The wide range of taste and colour makes fresh fruit appealing. What is more irresistible than a fresh strawberry tart? However, fresh fruit has its disadvantages:
- It requires more handling. Fruit such as kiwi and banana must be peeled and cut to size.
- It is prone to spoilage due to enzyme activity and moisture level.
Fresh fruit is used as:
- An ingredient (e.g., bananas or blueberries in cakes and muffins)
- A topping for fruit flans, tarts, and cakes
- A filling along with cream in jelly rolls, layer cakes, and mousse cakes
- In sauces or coulis to accompany cheesecakes or plated desserts
Here are some tips when using fresh fruit:
- Certain fruits such as pineapple have enzymes that counteract gelatin setting.
- Fresh fruit oxidizes and changes colour when exposed to air. Peeled apples may be immersed in slightly acidified water (lemon juice) to prevent this. Prolonged soaking leaches out nutrients.
- Some fruit is better broken into small pieces or puréed to minimize browning in baked products. Bananas fall into this category.
- Excess fruit, even bananas, can be frozen. In the case of bananas, freeze them in the skin, defrost and use in banana muffins or cakes; there will be some discoloration but not objectionably so in this type of product.
- When used as a topping on flans and tarts, fresh fruit is usually glazed thinly to prevent oxidation and impart a brilliant shine.