Meals with plums, peaches & nectarines: a flavour-filled festive season

Posted by Taylah Strauss on 16 November 2021

Besides packing a low-calorie nutritious punch to counterbalance indulgent summer holiday temptations, these delicious stone fruits are incredibly versatile when it comes to festive entertaining. From fresh and succulent salads and roasts enriched with tangy sweetness, to decadent yet light desserts and refreshing fruity cocktails, these recipes are guaranteed for a flavour-filled festive season.

Peach Prosecco Cocktail

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 peach-flavoured tea bags

1 cup (250 ml) boiling water

¾ cup (183 ml) white sugar

4-8 basil leaves

1-2 peaches, thinly sliced

1 bottle (750 ml) Prosecco (Sparkling wine or Cap Classique are good alternatives)

Method:

Pop the tea bags into water and infuse to make a strong tea.

Place the tea and sugar in a pot and boil to reduce by half and create a simple peach syrup. Allow to cool.

Place 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of the peach syrup at the bottom of each champagne flute.

Add 2 peach slices and 1 basil leaf and top with ice cold Prosecco.

Mini Pavlovas with Nectarine and Burnt Sugar Shards

Makes 8 mini Pavlovas or one large one

Ingredients:

Meringue

4 egg whites

Pinch of cream of tartar

1 cup (200g) castor sugar

½ Tbsp (7ml) vanilla essence

Topping

4-6 nectarines

Juice of 1 large orange

1-2 Tbsp (15-30ml) orange liqueur, optional

1 cup (250 ml) cream, whipped

Burnt Sugar Shards

2 Tbsp water

¾ cup sugar

Method:

Meringue

Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar to medium-stiff peaks.

Add castor sugar a tablespoon at a time every few minutes – the sugar should dissolve completely before adding the next spoonful. Whisk until all the sugar has been added and the meringue is smooth, thick and glossy.

Place large dollops of the meringue mixture onto a lined baking tray taking care to allow enough space between each one.

Using the back of a teaspoon, create a well in the middle of each to create a nest.

Bake at 100°C for about 1 hour. Cool completely in the oven before removing.

Topping

Thinly slice nectarines and macerate in orange juice and liqueur for no longer than 30 minutes.

Spoon the cream into the meringue nests and arrange the nectarines on top. Decorate with sugar shards and mint leaves if you like.

Sugar shards

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place water and sugar into a heavy based pot.

Cook over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar – do not stir as crystals will form.

Once the sugar starts to dissolve, increase the heat and cook until dark brown.

Pour the caramel onto a baking sheet in a thin, even layer.

Cool and chop or break into shards.

Store in an airtight container until needed.

Do not refrigerate or the shards will become tacky.

Summer Plum and Prawn Salad

Serves 4

Summer Plum and Prawn Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Salad

6 large firm, ripe plums, peeled, pitted and cubed.

200g butter lettuce

1 cup of cubed English cucumber

400g cooked prawn meat

1 cup of bean sprouts

2 spring onions with tops, sliced

½ red pepper diced

2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Spicy Plum and Chilli dressing

½ cup (125 ml) olive oil

3 Tbsp lime juice

1 tsp lime zest

1 Tbsp fish sauce

1 Tbsp brown sugar

Method:

Prepare the salad dressing first by blending all the ingredients together in a food processor. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Layer the salad ingredients on a serving platter, moistening each of the layers with the chilli dressing as you go. Serve immediately.

Roasted Fillet with Chunky Plums

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1kg beef fillet trimmed

Salt & pepper to taste

2 tsp ground cumin

300g firm, red, ripe plums

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp onion finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 tsp ginger, grated

1 red chilli sliced

3 Tbsp white sugar

2 whole star anise

200ml port

½ cup lemon juice

Juice of 1 orange

Zest of 1 orange

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp of fresh coriander

Method:

First, get the sauce started. Stone and halve the plums. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook stirring for 2 minutes and then add the sugar and star anise. Cook stirring until sugar dissolves and add a little port to prevent it from burning. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the remaining port, lemon juice, orange juice, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.

Place the plums into the mixture and simmer gently until tender but not overcooked – about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and remove the plums with a slotted spoon and set aside. Stir in the sesame oil, orange zest and coriander. Return the plums to the sauce.

To prepare the meat, rub the fillet with olive oil and then season with salt, pepper and ground cumin. Heat a frying pan until it is hot and then seal the meat on all sides until nice and brown. Roast in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes. Rest the fillet for 10 minutes and then slice the meat. Spoon over the plum sauce and serve.

Peach Prosecco Cocktail and Mini Pavlovas with Nectarine and Burnt Sugar Shards by Justine Drake. Summer Plum and Prawn Salad and Roasted Fillet with Chunky Plums by Jenny Morris. Compiled for www.juicydelicious.co.za 

Pictures: Supplied

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