Pitting and Peeling
• Twisting fruits apart: Find the natural indentation in peaches or nectarines, and cut around each fruit along this line through to the pit. Then twist the two halves apart.
• Pitting plums: Cut around the “waist” of a firm plum, across the indentation, then twist the two halves apart.
• Blanching and peeling: Remove skins easily from plums or peaches by plunging them into boiling water for one minute, then into the ice-cold water until they are cool.
Drain, and peel off the skins.
1. Remove a thick slice from both sides of the fruit, cutting as close to the pit as possible. Peel the skin and flesh around the pit with.
2. Score each thick slice into squares, cutting down to the skin but not through it. Push the skin out into a convex curve so that the sharp knife, and cube the flesh, cubes can be removed easily.
3. Luscious soft fruits are best served very simply, so preparation is usually minimal. The only essential task is to pick over the fruit
Preparing Soft Fruits
• Washing berries: If delicate berry fruits need to be washed, place them in a colander and rinse under running water, shaking the colander gently. Place on a paper towel to dry.
• Preparing gooseberries: Use scissors to snip off the tops and bottoms of gooseberries before cooking or serving.
• Enhancing flavor: Add a squeeze of lemon juice to berry fruits such as blueberries or strawberries to bring out the flavor. For a special occasion, sprinkle the fruits lightly with rum or brandy.
• Using overripe fruits: If soft fruits are slightly overripe and not looking their best, mash them lightly with a fork. Serve spooned over vanilla ice cream, or stir into plain yogurt to make a quick dessert.
• Hulling Soft Fruits: Removing stems To hull red- or blackcurrants easily, pull each stem gently through the prongs of a fork, and carefully push off the fruit.
Hulling A Strawberry: Use flat-ended tweezers to grasp and remove the leafy hull from a fresh strawberry without damaging the fruit. This method will also prevent the juice from staining your fingers.
Using Frozen Fruits
• Keeping shape To make sure frozen strawberries stay in good shape when thawing, put them into a serving dish while frozen, thaw slowly in the refrigerator, and serve while still slightly chilled.
• Decorating from frozen Decorate desserts with soft fruits such as raspberries or blackberries straight from the freezer. Let them thaw in place for about 30 minutes.
• Quick-thawing fruits To thaw frozen fruit quickly without using a microwave, place the fruits in a container in a dish of warm water for 30 minutes.
• Making sorbet Whip up an instant sorbet by pureeing frozen raspberries in a food processor with confectioners’ sugar to taste. Spoon into chilled glasses, and serve.