When the weather is warm, I like to have a big batch fruit salad in the fridge so I can have a nice cold healthy snack in the heat of the day.
In the cold months, I love to serve this warm over coffee cake fresh out of the oven, but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy it as well. A few are listed after the recipe.
6 large firm pears, peeled and quartered
6 large firm apples, peeled, quartered, and the quarters cut in half again
6 yellow peaches, pitted, peeled, and quartered
1 # (453.5 g) tart cherries, pitted, sliced in half
8 wz (227 g) granulated sugar (unwashed or raw is best, but white sugar is ok too)
2 wz (56.5 g) Spice Traders Pirate Chai loose tea in a linen or cheesecloth pouch (sachet)
1 large lidded pot deep enough to hold everything listed above, plus enough water to cover it all with an extra 2 inches (5 cm) to spare
8 wz seedless grapes (doesn’t matter what type, just that they have no seeds – found out the hard way that grape seeds will make this bitter)
Gather your ingredients.
Use kitchen twine or cotton string to attach the tea pouch to the handle of your pot so that it hangs roughly halfway up from the bottom, or let it float free. Either way works fine, but tying it to the handle makes sure it doesn’t sink to the bottom and scorch.
Put everything but the grapes into the pot, put the lid on, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the peaches are fairly easy to poke with a fork, but not smooshy (this is called ‘fork-tender’).
Remove pot from heat and immediately strain liquid into a bowl, keeping fruit in the pot, and the tea pouch in the liquid. If you tied the pouch to the pot, this is the time to cut it free.
If you plan to eat it now, put the cooked fruit and fresh grapes into a storage container and cover with just enough of the liquid to keep it from drying out, let it cool, then store it in the fridge. It should last a week, but don’t quote me on that, as I usually make this during canning season, and what little goes in the fridge gets eaten quickly.
If you are a canner, fill each jar 3/4 of the way with cooked fruit, add grapes to your fill mark, then add the liquid to cover. Remove bubbles and top off as needed, and proceed as usual, depending on the process you use.
The Pirate Chai can be found at http://www.spicetradersteas.com/store/home/42-pirate-chai.html and is the key to this recipe’s success.
Any remaining liquid can be frozen and used at a later date to poach fruit for tarts, pies, or candy-making. Oatmeal cooked in it tastes pretty darn good, too.
Properly canned fruit should last a year when correctly stored.
I promise to take and post pictures the next time I make this.
Some of the ways I’ve enjoyed this salad:
Straight out of the jar.
Strained onto a bed of lettuce, sprinkled with dried cranberries and toasted nuts, garnished with bite-size shortbread cookies.
“Dump Cake” Combine a large jar of fruit with a boxed cake mix and 2 wz (56 g) melted butter, then bake according to the directions on the box.
Strained, tossed with powdered (confectioners’) sugar, then baked in pie dough to make pocket pies.
Pureed and used as a sauce over ice cream.
Mixed into muffin batter.
Cooked into waffles.
Poured over boneless skinless chicken breasts, then roasted. The chicken comes out so moist and tender!
Use your imagination – let your tastebuds run wild! Then, please, share your successes with us!