It’s easy to forget about plums. They’re not the most popular of summer fruits. Plums aren’t small and cute like blueberries. They’re not as exotic as the fig. Plums are just plums. And so in the frenzy of stocking up on summer’s bounty, it’s easy to overlook this humble fruit. But that’s a big mistake
We think plums are pretty great — they’re perfectly sweet and tart, not too big and not too small. They make killer cakes, jams and tarts; as well as a great wine popsicle, too.
To make sure you don’t pass up on plums this season, we rounded up the best recipes around.[/column]
Dried figs are great and all, but if you’ve ever tasted a fresh fig you know that there’s no contest between the two. Sweet and honeyed, fresh figs are a rare treat meant to be savored. They were, after all, the foods of the gods.
When you see figs in the supermarket or farmer’s market grab a bunch, because they can be hard to find despite their long season, which runs late summer to fall. They might not always look perfect, and that’s okay because figs rarely do. The sign of a perfectly ripe fig is when you see a bit of bend in the stem and the feel of the skin is supple. Crackly skin is fine, just stay away from figs that are overly soft or oozy.
Figs are delicious eaten right out of hand, but using them in recipes is an even better way to enjoy the delicate and scarce late summer fruit. We found just the recipes to help you do that.[/column]
We have blueberries to thank for some of our favorite foods. What would mornings be without them? We wouldn’t have blueberry muffins — the only truly great muffins out there — pancakes would be fruitless, and pie just wouldn’t be as awesome (because yes, you can eat pie for breakfast). For such a tiny fruit, blueberries make some truly spectacular dishes.
Since summer is short, and blueberry season fleeting, we recommend getting your fill of the blueberry while you can. Actually, we think you should add them to everything — and we’ve shown you how to do just that with the recipes below.[/column]
Points to remember
Rinse the sushi rice in cold water until the water runs clear, then soak roughly two parts rice to three parts cold water in a saucepan for 30 minutes.
Next, bring the rice to the boil, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the water and is tender. Check the packet instructions for exact timings.
Stir through the rice vinegar and sugar.
Cool the rice down as quickly as you can by spreading it onto a baking tray and covering with a slightly damp tea towel.
Place a nori sheet on top of your sushi rolling mat.
Dampen your hands to prevent sticking, then pick up a handful of rice and spread evenly on your nori sheet, leaving the top third uncovered.
Place a thin row of filling ingredients across the middle of the rice.
Hold the near edge of the mat, lift and roll away from you, encasing the filling. Ensure the ingredients stay in place and the rice sticks.
Dampen the top boarder with a little water to seal. Wrap tightly in cling film and chill until firm.
Brush your knife with rice vinegar to prevent sticking and cut the roll into neat rounds.
Serve with pickled ginger and a dollop of wasabi.
Points to remember
Cover the top of your pie with pastry. Pick up the pie in one hand and use a small sharp knife in the other to trim away excess pastry.
For a really simple neat finish, use the tines of a fork, pressing them all the way around the rim of the pie dish.
For a classic crimp, use one finger to push the pastry down towards the outside of the dish. Pinch around that finger with the finger and thumb of your other hand to create a scalloped effect.
Make a ‘wave’ pattern, by pushing your two slightly spaced forefingers fingers into the pastry at an angle, all the way around the edge of your pastry.
For a more unusual finish that works well with puff pastry, cut a fringe with a knife around the edge of the pie on the rim of the dish. Fold over alternate strips of pastry to give you two concentric circles.
Brush the pastry with beaten egg yolk, make a small steam hole in the centre and cook in a preheated oven.
Anyone who’s striving to follow a healthier diet should start by prepping more meals at home. Cooking your own food allows you to control portion sizes and ingredients used, not to mention it saves you money. But there is a learning curve when it comes to all that chopping, slicing, and dicing. That’s why we’ve collected 14 clever tips and tricks for cooking at home from our friends at Food & Wine—no fancy gadgets or chef-worthy knife skills required.