice creams, sorbets, smoothies, preserves, etc), as is the case with the ganache I'm making later on.

As far as purees go, some of my favorite uses include drizzling it on top of : ice cream, quick breads (especially pound cake/angel food cake/banana bread), greek yogurt and granola, or even in place of syrup on top of pancakes. (And you all know by now how crazy I am about all things pancakes). After I made this batch, I had some on top of a fresh slice of bread I got from the bakery I work at (with a little butter, don't forget), for a quick and delicious Sunday nosh.

(S)Wheat & Sour Bread with butter and a fresh raspberry puree.

Here's the general "recipe" for a puree (below). (You can leave it unsweetened or you can sweeten it with a little sucrose, or granulated sugar to taste.) Oh, and here's my all time favorite definition of a puree, as told in Veganomicon (one of my all time favorite cookbooks):
Blending the heck out of something in a food processor or blender.
Short, sweet, and to the point!

Now, for the recipe:

12 ounces (approximately 1 1/2 cups) fresh or frozen berries, (defrosted if frozen)
1/4 cup granulated sugar, or more to taste (optional - add only if sweetening, omit if making your puree unsweetened)
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice (acts as a preservative, optional)

Sort and wash your berries. Drain, cap, and stem (or thaw if frozen) unsweetened berries. In a saucepan, bring berries (with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan so the fruit doesn't stick) to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cover, cooking approximately 20 minutes, or until fruit is soft and tender. Add your sugar (if sweetening) and cook until dissolved. In a food processor, combine berry mixture (add lemon juice at this point, if using) and process to a smooth puree, about 30 seconds. To eliminate pesky seeds and the like, pour your puree through a fine sieve, using a rubber spatula to stir and press the puree through; discard solids. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Yields approximately 1 cup of finished puree.

No comments:

Post a Comment