February 12, 2007

Fruit Cheese




Nashi Pear Trees on our orchard. Taken in Winter 2006

As soon as we moved to the new place, the thing we did at first thing was planting fruit trees. At that time, we were inherited 50 or more mature Nashi pears from the previous owners which then they were trimmed to 20. Years pass on, and our orchard is fruitful with any addition of other fruit trees growing and are grown on the side of the driveway. It's time to harvest, time to enjoy our labour. Definitely it's more work in the kitchen. I just hate to waste so much fruit while I can produce things out of them. Yet, how is often unanswered, until I browsed recipe books and old recipes files I've compiled from The Listener.

I've read this recipe on one of food colums Lois Daish ever written for The Listener, and then I decided to buy her book titled A Good Year, produced in 2005 later on. I was tempted to make those cheeses eversince, but I always had lack of time, due to having young babies and the trips we had had back to Indonesia.


Now, the time is right, and the orchard is plentiful of supplies. I definitely have tried both black plums and apple cider cheese. It took longer than I thought, but the joy stored in the future is worthwhile.


Our Damson and Black Dorris plums are very fruitful this year. Back in Spring, they produced a mass of blooms and then abundance of fruit in Summer. I picked around 2 kg of Damson and 1 kg of Black Dorris to make plum cheeses in different batches. Yes, I was busy in the kitchen for several days, but it was really fun.


To understand how to serve these cheeses, I have to agree with what Lois wrote:

I do like the old English idea of pouring port over a whole damson cheese studded with freshly blanched almonds and serving it as an after-dinner sweetmeat. Another delightful combination is quince paste served with freshly cracked walnuts and squares of dark chocolate. Although fruit cheeses are often served along with dairy cheeses and crackers on a cheese board, the match has to be carefully considered. Plum cheese and brie go together well, as do quince paste and mature cheddar, and apple cheese with Italian parmesan, but some other combinations are cloying.” [A Good Year. p.49]

Then, there is well-worth reading at Cuisine website a recipe written by Natalia Schamroth suggests that plum cheese can be served with Pont l'Eveque cheese and Falwasser crackers.

Lois used Sunrise apples to make her cheese, but we have fully grown apples (unfortunately, we didn't record its name at planting time) on our orchard. They have strong flavour, fragrant, and slightly tart. I picked around 1 kg firm fruits.


Apple Cider Cheese

The proportion of sugar to fruit pulp in fruit cheese recipes varies between half the weight of sugar to pulp, to equal weights. I usually use the smaller proportion of sugar, and have been satisfied with the results. [Lois Daish. A Good Year. NZ Listener. Random House New Zealand. 2005. p.50]

Source: Lois Daish Food Column: Sweet As. The Listener [February 22, 2003]; A Good Year [Lois Daish. NZ Listener. Random House New Zealand. 2005]

500g tart apples,
1 cup dry cider,
5 cloves,
approximately 250g sugar

Wash the apples and roughly cut them up (all of them, including skins and seeds). Add in the cider and cloves. Bring to boil and simmer gently, until the fruit is tender, around 20 minutes. Push the soft pulp through a mouli or coarse sieve, and discard the skins, seeds, and cloves. Weigh it, then put it back into the pan and add in sugar. Bring to the boil and stir well during cooking, then simmer gently until the mixture is very thick and resembles very thick paste (believe me, I'm new to this kind of preserve stuffs, and time to cook this was really killing me as it was hot in my kitchen that afternoon low sun heated up through my naked window glasses! I had to grab a glass of chilled sparkling grape juice to freshen me up, so be ready with something chilled when you're working on it on a very hot day). If you draw a line on the base of the pan, it won't meet up again, then it's done. [Lois gives a guideline for cooking until this stage is 30 minutes, but for some reason, I had to cook it a lot longer than that]. Spoon the paste on to lightly oiled ramekins or any moulds you can think of, and leave to cool. Once they're cool, wrap them with plastic wrap and refrigerate, or unmould them and put them on the tray for drying out. [I put my cheeses in the oven overnight]. Once they're dry, wrap them in the greaseproof paper and store them in an airtight container in a cool place.


Damson or Black Plum Cheese

The recipe is the same as apple cider cheese, but you can substitute the cider with water. For dark plums, Lois suggests in her book to use red wine or cassis diluted with water, but I just used water.

Have a Plum Day!

All the pictures above are my private collections. Please, contact me at first if you want to re-produce it.

