The flush of nose-tickling spray that shoots from peeling satsumas, the pretty pink gems of pomegranate pips, to the rich, intense sweetness that comes from nibbling on a Medjool date; these little pleasures are taken from moments of warming up by the fire or dipping into a bowl of fruity goodies watching “Elf” on a drizzly December day.
Fruit often gets side-lined as more indulgent treats claim the festive spotlight. They’re good value at markets though, and always on offer in the supermarket at this time of year, so stock up and put them to good use…
Classic apples & pears
These are the stoic standards that see us straight through from September to January in the UK and Europe. Classic and juicy, with lots of beautiful varieties like Russet and Elstar apples or Williams and Concord pears, to keep things varied. They are at their prime this time of year so you should buy British. Head to a Farmers market if you can to look for the old varieties.
- Make an apple or pear tart tatin to go on the December dinner table. A relatively easy and impressive dessert, go for classic apple and vanilla together, or pear and cinnamon for a twist.
- Apple peelings can be used to flavour syrups for drinks or puddings. Dry them in a low oven for an hour or two and mix into bircher or dried muesli mixes.
- Slice apples into rounds and place them on baking trays in the oven on a low heat with orange slices. Allow to dry, thread them on to twine, stud with cloves to make Christmas decorations with cinnamon sticks, star anise, pine cones and fresh bay leaves.
- Pop a few peeled pears into a roasting tin with squash wedges half way through cooking. They add a caramelised sweetness to a spicy soup.
America and Canada’s favourite festive berry are not just destined for sauce and jam. These little red pops of sourness are turkey’s best friends and can also be turned to the following…
- Mix dried cranberries into stuffing mixture or into butter to spread under turkey skin before cooking.
- Make some festive orange and cranberry biscotti or cookies as an easy gift. Just wrap up a stack in parchment paper and wrap with ribbon.
- Thread fresh cranberries on to a long string to create a natural garland for your tree.
- And they also make an incredible sour Bakewell tart…
Pomegranates, figs & dates
The blousy and vibrant members of the Christmas fruit party, pomegranate, figs and dates lend themselves beautifully to sweet and savoury dishes. Originating from the Middle East, they’re used liberally in North Africa and Southern Europe to pep up salads and party food.
- Pomegranate seeds are great whacked (literally) into green salads, vodka and Champagne cocktails or frozen into ice cubes.
- For a simple party snack, cut a cross into the tops of fresh figs. Open them out a little and stuff with a walnut half and some pecorino cheese. Bake in the oven until cooked through and melted. Drizzle over a little runny honey and serve. You could also try Jamie’s version with Parma ham and mozzarella.
- Stuff dates with almonds or pecans and dip in melted dark chocolate for an indulgent treat.
- Whiz up dates and mix with ganache to add a little fruity sweetness to dark chocolate truffles.
- Figs can make a lovely addition to a cheese board or centre piece.
- You can also use figs to decorate a Christmas cake, along with other Christmas fruits and foliage. Paint the fruit with egg white and roll in sugar for a frosted finish, but don’t eat the fruit after it has been coated.
Clementines, pineapple & passion fruit
I’ve grouped these fruits together because they can all be sweet and sour, and can add an extra tang to super sweet puddings.
- Believe it or not, clementines could make all the difference to your Christmas turkey – half a few and put them in the cavity of your turkey and they will help keep the turkey moist and add fragrance to the meat.
- Stud clementines with cloves and wrap in ribbon to make Tudor-esque pomanders. Give as a gift to hang as decorations or leave them around the house to give off a festive aroma.
- Add rasps of clementine zest to icing, cookie dough, ice cream, and sponge mixtures for a festive twist.
- Make mini clementine and gin jellies with pomegranate seeds as a quick festive pud.
Make a spiced pineapple chutney to serve with roast ham using classic herbs and spices like cinnamon stick, fresh bay leaves and cloves.
13 Easy Fruit Appetizers
This is the summery toast of your dreams. You can cut it up into smaller slices for a passed app or serve it as pictured for a luxurious brunch on its own.
Mexican Fruit Salad
The secret to this juicy app? Ancho chili powder! You can serve this in a bowl or skewer it for a fun presentation.
Why should tomatoes have all the fun? This watermelon caprese is sweet and refreshing.
Blueberry & Jicama Salsa
Photography by Johnny Miller
Once again, tomatoes are stepping out of the spotlight for this one to make room for another seasonal superstar: blueberries!
Creamy Fruit Dip
This creamy dip—made with sour cream, cilantro, mint, and orange juice—pairs great with fruit for a sweet-and-savory spread.
