Juicy Fruits (March 11 - March 24) It’s fruits! Do something with fruits. It doesn’t get more simple than that. Bonus points for use of heritage crops and ingredients!
If the fellow foodies will remember, I've set an additional challenge to interpret dishes that are listed as served at the 80th Anniversary Dinner of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. Several fruit-based dishes are listed on the menu, but for a challenge showcasing fruits, I want the dish that showcases more than one. Fruits de Macedoine is at heart a fruit salad, a delicious blending of many fruits into a harmonious whole... as ancient Macedonia was a blending of many cultures into a harmonious whole.
America is sometimes described as a fruit salad and the Irish-Americans wanted to be part of that harmonious whole. The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick wanted to ensure they would be part, the fun part.
Presenting Fruits De Macedoine...
From: The Complete Confectioner, Pastry Cook, and Baker by Eleanor Parkinson, 1849 (1864 edition)
Macedoine of Fruits.
—Put some of all sorts of fruits, prepared for compotes, together, and serve in the same glass, with syrup and a little lemon-juice.
The Date/Year and Region:
1840s-1910s United States
How Did You Make It:
"...all sorts of fruits, prepared for compotes..."
This requires a few more recipes be consulted and my handy copy of The Market Assistant by Thomas Farrington DeVoe (1867) consulted for fruits available in late March in Boston.
Citrus fruits imported from the West Indies and tropical climes top the list of fruits available. Oranges, lemons, bananas, and plantains. Also mentioned were the pears and apples that made nice preserved fruits.
I chose lemons, oranges, pears, and apples.
We return to The Complete Confectioner, Pastry-Cook, and Baker for making compotes and fruits preserved in syrup.
Lemons whole, wet. --Choose some fine large lemons with clear skins, carve the rind with a small penknife, into flowers, stars, diamonds, or any design your fancy may suggest, taking care not to cut deeper than the white pith of the peel; throw them into a pan of cold water, put them on the fire and let them boil gently until a strong straw or the head of a pin will penetrate the rind; throw them into cold water; when cold, drain them dry, and put them into a thin syrup when boiling; give them five or six boils in it, and put them in an earthen pan, the next day drain the syrup from them, and add more sugar or syrup to increase it a degree; boil it and when it boils, pour it over the lemons: repeat this for two days; on the third day let the lemons boil in the syrup for four or five minutes; the next day boil the syrup and pour it over them; when you find the syrup has penetrated the lemons, and they look clear, drain the syrup from them, adding more if necessary, so as to have sufficient to keep them well covered; put them in glasses, and pour the syrup over them. When cold, cut a piece of bladder to the size of the glass, wet it, and tie it down.Lemons and Oranges:
Oranges whole, wet. --These are preserved the same as lemons.
Carve the rind intio designs
Pan of cold water and bring to a boil
When cold, put into thin syrup boiling
|Boil Citrus until tender|
Boil no. 3
Boil no. 4
Boil no. 5
Set aside in pan with syrup
Next day, drain syrup
Make syrup with even more sugar than yesterday
Pour it over the lemons
On repeat, boil lemons in syrup 5 minutes
Set aside until cold
Pears, Red, wet. --Take some good baking or other pears; pare and cut them in half, and take out the cores with a little scoop for the purpose; if they are first blanched a little, they can be pared easier and better. Boil them in water, with sugar sufficient to make it only just sweet, a little lemon juice, and a few allspice or cloves. Put a piece of pewter, or a pewter spoon, in the bottom of the pan, and boil them until they are quite tender and of a fine red; or prepared cochineal may be added instead, using sufficient to give the desired tint; take out the fruit, and add enough sugar to the water they were boiled in to make a syrup; boil to the large thread; put in the pears, and give them two or three boils in it; skim, and put them in an earthen pan; boil the syrup twice more, and pour it on them, raising it to the degree of the large pearl. Keep them in dry pans for use.
Peel and Core
Boil in Water with sugar to make sweet, lemon juice, cloves until tender
Add enough sugar to boiling water to make syrup
|Boiling Pears in Syrup|
|Allowing the Pears to Cool in Syrup|
Boil no. 2
Boil syrup and pour over
Boil no. 2
Apple Compote. --Take some fine apples; peel and cut them in halves, quarters, or thick slices, and take out the cores; blanch them in a very thin syrup until tender; take them out, and add more sugar to that which they were boiled in, with the yellow peel and juice of a lemon and a few cloves; reduce it to the small pearl; put in the apples, and give them a few boils in it; let them remain until cold; take off the scum, if any; strain the syrup, and serve.
Pears and quinces are done as these, or coloured as for pears wet, which see.
Peel and Core
|Pears and Apples, |
Cored and Ready
|Blanch Apples in Syrup|
Blanche in syrup until tender
Add more sugar to syrup, also lemon peel, lemon juice, cloves
Boil to the small pearl
Boil no. 2
Boil no. 3
Set aside until cold.
Time to Complete:
It took a good three days for the boiling, cooling, boiling, cooling processes. That was tedious, but allowed time to do other things.
$10.00 or so.
How Successful Was It:
Fruit and sugar overload... keeps the dentists employed. :-p
I would likely use smaller pans to the amount of fruit were I do this recipe again. This took a vast quantity of syrup that was discarded in process.
How Accurate Was It:
It was as close as I could come, barring modern kitchen equipment. I used Bartlett pears (a heirloom variety), CaraCara oranges, Gala apples, and Indian River lemons... so a few modern fruit varieties too.