Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.
Today: Wait, wait...don't toss it. That bruised fruit is more useful than you'd think.
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Even if your delicious summer fruit has been jostling around the fruit bowl for a couple days too long, it's not yet worthy of the trash -- or the compost heap. A few bruises on your legs never kept you from enjoying the summer sun, did it? Think of fruit the same way -- still able to brighten your meal, no matter what.
Bruised fruit can go a long way in the kitchen. In fact, you may even want to ask your favorite farmer for "seconds" at the market: These are the fruits (and vegetables) that are slightly bruised or banged up, even though they taste just as good -- and they are often heavily discounted. Whether you're buying them on purpose or simply stuck with some overripe berries, here's how to put your bruised fruit to good use:
Jam out. If your fruit is already on its way to mashing itself up, there's no need to keep it from its ultimate fate: delicious jam. Tomatoes get bruised too, especially if you get a little too overzealous about their seasonality and buy a few too many. Since they're technically fruit, we're going to go ahead and say this jam is par for the course. The same treatment can be used on strawberries, apricots, and more. Make extra, use it in this chic shortbread tart, and give your fruit a third life.
Speaking of the oven... If you're okay with turning it on, you can bake your bruised fruit into cakes and crumbles. Because everything tastes better smothered in sugar and butter.
Cool it off. Sweaty from all that baking? Good thing you put some homemade ice pops in the freezer first. Bananas, strawberries, mangoes, and more all break down deliciously into refreshing desserts.
I'm a former Food52 Julia Child Food Writing Fellow now studying law so I can make food fairer, more delicious, and more sustainable for everyone. I was born and raised in Montreal (mostly on poutine and matzoh ball soup), but in my heart I am an Italian grandma—I live on pizza and make a mean eggplant parmesan.