FRUIT 101 - easonal fruit compotes (sweet or savory?) what to do with to much!

Jams, Jelly and aspics -

  • Posted by: welzmary
  • September 4, 2022


HalfPint September 7, 2022
I would go the sweet and alcoholic route: make syrups, cordials, bounces, infused liqueur, etc. Lots of recipes online. And quite yummy (unless you can't have alcohol).
Happygoin September 4, 2022
Eau de Vie!

Every August I make huge batches of eau de vie. Raspberry, plum, peach, just off the top of my head. They’re rectified spirits, not distilled, so it’s as easy as macerating softened fruit in liquor with some added sugar, depending on how sweet, or not, your fruit is.

Uses up lots of fruit and makes excellent holiday gifts.
702551 September 4, 2022
Humans have had to deal with crop excesses ever since we invented agriculture. Now that we have technologies like refrigeration and freezers, there are more options but originally people were limited to a handful of options such as dehydration, pickling, salting, and eventually fermentation.

While delicious, adding a few fruit to flavor vodka or scattering a few slices on a salad isn't an efficient way to use up a bumper crop. You realistically have to make preparations that use large batches of the produce in question as the primary ingredient.

Your options will likely be dictated by the types of cuisines you generally eat.

Many Americans do not appreciate pickled produce while many other cultures are have a long tradition of using these items. Even if there's a recipe for pickled peaches in the Chez Panisse Fruits cookbook, if your dinner table guests have scant appreciation for such things, it may not be something worth tackling. The Japanese have been eating umeboshi (pickled plums) for over a thousand years. When was the last time your next door neighbor enjoyed one?

With electric freezers, you also have the option of just throwing them in there raw and dealing with them later, an option that wasn't available to our ancestors a hundred years ago. Berries are a great candidate for this method.

From the standpoint of the average F52 community member who eats mostly Western cuisine, you can treat by canning, turning in to jam/jelly, cook into compote or make into ice cream/sorbet. For plums I've turned them into New Zealand style plum sauce (which is similar to tomato ketchup). Likely this preparation can be adapted to other stone fruits. Over the years I've gifted a few bottles of this plum sauce to others but only one person requests seconds so it basically ends up being for personal consumption.

I turn a lot of excess fruit into mildly sweetened compote. I no longer have the sweet tooth of my childhood but certain fruit compotes pair very well with savory dishes including meat (particularly pork), poultry (duck especially) and some fish preparations. I use the same compotes as a topping for breakfast oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream, etc. when I'm in the mood for that.

In summary, people have developed tons of ways of dealing with abundant harvests. Plenty has been written about these methods, both in deadtrees books as well as online articles. The key is identifying what will be enthusiastically received by those at your dinner table. That's really up to you to determine. I can't convince anyone to love umeboshi.

Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend and best of luck.
Nancy September 4, 2022
Also freeze raw, dehydrate, give to friends, use to flavor brandy, vodka or rum.
Nancy September 5, 2022
Variation on give to friends - take to a food bank that distributes produce.
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