Grapefruit & Tequila Guacamole
Photography by Linda Xiao
Perk up your guac with supremed grapefruit segments and𠅍rumroll, please—tequila! Now where&aposs the party at?
Plum & Goat Cheese Carpaccio with Mint
For this recipe, slice assorted plums very thinly with a sharp knife or a mandoline, then toss with cheese and mint
Florida Key-Lime Pie Dip
Photography by Christopher Testani
Key-lime pie lovers will go nuts for this easy recipe. It goes great with fruit or other dessert-y dippers.
Hasselback Tomato Caprese
Photography by Christopher Testani
Yep, don&apost forget that tomatoes are actually a fruit. This fun twist on regular caprese features hasselbacked plum tomatoes!
- 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 2 ½ cups shredded coconut
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 (8 ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained
- 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
- 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
- 3 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained (Optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a large bowl, combine the whipped topping, coconut, chopped nuts, fruit cocktail, pineapple, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, cherries, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix together well and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes.
Festive 4th of July Desserts
Add a delicious splash of red, white and blue to your table with these sweet, summertime treats.
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Television Food Network, GP. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015
Photo By: Heather Ramsdell
Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Chocolate-Covered Frozen Bananas
Bananas, candy melts and sprinkles are all you need to make these sparkling frozen treats.
Red, White and Blue Crispy Rice Treats
These delicious cereal treats will be the talk of your Fourth of July cookout. The different layers are easily achieved with a few drops of food coloring, then the whole pan is topped with a dusting of red, white and blue sprinkles.
Mini Cherry Pies
To end the day on a sweet note, serve these mini cherry pies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Red, White and Blueberry Trifle
Raspberry-Watermelon Terrine with Blueberry Sauce
American Flag Ice Cream Cake
This red, white and blue ice cream cake is sure to become a summer classic. It's easier than it looks, thanks to a press-in-the-pan crust made from shortbread cookie crumbs. Then it's just a matter of layering on jam and a no-churn homemade ice cream. Parchment templates make fast work of creating the stripes.
Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake
Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
When frozen as directed, the yogurt will have a light granita texture that can be easily scraped with a fork. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can spin the yogurt mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Ice Cream Flag Cake
Patriotic Hand Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Turn raspberry- and blueberry-filled hand pies into ice cream sandwiches and you'll have a patriotic take on pie a la mode no one will be able to resist.
Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake
Berries with Spiced Cream
You&rsquore only six ingredients and 10 minutes away from getting this patriotic-hued treat on the table.
Red Velvet-Blueberry Ice Cream Pie
Easy Ice Cream
Who doesn&rsquot love vanilla ice cream? Serve Trisha&rsquos shortcut version as part of a sundae bar or as a topping for your favorite bakery treat.
Waving Flag Cake
Store-bought angel food cake is the brilliant shortcut ingredient in this festive dessert that's big enough to serve a crowd.
Similar Spice Mixes To Mixed Spice:
Mixed spice is very similar to a Dutch spice mix called koekkruiden or speculaaskruiden. (Don’t ask me to pronounce those words – they’re double Dutch to me).
This blends are used to flavor food associated with the Dutch celebration of Sinterklass on December 5th each year.
Pumpkin pie spice in America is similar, but trust me it is different. Cinnamon is even more dominant is pumpkin pie spice than in mixed spice.
Other names for mixed spice include pudding spice, and sweet spice.
Paradise has been perfecting classic candied fruit recipes and developing new ones for decades. Our chefs are constantly finding new and exciting ways to utilize all the flavors of glace fruit we make. You can spend weeks making all the delicious dessert in our candied fruit recipe section. Also sign up for our recipe club and download a coupon to take to the grocer nearest you when purchasing ingredients.
You can also buy all Paradise and Pennant product directly from us through Amazon.com. If you have any family favorite recipes, don't hesitate to share with all the other candied fruit connoisseurs.
- 110 grams (4 oz) lard or white vegetable fat (I used Trex)
- 110 grams (4 oz) butter
- 900 grams (2 lb) strong white bread flour
- 25 grams (1 oz) yeast (or 1 x 7g packet of fast action dried yeast)
- 350 grams (12 oz) soft brown sugar (or a mixture of white and brown sugar)
- 900 grams (2lb) mixed dried fruit and peel (I used Sainsbury's mixed dried fruit and peel)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice (or 1 teaspoon of allspice and 1 teaspoon of mixed spice)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- milk to mix
This fabulous fruited loaf is traditionally baked for Christmas in Lincolnshire, although you will see it all year round in Bakeries throughout the region. It is a delicious when served warm with butter, or with a slice of cheese, similar to the Yorkshire way of serving Christmas Cake. Served today as a breakfast bread, or with tea, this regional speciality probably dates back many centuries, the clue being the use of the word plum to describe the dried fruits used in the product. Just as with plum pudding or plum cake, the plums mentioned in this recipe alludes to the dried fruit used in the bread, namely currants, raisins and sultanas.
