This fruit salad can be varied, so do not worry if you only have some of the ingredients. Enjoy making up your own combinations! It keeps for days and can be enjoyed just as well at breakfast with cereal or yoghurt as it can for dessert.
I like to increase the quantity of apricots over the rest of the fruit as their slightly sharp flavour balances out the sweetness of the combination.
- 1⁄2 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 170g dried fruit (a mixture of apples, apricots, figs, pears and peaches)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1⁄2 vanilla bean, split
- 1 strip lemon zest
- tiny pinch of ground saffron (optional)
- cold water
- 2 tablespoons flaked almonds
- 2 tablespoons shelled pistachios
Tie the cinnamon and cloves in a small square of muslin and put them into a stainless steel saucepan with the fruit, honey, vanilla bean, lemon zest and saffron (if using). Cover, just barely, with cold water. Bring slowly to a simmer over low–medium heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool. Once cold, discard the muslin bag of spices.
Stir the nuts into the cooled fruit salad.
Add a handful of stoned prunes at the end of the simmering time but while the fruit salad is still hot. Don’t add them at the start as they’ll just turn to mush.
Recipe taken from The Cook’s Apprentice by Stephanie Alexander.
The Cook’s Apprentice is the essential teaching cookbook for the younger cook who’s just starting out. This wonderful book is full to the brim with everything new foodies need to know to become relaxed and confident in the kitchen.
Arranged alphabetically, The Cook’s Apprentice includes 56 ingredient chapters – from Apples to Zucchini – and more than 300 achievable recipes ranging from classics every cook will want to try to exciting new dishes that reflect our diverse nation. Stephanie takes you into her kitchen as she explains more than 100 important techniques in straightforward language, discusses the kitchen tools she likes to use, and describes ingredients you might not know: How do I whisk eggs to soft peaks? What does it mean to ‘make a well’ in dry ingredients? Why should I roast spices? How do I prepare fresh chillies safely? What is ‘resting meat’ and why should I do it? How do I prepare a mango? What flavours work well together? What is fresh mozzarella? How do I say ‘quinoa’?
The Cook’s Apprentice gives all you new cooks the inspiration you need for a lifetime of enjoyment in the kitchen.
You can purchase The Cook’s Apprentice at penguin.com.au Penguin Books.