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 anymore 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.
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