Recipes: Delicious stonefruit desserts


Plum and coconut cake; Peach and rhubarb shortcake; Apricot fool. Pewter plate, glasses, moulds and French ceiling tile from Romantique. Glass jar from Everyday Needs. Pictures / Babiche Martens.

Right now, I love seeing the shelves of my local supermarket and vegetable stores laden with fresh fruit - all locally grown, colourful, juicy and sweet.

The other option, of course, is to take full advantage of friends and family who have laden fruit trees in the garden. Grab a bag and pick what you can. I hate to see good fruit going to waste.

There are many ways to eat stonefruit, from scrummy pies to - my favourite - simply sliced in half, grilled, and stuffed with ricotta and honey. You don't always have to peel the fruit, but if you do, simply drop it in boiling water, then remove; peeling will be so much easier.

I also like to toss stone fruit through a salad or eat slices with cheese. Plus, there's always the option to freeze or bottle any excess, which you will be grateful for later in the year.

Apricots are often better cooked than raw. The colour and sweet-tart flavour is something else.

In this simple fruit fool, fold gently cooked apricots with amaretto biscuits through cream or greek yoghurt. This is a great stand-by dessert for summer.

Keep a bowl of stewed apricots at the ready in the fridge for this dish, or use plums, equally as delicious. Stewed fruits are also fabulous on your morning muesli.

For high tea or dessert try this shortcake full of pistachio and citrus flavours, delicious with peaches and rhubarb. Serve with a dollop of lightly whipped cream - naughty but scrummy. I used the rhubarb from the garden which got out of control over the holiday. It adds a nice tartness to the sweet peaches.

For the gluten-free cake I used plums bought from a stall on the side of the road. There are more varieties of plums than any other stonefruit and any would be perfect in this cake. The mixture may seem a little dry, but the plums will produce juice during cooking to moisten the cake. You will find coconut flour in the healthfood section of your local supermarket or in a specialty health store.

You can buy dried fruit, but it is fun to dry your own in the oven. I sprinkled these slices of plum with sugar as they were a little tart, and then dried them overnight on a baking tray at 50C. If they are really crispy and dry, try blending them to a powder.


Recipes:

• Plum and coconut cake

• Peach and rhubarb shortcake

• Apricot fool

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