Advertisement
  1. Archive

FROM THE FREEZER // Canned fruit goes gourmet

Go ahead, put on a wig and sunglasses, duck into the supermarket, and buy canned fruit. Yes, it's late July, the produce stands overflow with ripe plums and berries, but even serious cooks might consider the canned kind.

If, that is, they want excellent homemade sorbet in a flash.

Melanie Barnard, a columnist for Bon Appetit magazine, was commissioned by the Steel Packaging Council, a trade group, to present some new uses for canned foods at the April conference of the International Association of Culinary Professionals in Philadelphia.

She came up with a method for making surprisingly fresh-tasting fruit sorbet by freezing unopened cans of fruit, then popping the contents into a food processor. In less than a minute, the fruit is churned into perfect, softly frozen sorbet, ready to serve.

Her method is a streamlined version of the basic sorbet recipe in the booklet that comes with Cuisinart food processors. The Cuisinart recipe calls for pureeing sweetened fresh fruit, freezing it, cutting it into chunks and processing it again.

"I remembered reading about something like it years ago," Barnard said.

"I decided to try it. I bought every canned fruit in the supermarket and tried them all. The ones in heavy syrup were best. The sweetness and the proportion of fruit to syrup were just right. And I didn't have to do a thing. Just freeze the can."

Barnard prefers canned fruit to fresh because it does not involve making a sugar syrup or adding sugar and adjusting the sweetness. "None of that is necessary with canned fruit," Barnard said. "And you can have it on hand all year round."

Although fruits in heavy syrup are preferable, those in light syrup or packed in their own juices, like pineapple and grapefruit, can also be used. But the final texture will be icier, more like a granita. The canned-fruit sorbet can be firmed in the freezer but remains scoopable even after an overnight sojourn.

Any fruit with pits or seeds, such as plums and blackberries, must be pitted or sieved to remove seeds before freezing. Fruits in jars, such as imported white peaches, should be placed in plastic containers for freezing.

Barnard said that canned figs and apricots are her favorites.

Herbs, spices and liqueurs or spirits can be added to the mixture. It is even possible to take the technique a step further and make quick frozen yogurt by freezing containers of flavored yogurt and processing them with frozen canned fruit.

And when excellent fresh fruits are available, ambitious cooks can poach them in sugar syrup, freeze them and use them instead of canned.

Apricot Sorbet

1 16-ounce can apricots in heavy syrup, frozen at least 12 hours

2 tablespoons amaretto, optional

Place the can of apricots in hot water for about 1 minute. Remove the lid, and pour any liquid into a food processor. Remove the bottom of the can, slide the fruit out and chop into 1-inch pieces.

Place in the food processor with the amaretto and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Serve at once or transfer to a container and place in the freezer.

Total preparation time: 10 minutes, plus overnight freezing. Yield: about 1 pint, 4 servings. Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 95 calories, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 12 mg. sodium, 1 gm. protein, 25 gm. carbohydrate.

Blackberry Sorbet

1 16-ounce can blackberries in heavy syrup

2 tablespoons blackberry brandy, optional

Force the blackberries through a sieve to remove the seeds. Transfer to a plastic container, and freeze at least 12 hours.

Remove the blackberries from the freezer, and place the container in hot water for about 1 minute. Slide the fruit out, and chop into 1-inch pieces.

Place in a food processor with the brandy and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Serve at once or transfer to a container and place in the freezer.

Total preparation time: 15 minutes plus overnight freezing. Yield: about 1{ cups, 3 servings. Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 140 calories, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 4 mg. sodium, 2 gm. protein, 35 gm. carbohydrate.

Pina Colada Sorbet

1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice, frozen at least 12 hours

3 tablespoons dark rum

6 tablespoons cream of coconut, chilled

Place the can of pineapple in hot water for about 1 minute. Remove the lid, and pour any liquid into a food processor. Remove the bottom of the can, slide the fruit out, and chop into 1-inch pieces.

Place in the food processor with the rum and cream of coconut, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Serve at once or transfer to a container and place in the freezer.

Total preparation time: 15 minutes, plus overnight freezing. Yield: about 1{ pints, 6 servings. Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 120 calories, 5 gm. fat, 0 cholesterol, 2 mg. sodium, 1 gm. protein, 15 gm. carbohydrate.

Frozen Peach Yogurt

1 8-ounce container nonfat peach yogurt, frozen at least 12 hours

1 8{-ounce can peaches in heavy syrup, frozen at least 12 hours

Place the container of yogurt in hot water for about 1 minute. Remove the lid, slide the yogurt out and chop into 1-inch pieces. Place in a food processor.

Place the can of peaches in hot water for about 1 minute. Remove the lid, and pour any liquid into the food processor. Remove the bottom of the can, slide the fruit out, and chop into 1-inch pieces.

Process until smooth, about 2 minutes. Serve at once or transfer to a container and place in the freezer.

Total preparation time: 10 minutes plus overnight freezing. Yield: about 1 pint, 4 servings. Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 90 calories, 0 fat, 1 mg. cholesterol, 40 mg. sodium, 3 gm. protein, 20 gm. carbohydrate.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement