Puréed Fruit–Beyond Applesauce

Puréed fruit is tasty and healthy for dessert or for snacks. Applesauce is a quick and easy go-to fruit purée, and you can find it in one portion containers in most food stores. But there are other fruits! Click HERE for a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis that seems a good general method for making easy fresh fruit purées. If needed, you could add Thick-It to get the consistency best for the person who will be eating it. [Do  not take this as an endorsement of Thick-It (for whom I do not work!). It is just that this is the thickener that was recommended to me by my Dad’s dietician.]

Here’s what I did to make a Creamy Poached Pear Pudding: Ingredients

  • Two Pears (whatever is the ripest–I used Red Bartlett)
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon grated ginger
  • 5 Black Peppercorns
  • 4 Pods of Green Cardamom
  • 1/4 cup of Heavy Cream or Half & Half
  • 1 Teaspoon of Corn Starch dissolved in some Cream or Half & Half

Method

Peel and core the pears. Cut them in to chunks and–in a small saucepan–add enough water to cover them. Add the sugar, ginger, peppercorns, and cardamom pods. Bring the contents of the saucepan to a boil and simmer them uncovered until the liquid has boiled down just about to a syrup. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool.

Once the pears have cooled a bit, pour them into a sieve placed over a bowl. Mash the cooked pears through the sieve and return the resulting purée to the saucepan. Return the pan to the stove and heat the purée back to a simmer. Mix in the Heavy Cream or Half & Half, and then mix in the cornstarch mixture. Stir or whisk until the mixture thickens.

Once it is thick, pour it into a bowl and refrigerate until it is chilled through. Then serve it!

NOTE: You can adjust the amount of sugar to your taste. This recipe is on the less-sweet side. I like South Asian flavors, hence the ginger, pepper, and cardamom. You could substitute whatever spices you like! For example, cinnamon would work well, or a touch of vanilla extract added towards the end.

Spicy Mango Lime Pudding

I found a really nice, ripe mango yesterday. So this morning I cut the flesh off the pit, peeled it, and pureed it in my blender.  I mashed the purée through a sieve, added a little Simple Syrup to it, and tasted it. The result: a wonderful fresh mango taste, but a sadly slimy consistency. So I came up with the following recipe as a riff on the traditional way of serving mango with lime and cayenne!

Ingredients

  • One ripe Mango, cored, peeled, and puréed in a blender.
  • Simple Syrup to taste. [See the Giada De Laurentiis recipe for fresh fruit purées (above) for a recipe for this.]
  • Juice of one small Lime
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper (or more, depending on taste and the strength of the Cayenne)
  • 2 Teaspoons of Cornstarch blended into 1/4 Cup Cream or Half & Half

Method

Put the Mango Purée into a nonreactive saucepan. Add Simple Syrup, Lime Juice, and Cayenne. Bring to a bubbly simmer. Whisk in the Cornstarch/Cream mixture. SImmer until the pudding thickens. Correct for sweetness and seasoning and pur into a bowl. Chill well before serving

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