22 comments:

eliza said...

arfi,
duh...itu kebunmu ya di NZ? gile, gak taunya punya orchard segitu gede? kepengen dong dateng kesitu...:D buah2nya keliatan asyik2 banget, apalagi foto plum-nya, menggiurkan.

Arfi Binsted said...

eliza, ayo kapan mau ke rumahku? kalo ke sini sekitar bulan januari-maret banyak buah-buahannya. kan bulan2 itu kami dapat summer, sementara di tempat2 lain di atas sana bersalju ria yaaa hehehe...

Barbara said...

You have been busy Arfi. Wonderful fruit cheeses.I'm busy moving house.

Arfi Binsted said...

yes, i've been busy in the kitchen lately, barb. mind you, john's birthday upcoming. we're thinking for dinner. are you be able to come? can i send you some of the cheese?

Tim said...

A couple of years ago my partner and I made a 'fruit' cheese out of dandilion flowers. We spent hours picking the flowers to end up with just a couple of jars of jelly. They were delicious. It took hours but it was delicous!

Arfi Binsted said...

that's interesting. i was trying to make rose petal jams, but unsuccesful up to now. some recipes use pectin, but i don't like the idea to put a commercial chemical stuff into something we're going to eat. so, i'm still browsing some recipes for that. and how did you make that dandelion jam? i suppose it doesn't contain too much pectin to make itself set?

Tim said...

I cannot remember the recipe! We may have used pectin or it may have been a dandylion and apple mix... Rose jelly sounds good too!

Lia said...

kayak dodol buah yah Pih, tapi gak pake tepung yah... Jadi kelingan makan dodol apel dan dodol sirsak, nyam nyamm... kebayang deh rasa fruitcheese-nya. Btw poto2mu makin keren ajah say. Satu lagi, gue juga kuangueennnnnnnnn......... muach

Arfi Binsted said...

yes, it sounds really good. I've made the syrup, and it's pretty good. I probably should mix them with lemon juice. I'll try that again later. I'm having the second flush of blooms. Can't waste them!!

Ah, probably the apple might be carrying some pectin so they help to set. Good idea, Tim!!

Arfi Binsted said...

liyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!! hugs hugs hugs. gara-gara kangmas sering bilang-bilang kalo rencana tahun depan bakal pulkam lagi aku jadi kangen numpuk puk!!

Riana said...

Hi, Laura Ingalls :*

Arfi Binsted said...

Hi, baker :*

Barbara said...

Arfi - don't think we can make dinner. Would love some fruit cheese though.

Arfi Binsted said...

Barb, I'll email you later about the cheese. hugs.

Robyn said...

You might find this link useful - it explains how to use apples to make pectin jelly for use in other jams etc.

http://www.lindystoast.com/2006/08/dont_tell_apple.html

Arfi Binsted said...

robyn, thank you so much. it means a lot to me.

annie said...

I just found you through the Foodie Blogroll, and I am absolutely fascinated by the fruit cheese recipe. As soon as I can get some decent fruit and convert the grams to ounces and pounds (yikes!) I'm going to have some. It looks close to what we call "fruit butter," but more translucent...as I said; I'm intrigued.

casalba said...

I'm just about to post on Quince Cheese and would like to link to your recipes here - hope that's OK.

Krazey said...

Hello
I've just found your site while "surfing" for Fruit Cheeses. Ialso hate waste and use as much as I can.
Can you tell me how long a Fruit Cheese will keep? (if allowed to). At the moment I'm looking to make Apple Cheese, apple Curds and Apple Butter. I have TONS of apples this year.

Trish Martin said...

Hi I am sooo happy to someone posting information about fruit cheese on the internet. It seems to be very difficult to find - maybe just in English I don't know. I make jams and jellies from many different fruits but have been wanting to try the fruit cheeses for some time now. Just needed to know the basic process and proportions of fruit to sugar. Now I know! thank you very much!

Laila said...

I was looking for a recipe for Fruit Cheese from Damson Plums, as there will be plenty of them on the tree nearby. I have just made my first rounds of Brie last week, and have also heard that Damson Cheese goes well with Brie. I was pleasantly surprised when I found your posting, to also find out that not only are you in NZ, but also Indonesian, as am I! Reading your blogs, my husband said that it could just as well be me, as I also do a lot of home making, though photos I are nowhere near as classy as yours. You go girl!

Arfi Binsted said...

Thank you guys.

@Laila: hello! Senang sekali mendapat kabar dari sesama Indonesian. Kamu tinggal dimana nih? Yuk, kontak, eh siapa tahu kita bisa masak bareng. Ini email aku ya (arfi.binstedATgmailDOTcom).