Baking with fruit? Here’s how to get it right every time
Ever looked at a gorgeous pie, crumble, pudding or cake recipe involving fruit and thought, "yep, I could make that", only to wind up with a disappointingly watery result (also known as the dreaded #bakingfail). You’re not alone. Baking with fruit involves a range of variables that can land you with too much liquid in your puddings, fruit sinking to the bottom of cakes, or misshapen fruits.
The following problems are all-too-common, but not any more with these easy tips.
Why is my fruit pie or crumble too wet?
Although your usual shopping instincts would be to pick the juiciest and ripest fruit on the grocer’s shelves, consider opting for fruit that’s just a little bit underripe, therefore less likely to release a lot of juice. If you’re baking with frozen fruit in a recipe that calls for fresh fruit, try defrosting and draining off any excess liquid before baking. Adding too much sugar can also lead to excess liquid, so it's best to follow the amount recommended in the recipe.
How can I stop fruit sinking in muffins and cake?
Avoid a soggy bottom and fruitless top by tossing the fruit in a little flour to coat before adding to the batter. As the fruit cooks and releases liquid, the flour will absorb the moisture and the fruit won’t slide to the bottom.
Why is my baked fruit turning to mush?
It’s best to bake fruits that are on the firmer side, and it can be a wonderful way to use fruits that are underripe or not very sweet. Also, baking times can vary drastically depending on the state of the fruit you’re baking. Ripe fruits may soften much faster than the recommended cooking time, and vice versa.
Different varieties of fruit will behave differently, too. For example, Granny Smith apples will hold firm when baked, whereas varieties like Red Delicious go soft.
Depending on the kinds of fruit you’re baking, you might like to try a different cooking method, such as poaching. For example, if you have very ripe and soft plums, it might be more gentle to poach it to top your desserts.
Baking recipes with fruit
Check out lots of baking ideas with fruit, including fruit loaves, desserts and more.
This crumble recipe is full of classic apple and blueberry filling, but it's topped with an amazing crunchy Anzac biscuit-inspired topping.
This stunning fresh peach recipe is fantastic when you have lots of peaches in the summer. Try it out and serve it with a dollop of cream.
All the flavour of a traditional Christmas pudding in a fraction of the time! This cheat's recipe is ready in just over an hour instead of taking hours to boil.
More Tips & Advice
The difference between baking powder and baking soda
Are baking powder and baking soda the same thing? And can you use them for the same things? They're actually two completely different ingredients, learn more about them and how to use them in your cooking!
How to make a better pasta bake
Pasta bakes are a family favourite, but there are some common mistakes that can get in the way. Find out why your pasta bake is mushy, watery or dry, and how you can avoid those problems. Plus find out how to get a delicious and crunchy top on your bake every time.
How to make homemade fruit mince
All your questions about fruit mince, answered, with plenty of time to make it for Christmas! It's so easy, why not make your own fruit mince tarts this year.