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Fabulous recipes with stone fruit

Fun ways to work with peaches, plums and nectarines

Londiwe Dlomo Journalist
Most of SA's stone fruit is mainly grown in the Western Cape.
Most of SA's stone fruit is mainly grown in the Western Cape.
Image: 123RF

Stone fruit is in season all summer long, and can be enjoyed by itself or part of a scrumptious recipe. Most of SA’s stone fruit is mainly grown in the Western Cape, plums are in season from November to April, peaches are in season from October to March and nectarines are in season from October to March, these are also grown in the northern provinces of the country.

If you’re looking for some fun ways to work with peaches, plums and nectarines, look no further because TV chefs Justine Drake and Jenny Morris have created fabulous recipes with stone fruit, to help you enjoy them in a different way.

If you’re looking for a different and low-calorie nutritious dishes for Valentine's night or a family feast this weekend, this is for you.

Roasted Fillet with Chunky Plums.
Roasted Fillet with Chunky Plums.
Image: Supplied

Roasted Fillet with Chunky Plums

By Jenny Morris

Serves 4 

Ingredients:

1kg beef fillet

salt & pepper to taste

2 tsp ground cumin

300g firm, red, ripe plums

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp onion finely chopped

1 clove of garlic crushed

1 tsp ginger grated

1 red chilli sliced

3 Tbsp white sugar

2 whole star anise

200ml port

½ cup lemon juice

1 orange zest

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp of fresh coriander 

Method:

First get the sauce started. Stone and halve the plums. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook stirring for 2 minutes and then add the sugar and star anise. Cook stirring until sugar dissolves and add a little port to prevent it from burning.

Once the sugar has dissolved, add the remaining port, lemon juice, orange juice, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Place the plums into the mixture and simmer gently until tender but not overcooked – about 8 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, and remove the plums with a slotted spoon and set aside. Stir in the sesame oil, orange zest and coriander. Return the plums to the sauce. 

To prepare the meat, rub the fillet with olive oil and then season with salt, pepper and ground cumin. Heat a frying pan until it is hot and then seal the meat on all sides until nice and brown.

Roast in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes. Rest the fillet for 10 minutes and then slice the meat. Spoon over the plum sauce and serve.

Tip: this sauce is also delicious with pork, chicken, lamb, duck and ostrich.

Justine Drake's nectarine mini Pavlovas.
Justine Drake's nectarine mini Pavlovas.
Image: Supplied

Mini Pavlovas with Nectarine and Burnt Sugar Shards

By Justine Drake

Makes 8 mini Pavlovas or one large one

Ingredients:

Meringue

4 egg whites

Pinch of cream of tartar

1 cup (200g) castor sugar

½ Tbsp (7ml) vanilla essence

Topping

4-6 nectarines

Juice of 1 large orange

1-2 Tbsp (15-30ml) orange liqueur, optional

1 cup (250 ml) cream, whipped

Burnt Sugar Shards

2 Tbsp water

¾ cup sugar

Method:

Meringue

Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar to medium-stiff peaks.

Add castor sugar a tablespoon at a time every few minutes – the sugar should dissolve completely before adding the next spoonful. Whisk until all the sugar has been added and the meringue is smooth, thick and glossy.

Place large dollops of the meringue mixture onto a lined baking tray taking care to allow enough space between each one.

Using the back of a teaspoon, create a well in the middle of each to create a nest.

Bake at 100°C for about 1 hour. Cool completely in the oven before removing.

Topping

Thinly slice nectarines and macerate in orange juice and liqueur for no longer than 30 minutes.

Spoon the cream into the meringue nests and arrange the nectarines on top. Decorate with sugar shards and mint leaves if you like. 

Sugar shards

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place water and sugar into a heavy based pot.

Cook over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar – do not stir as crystals will form.

Once the sugar starts to dissolve, increase the heat and cook until dark brown.

Pour the caramel onto a baking sheet in a thin, even layer.

Cool and chop or break into shards.

Store in an airtight container until needed.

Do not refrigerate or the shards will become tacky. 

Jenny Morris' frozen plum lollies
Jenny Morris' frozen plum lollies
Image: Supplied

Frozen Plum Lollies

By Jenny Morris

Serves 12 

Ingredients: 

8 fat plums

½ cup raw honey

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 cups natural yoghurt 

Method:

Cut a cross into the base of each plum and plunge into boiling water, remove with a slotted spoon. Peel off the skins and remove the flesh from the stone.

Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake holders.

Blend the plum flesh, honey, vanilla extract and yoghurt in a food processor until smooth.

Taste and add a little more honey if too tart.

Divide the mixture between the muffin holes and freeze till firm.

When almost firm insert a lolly stick into each one. (Sticks are available at Mambos or Checkers)

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