Friday, November 11, 2011

Easy Fruit Reductions With A Crock Pot

Cooking in the pot.
Fruit reductions are great for flavoring icings and cakes, but they're a pain in the butt to make. I personally don't enjoy being trapped stirring a pot so that things don't burn.

I had a bag of frozen raspberries that I had been planning on boiling until they were pulp, but then I came across the crock pot method. This is obviously not something that you can do quickly, but if you're planning ahead then it works really well.


Strain out the seeds.
All you do is put the fruit into the crock pot and mash it up, then turn it on low and leave the top off. The low heat will evaporate the liquid from the fruit, and if the lid isn't on the pot it will thicken to a jam-like consistency.

Since raspberries have a lot of seeds, I took them out of the pot after they had been cooking for a while and strained as much out as I could by using a sieve. I was afraid that there wouldn't be anything left other than the juice after I did that, but there was still pulp in it.

Finished product.
Depending on what fruit you're using, you should remove them from the pot after about three hours or so and mash them up. This is generally true for firmer fruits like apples or pears, while berries might not need that step. Firmer fruits will probably require some water in the pot to begin with, and the softening up process will probably be sped up by leaving the top of the pot on.

After mashing or straining the fruit, return it to the crock pot and heat it on low again, but stir it every 20 minutes at least. It will get thicker, and when it's the consistency of a jam it's ready. Remove it from the pot and refrigerate.

This isn't a sweetened recipe, so it's not going to be good to eat straight out of the pot. Use it to flavor meringue buttercreams, cake batters or other baked goods. If you want to do a sweetened version add some sugar or other sweetener to taste after it's reduced to the thickness that you want.

This really does reduce the fruit A LOT. From one bag of frozen raspberries (I think it was about 10 oz) I got about 3 Tbsp of fruit reduction. With a very, very concentrated flavor!



 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com

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