March 27, 2009

Fruit Frenzy

The fresh fruits that are starting to take over the produce section of the grocery stores truly make this one of my favorite times of the year. Originally, I was going to share some recipes for sweets that would be fun for Easter Baskets but I was talked out of it by these delectable desserts with fresh fruits. Both recipes are from the "Gourmet Gringo" by Mari Meyers. Permission to reprint the recipes has been granted by Golden West Publishers, 4113 N. Longview Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85014.

  • 6 ripe but firm PEARS
  • 1/2 LEMON
  • 1 cup unsweetened APPLE JUICE
  • 1/2 cup ORANGE JUICE
  • 1/2 cup SUGAR
  • 2 (2-inches) CINNAMON STICKS
  • LEMON RIND STRIPS (optional garnish)
Peel pears, leaving on stem. Remove core from bottom along with a small crosswise slice so they stand upright. Squeeze juice from lemon over pears; set aside.

In large Dutch oven or casserole, combine wine, apple juice, orange juice, sugar, lemon slices and cinnamon sticks; bring to a slow boil. Place pears upright in sangria and spoon liquid over pears. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.

Cool, keeping pears in sangria and turn several times. Chill in refrigerator until presentation. Serve pears and sangria in glass compotes (remove cinnamon sticks). Decorate stems with thin lemon rind strips cut in circular fashion, if desired.

Serves 6.

    • 1 pint fresh STRAWBERRIES, cleaned & hulled
    • 2 teaspoons SUGAR
      • 3 ounces (3 squares) CHOCOLATE (blended such as semisweet or bittersweet), grated or finely chopped
      • 1/2 cup WHIPPING CREAM
      • 3 tablespoons BUTTER
    • 2 or 3 tablespoons BUTTER
    • 2 (8-inch) fresh, flaky and thin flour TORTILLAS
    • 1 large ripe, firm BANANA
    Prepare berries and cut in large dice, or maybe halved, add sugar and refrigerate at least an hour. Chocolate sauce should be made just before using. Heat chocolate in small saucepan, blend in cream to heat through, then add butter. Stir over medium heat until smooth. Makes 1 cup. When ready to serve, warm butter in skillet large enough to hold 1 flat tortilla at a time. Heat each tortilla in butter just a few seconds on first side, then turn over and heat just until it starts to puff up on the second side. Quickly remove to serving plates. Slice banana; divide strawberries and apportion fruit over middle of each heated tortilla, spoon hot chocolate sauce over fruit and berries combination and fold sides over middle to close. Present immediately.

    Serves 2.