A flood of fruit

miraMy parents dropped by on Saturday, and left behind mountains of fruit. More specifically, about three pounds of blackberries, about seven pounds of mirabelles, and an unknown quantity of pears. The thing is, my parents know a great number of people with large garden, lots of trees and far more fruit than they can deal with. Which they pass on to friends. And so my mother makes pies and jams and compotes as much as she can, and hands the rest of the fruit on to others, preferably her children.

Saturday I made seven jars of blackberry jam (a bit runny … but so tasty!), and yesterday I made eleven jars of mirabelle jam (just perfect in texture and taste … guess what I will be bringing as a gift next the few times I am invited anywhere?). Today I am planning to make mirabelle compote, mostly because I have run out of jars and jam sugar. Tomorrow I’ll begin tackling the pears – with a pie and some more compote, maybe?

Just make this clear: I love fruit, and I love the yummy stuff you can make out of them. I’m just a bit tired today of standing in the kitchen for hours and cutting up fruit. I am grateful that the apples and plums in my own garden will take a few weeks more to ripen!

How do you deal with floods of fruit in the summer? Have you got any special recipes for pears?

– Rike Horstmann

10 thoughts on “A flood of fruit

  1. Victoria S

    Rike, I admire your fortitude. The only jam I ever had says Smuckers or Welches on the jar, so kudos to you for the canning. What are mirabelles? and what exactly is a compote? That’s one of those words I’ve seen, but don’t think I’ve ever had a compote.

  2. LeeB.

    I thought I was the only one who didn’t know what mirabelles are.

    Isn’t a compote sort of like a coulis?

  3. Herta

    Mirabelles are small yellow plums and a compote is simply a mixture of fruit gently cooked (at least that’s what I do to make a compote) with a bit of sugar, cinnamon – if appropriate to the kind of fruit. You can eat this alone, with porridge, whipped cream or ice cream – throw a little liquer in and it’s even better.

  4. Rike

    As Herta said. Sorry for not getting back earlier, but I was offline for two days. Mirabelles are the fruit in the picture above. They are rather common there (Central Europe), so I never considered whether they might be rare in the US. They taste both sweet and tangy, a very typical taste. The jam tastes lovely!

  5. LinnieGayl AAR

    Rike, I so admire you for making all of that jam. Blackberries cost a lot here, so I only very rarely even buy a tiny container of them. When I do, I generally just clean them and eat them like that.

    I too was curious about mirabelles. They sound like something I would like.

    My mother used to make all different kinds of compotes, generally with late summer fruit mixtures of apples, pears, and plums. I really liked them, and am going to have to consider making some myself. I like Herta’s suggestion of throwing a bit of liquor in with them :)

    Other than in a mixed compote, I have no recipes for pears at all, other than to poach them.

  6. Rike

    LinnieGayl, I made poached pears, too, as well as pear sauce.
    The blackberries are of the wild variety. They grow in my best friend’s garden, and while she is on holiday in August, my parent, who live near her, may pick the ripe fruit, because they would be spoilt otherwise. My father asks each year start of August when my friend’s leaving, because he loves the berries so much! Anyway, last Saturday he and my mother brought me two big bowls of them, and I know that on other days they have picked that and more for themselves, as well.
    In October I will be getting windfall apples from a colleague, which I usually make into applesauce.
    Many people here have large gardens with more fruit than they can deal with, and when they find out you are happy to receive it, you usually end up with lots of offers. While that means a lot of work in the short run, it pays off later: Right now I have shelved 25 jars of jam, and that should last me until Christmas!

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