Very few festive desserts reach the iconic status of the Christmas Sugar Cookie. You can craft your sugar cookies in any shape or color icing but trees, bells, candy canes and snowflakes remain classics. Make this easy festive holiday dessert with your kids for a fun activity while they're out of school!
55 Best Christmas Breakfast Ideas to Enjoy After Opening Presents
Every family's Christmas traditions come December 25 are a little different. For the Drummond family, the first order of business once everyone wakes up is opening presents. Then, Ree serves a delicious Christmas morning breakfast which her family enjoys while wearing their matching family Christmas pajamas. "I usually make a breakfast casserole, along with my cinnamon rolls and a side dish, like a fruit salad," she says. You'll find these dishes and more ahead to create your very own family Christmas brunch. The best part is most of these recipes can be prepared ahead of time, Ree says. "You can truly enjoy your morning&mdashand maybe even sleep late!"
Many of these Christmas breakfast ideas are chock-full of holiday flavors&mdashthey just might rival your favorite Christmas cookies! The hot chocolate pancakes and lemon-poppy seed waffles will be crowd-pleasers among your little ones, hands down. You could also cook up some classic breakfast recipes that'll feed a group, like the eggs Benedict strata or the stovetop shakshuka. Any of these easy Christmas morning recipes will make for a delicious way to start your day and hold you over until your big Christmas dinner!
Everyone's Favorite Fruitcake
"No, no, not the dreaded FRUITCAKE. " Fear not: this moist, dark cake is loaded with yummy-tasting dried fruits, not the icky, bitter candied peel and citron you remember from visiting your grandma at Christmas. The dried fruits suggested below are simply that — suggestions. Feel free to substitute your own favorites you'll need about 2 1/2 pounds dried fruit total.
- 1 1/2 cups (213g) diced dried pineapple
- 1 1/2 cups (255g) raisins, golden or regular
- 1 cup (128g) diced dried apricots
- 1 1/2 cups (223g) chopped dates
- heaping 1 cup (170g) candied red cherries, plus additional for decoration, if desired
- 1/3 cup (64g) diced crystallized ginger, optional
- 3/4 cup (170g) rum, brandy, apple juice, or cranberry juice
- 16 tablespoons (227g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, at least 65°F
- 2 cups (425g) dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 cups (361g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons (11g) black cocoa, optional, for color
- 1/4 cup (85g) boiled cider, golden syrup, or dark corn syrup
- 1/2 cup (113g) apple juice, cranberry juice or water
- 2 cups (227g) chopped, toasted nuts (almonds, pecans, or walnuts)
To prepare the fruit: Combine the fruit with the liquid of your choice in a non-reactive bowl cover and let rest overnight. Too impatient to wait until tomorrow? Microwave everything for 1 minute (or until it's very hot), cover, and let rest 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 300°F. This recipe makes enough batter for ONE (not all!) of the following: 3 dozen individual (muffin pan) cakes 16 mini loaves (about 3 3/4" x 2 1/2") 6 to 8 medium loaves (about 3" x 5") or 2 standard 9" x 5" loaves. Choose your pans (or combinations), and lightly grease them. If you're making muffin-size cakes in a standard muffin pan, line the pan with muffin papers, and lightly grease the papers.
To make the batter: Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl (at least 6-quart), and beat together until well combined.
Beat in the salt, spices, and baking powder.
Perfect your technique
Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and cocoa.
Add the flour mixture and the syrup (or boiled cider) to the mixture in the bowl, beating gently to combine.
Stir in the juice or water, then the fruit (including any additional liquid that has collected in the bowl), and the nuts. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and stir until everything is well combined.
Spoon the batter into the pans, filling them about 3/4 full.
Bake the cakes on the middle shelf of the oven, as follows: about 60 minutes for the individual cakes 65 to 70 minutes for the small loaves 75 minutes for the medium loaves, and 2 hours + 10 to 15 minutes for the 9" x 5" loaves. The cakes are done when a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven. Fruitcake can remain in its pan for storage, if desired. Or carefully remove cake from the pan after about 5 minutes, loosening its edges first.
