Posts Tagged ‘peach’

Lavashak

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

As soon as I saw the photos of lavashak on My Persian Kitchen, I was itching to try this Iranian delicacy. Made only with fresh fruit, it seemed the perfect partner for nuts and crackers to take along on long hikes or bike rides.

When a friend gave me several kilos of little wild plums that had fallen from a tree in her garden, my curiosity about lavashak could wait no longer.

Known in English by the uninspiring name of fruit roll, the slightly offputting fruit leather and the even less appealing fruit jerky, lavashak is the quintessential childhood memory of a sweet treat for many Iranians.

It can be made with any stone fruit, such as plums, cherries, apricots and peaches. Sugar and spices may be added, but I wanted to try the plain version first. The result was just as delicious as I’d imagined: intensely fruity and mouthwateringly tart.

Lavashak p

The lemon juice can be left out, but I have the impression it helps the paste set better, as it does with jam.

For a tray of lavashak

1 kg of stone fruit
1 tbs lemon juice

Wash the fruit and remove the stones (I used a cherry stoner for my tiny plums). Put the fruit in a large, preferably non-stick, saucepan with the lemon juice and cook over a very low heat until you have a thick paste. Puree the paste in a processor or put it through a food mill.

Line a baking tray with silicone paper and oil it lightly. Spread the fruit paste evenly over the paper. Put into an oven set as low as possible and leave it for an hour, watching it carefully to make sure the edges don’t start to burn.

Leave to cool and cover with a clean teacloth before putting it out in the sun for two days.

If it’s really hot where you are, leave out the oven stage and just put the lavashak in the sun for four days.

When it’s ready, the lavashak should be glossy and only very slightly sticky to the touch. Cut it into strips, roll them up and keep in a plastic box in the refrigerator.

Instant fruit ice

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Last summer our solitary peach tree decided to bear fruit for the first time – so much that we couldn’t eat it all.

Peach tree

So I froze several kilos of peaches, plunging them in boiling water to remove the skins, then cutting them in half to take out the stones. Just the thing for making tarts and crumbles in the middle of winter, right?

Errr… not quite.

Once defrosted, the peaches slumped into a brown, sticky, watery gloop, devoid of scent and completely inedible.

What was needed was a way of using them while still frozen. I let them defrost just enough to be able to separate the halves, then whizzed them in the food processor to make this quick ice. We enjoyed it, but it must be said that it doesn’t taste particularly of peaches.

If you know a way of freezing peaches without ruining them, I’d love to hear about it.

Cashew nut paste (I use the Jean Hervé brand, which is organic and contains nothing but finely ground cashews) is one of my ingredients of choice at the moment. It sticks to the roof of the mouth in a way that may not appeal to everyone, but for me that’s part of its toffee-like charm.

I’ve tested this ice successfully with bought frozen fruit like raspberries and redcurrants, and with fruit from the garden cooked prior to freezing, such as quince, rhubarb and apple.

Pictured below: scoops of raspberry, apple and peach ice.

Glaces-minute

You can adjust the amount of syrup according to taste and the tartness of the fruit, and vary the nut paste (almond and hazelnut are good, but don’t give quite the same smoothness) and milk (try almond, oat or soya).

For about 500 ml (1 pint)

200 g (7oz) frozen fruit
120 ml (5 fl oz) plant milk
2 tbs cashew nut paste
2 tbs agave syrup

Take the fruit out of the freezer and leave at room temperature for 10-15 minutes, or until you can separate the pieces.

Put the milk into a food processor, followed by the nut paste and syrup. Add the fruit pieces, and process until you have a smooth puree with no lumps.

If you do this quickly enough, you end up with a soft ice, rather like an Italian ice, which can either be eaten straight away or poured into a plastic tub and put in the freezer for a few hours to firm up.