Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category
Dried pomegranate seeds are excellent in salads or in soups or savory pancakes where the crunch from the seed or the sourness can be pleasing. The seeds can also be crushed and added to dishes to lend sourness.
On the right, in the picture above, are store bought seeds. They are sour but don’t have a whole lot of taste. The one on the left of the picture are dried at home in a food dryer per recommendation. It took what seemed like forever but the result is gorgeous. The seeds retain the lovely pomegranate color and are intensely flavorful. The seeds are crunchier as well and perhaps not as sour as the store bought variety.
I think I am going to additionally try my seeds as toppings on ice cream and homemade bars.
A dear neighbor recently gave us a large pail of prickly pear. He has the deep orange variety. These of course had the thorns unlike the ones from the store. I held each fruit using a tong, gave it a quick rinse in the kitchen basin to get rid of cobwebs and spiders, cut the fruit in half with a sharp knife on a cutting board, scooped the flesh out with a butter spoon and dumped the rest in my compost bin – assembly line style. I got about 6 cups from ~20 fruits.
I cooked the resulting flesh for about 45 minutes to release the juices, added a cinnamon stick at the end and let cool. Strained the resulting mass through a steel strainer to get rid of the seeds – if you just let the liquid drip, you will get a clearer jel but I let the pulp through. Finally, followed a low sugar jelly following instructions on Pomona pectin package for strawberries.
Somewhere between lunch and dinner, I often find myself craving for a slice of cake and a cup of tea. Mostly I make do with a health bar. Some weekends, when all the chakras are in alignment, a cake is born in my kitchen. This one started out being yet another banana bread variation but the nutty taste of buckwheat overtook the tropical taste of banana. The end product was so moist and nutty that I decided to call it a tea cake, perhaps the best tea cake to come out of my kitchen.
Cape gooseberry (Rasbhari in Northern India) is giant version of the ground cherry. Rasbhari is about the size of a kumquat and ground cherry is 1/4 that size. So giant is perhaps not the right description but you get my meaning. If you are living in India, you don’t think of rasbhari as uncommon. Seasonal yes, but uncommon no. In fact, during the season if you are stuck in slow moving traffic you will likely bring home a bunch from one of the numerous street vendors. But if like me, you travel to India, it is a treat like jamun. So, when my husband said in spring this year that he has found a source for ground cherry, I was naturally excited even if it meant growing from a seedling.
Ours came from Seed Saver Exchange. The rest was simple. Transplant, watch em’ grow slowly, very slowly. These bushes start to fruit even when they are a meager 4 inches tall. Wait for the fruits to ripen and fall off the plant. Eat.