Brush the warm cake with rum, brandy, simple syrup, or flavored simple syrup (vanilla, rum-flavored, etc.). If you like just a hint of rum or brandy flavor, add 1 tablespoon of liquor to 3/4 cup vanilla syrup or simple syrup, and brush this mixture on the cakes. (This keeps them moist for weeks you can skip this step, but they won't stay moist long-term.)
When the cakes are completely cool, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, and store at room temperature for up to 6 to 8 weeks.
Tips from our Bakers
Looking for a gluten-free version of the recipe? Find it here: Gluten-Free Fruitcake.
This recipe can also fill two tea loaf pans. Divide the batter among two lightly greased tea loaf pans, or bake one after the other if you only have one tea loaf pan (if you have a kitchen scale, half the batter will weigh about 1,588g). Bake the cakes for 2 hours to 2 hours and 10 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Yield: 2 loaf cakes.
While we like the flavors provided by the different fruits listed above, fruitcake can be a bit of a blank canvas for whatever dried and/or candied fruits are your favorites. We've had great success using a mixture of our fruitcake fruit blend, candied lemon peel, candied orange peel, and mini diced ginger.
Fruit Christmas Tree
Start a new holiday tradition with a beautiful and fresh Fruit Christmas Tree! Perfect for parties, a dessert table centerpiece, or a healthy treat for Santa.
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Who’s ready for the countdown to Christmas?! I was going to make a paper chain with Lincoln a couple weeks ago but forgot and didn’t think four loops would drape anywhere beautifully. That is to say, I’m not super on top of my Christmas traditions at the moment, but may have started a new one that’s so fun and festive it won’t matter that “Penny” formerly known as “Patch” aka Lincoln’s Elf on the Shelf has been perched in the same spot on the mantle since last Thursday, nor that Mama forgot to pre-purchase tickets for the sold out Santa Express train experience this weekend and we had to settle for riding cramped trains with metal cages at the mall instead.
Who needs clever elves and hot cocoa on an actual train when there’s Fruit Christmas Trees to build and eat?!
Seriously – if you are tapped out on sugar and Christmas cookies, enter these final few weeks of the holidays on a fresh and healthy note by building a Fruit Christmas Tree with your kids, friends, or yourself then serve during Christmas Eve cocktail hour, leave it out for Santa, or let it star as a healthy holiday dessert table centerpiece.
Moms, if you’re searching for things your kids can do while on break from school over the next couple of weeks, say hello to at least an hours worth of activity between picking out, prepping, and popping fresh fruit onto toothpicks stuck in a fresh pineapple and pear base. Of course it could go a lot quicker than that – I assembled my Fruit Christmas Tree from start to finish in about 30 minutes – but this project is one you can stretch out and feel great about letting little ones devour the finished product.
While Lincoln didn’t get in on the assembly action this year, I have no doubt we will make this Fruit Christmas Tree together for many, many years to come as a tradition I can feel really good about. As far as this year, time’s a-tickin’ so snag some fresh fruit and get to work creating this fabulous fresh Fruit Christmas Tree!
Gluten-Free Chex Mix
Start with a ripe pineapple. The best way to tell if a pineapple is ripe is to pull out one of the fronds on top – if you can pluck it out easily, it’s ripe!
Slice the top and bottom off, then cut a small slice off the top.
Insert a star cookie cutter into the thin slice, which will become the tree topper. If you don’t have a star cookie cutter – no problem, just use what you’ve got!
Set the star aside then slice a little off the sides of the pineapple to create a cone shape. Eat the trimmings. :)
Next take a bamboo skewer and push it through the center of the pineapple. This is why having a ripe pineapple is important. If it’s underripe it’ll be hard to get the skewer pushed through the core. Next, spike a slightly underripe pear onto the skewer leaving the end uncovered – that’s what you’ll stick the star onto at the end!
Tree trimming time! You could use whatever fruit you love or have on hand, but I used an assortment including clementines (always have these in the house around this time of year!) kiwis with the skin left on so they don’t slide off the tree, strawberries, blackberries, and red and green grapes. Raspberries, blueberries, or chopped cantaloupe would work great too!
Start placing toothpicks into the “tree” at a slight angle then add the fruit, breaking the toothpicks if necessary. I found it best to place the bigger fruits first – strawberries, orange slices, kiwis, etc. – then fill in the gaps with small fruit like grapes and blackberries.
Keep going until the tree is completely filled up – have FUN with it!!
Stick the star topper on the skewer, then serve. Talk about merry and bright!