Cooked fruit is an excellent way to add nutrients and variety to your summer meals. Poaching, grilling and making compotes are common ways to cook fruit. Many people also enjoy adding spice or herbs to fruit during the cooking process to intensify the flavor and change the texture. Some of the most common fruits to cook with are peaches, apricots, bananas, pineapple, apples and figs. Even unripe fruit can have its natural sweetness revealed through baking and roasting.
Fruit can be cooked using moist heat or dry heat methods. To make a sauce, compote or to poach would require moist heat. Liquid and seasoning is often added to soften and infuse a new flavor. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, chilies and saffron can be used to add a deep and complex flavor to fruit. Fresh herbs like lavender are often used in a poaching liquid. Dry heat cooking for fruit usually involves grilling, sautéing and roasting. Grilled fruit can stand alone, while roasted and sautéed fruit is often added to sauces or chutney. The natural sweetness of fresh fruit makes it a delicious and healthy option any time of the day. Fruit certainly doesn’t need enhancing, but cooking with fruit adds variety and depth to many recipes and meals.