A large number of fruit requires specific preparation to enhance them and become truly delicious. Take for example a pluot, when they are ripe they are certainly sweet, but they do have a texture which begs for further enhancement.
When pluots are not fully ripe, I prefer to poach them in sweet white wine enhanced by a few dried hibiscus flowers. Hibiscus is a favorite of mine to accent the flavor of pluots. Poaching softens the texture perfectly and when served with gelato or other creams it simply makes a very delicious dessert.
When I have perfectly ripe pluots on hand, I choose to sauté them in honey and lime juice which is truly wonderful. In this case I bring in Hibiscus via sorbet.
Hibiscus makes a very flavorful and gorgeous colored sorbet. What I like about hibiscus is that although it is a flower, it has a fresh edge, a crispness which many other floral lack. We all know perfectly well that many people object to certain dried flowers in food and find them soapy and simply unappealing. The hibiscus sorbet is low on sugar which makes it a perfect candidate to be served as soon it is made for optimum smoothness. Adding raspberry puree to hibiscus sorbet creates amazing results as well.
Getting it all together!
Choose ripe pluots for this dessert. Find the streusel recipe on pg 395, in On Baking, second edition. Struesel can be made weeks in advance and frozen in a well sealed container. For the decorative caramel ring find recipe in On Baking, pg 729.
Yield: 4 servings
|¼ Cup||(2 oz)||Lime juice||60 g|
|¼ Cup||(2 oz)||Honey||60 g|
|2 Tablespoons||(1 oz)||Peach or Kirsch liquor||30 g|
|1 Tablespoon||( ½ oz)||Unsalted butter, soft||15 g|
|pinch||(pinch)||Fleur de sel||pinch|
- In a sauté pan bring the lime juice and honey to a boil. Cut the pluots in half and place cut side down into the pan. Turn heat to low and simmer for a few minutes. Turn the pluot halves over and sauté for a few minutes. Turn over again and add liquor.
- Turn off heat and add butter and salt. Serve immediately.
|1 ½ Cup||(12 oz)||Water (a)||360 g|
|¾ oz||( ¾ oz)||Hibiscus flowers, dried||20 g|
|1 ¼ Cup||(10 oz)||Water (b)||300 g|
|10 Tablespoons||(5 oz)||Extra fine granulated sugar||150 g|
|1 teaspoon||(1 tsp)||Pectin||5 g|
|3 Tablespoons||(1.5 oz)||Invert sugar||45 g|
- In a non reactive pan bring the water (a) to a boil. Add the hibiscus flowers and cover with plastic food wrap. Let cool.
- Pour water (b) in another pan. Combine or sift the sugar and pectin very well and whisk in the water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the invert sugar. Cover with plastic food wrap and let cool.
- Strain the hibiscus infusion and combine with the sugar syrup. Chill until very cold before churning.