Roasted Fruit Packages
The sub header of my creatively named blog, the Chef Mimi blog, is “so much food, so little time”. I could have easily made it, “so many restaurants, so little time.”
Dining out may be my favorite thing to do. Like it’s my serious hobby. Whenever we have a travel destination, I’m researching top ten restaurants, new restaurant openings, best new chefs, and working online at open table.com for reservations.
Of course this is more challenging in major cities like New York. I’ve tried to get us in to ABC kitchen 5 times with no luck. And I start early.
One restaurant that has always been on my NYC list is Buvette – so much so that I bought the cookbook “Buvette – The Pleasure of Good Food” by Jody Williams, who is the chef and owner.
The restaurant, considered a gastrothèque, opened in 2010 and has received many accolades. Before opening Buvette, Jody Williams worked with such culinary notables as Thomas Keller and Lidia Bastianich.
When I first received the cookbook from Amazon, I bookmarked quite a few intriguing recipes, but one really called to me – Fruit in Parchment Paper.
For the recipe, Ms. Williams oven-roasts fresh and dried fruits in squares of parchment paper, much as how one would prepare fish. She serves the packages of fruit with cheese as an “unexpected alternative to the ubiquitous cluster of grapes that seem to accompany every cheese platter in the world!”
Except for serving a compote, a chutney, or aigre doux of fruit, I have never served roasted fruit as a cheese platter accompaniment. So needless to say I was excited. And being that it’s early summer, I have access to a good variety of fresh fruit.
Ms. Williams suggests mixing up the fruit to suit your taste. She suggests the combination of pumpkin, apples and dates. I’m saving that for next fall.
Fruit in Parchment Paper
2 tables of dried currants (I used dried sour cherries)
1/2 cup vin santo* (I used Sauternes)
1 apple peeled cored and thinly sliced
1 quince peeled cored and thinly sliced (I used plums)
2 tablespoons honey
A pinch of coarse salt
1/4 cup walnuts
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl soak the currants in the vin santo for at least 10 minutes. Once they’re a bit softened, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Meanwhile cut out four 8″ squares of parchment paper. Evenly divide the mixture among the squares. Bring the edges of each square together and fold them over each other creating a continuous seal. ( I had parchment bags that I used.)
Place the four packages on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until the fruit smells fragrant and the paper is browned, about 15 minutes.
I almost made my smoke alarm go off roasting the fruits; so much of the syrup leaked through the bags and began smoking.
I paired the fruit with Mimolette, a smoked Raclette, and Saint-Félicien, along with some bread.
If you’ve never had Saint-Félicien, you need to get some. It’s mild, a little salty, and oh so creamy. It paired especially well with the fruit.
The fruit was also perfect for a torchon of foie gras I served that evening when friends came over (not pictured).
I understand that the parchment packages help steam-cook the fruits, but honestly they ended up being terribly messy.
In the future, I will place the fruit mixture in a large gratin pan, and roast at 375 degrees, maybe stirring once. That way, you don’t lose the syrup, and the fruit will still be cooked but also a bit more caramelized.
* Ms. Williams states that Banyuls, Port, or Sauternes can be substituted for the wine.
I’m already thinking of new fruit combinations…
Cherries apples dried apricots
Pears grapes dates
Peaches apples figs
And so forth
note: When I make this again, I will also chop the fruit. I think the smaller pieces will be easier to place on breads and crackers.
I bet the fruit tasted delicious and what a great idea to go with the cheese. But if I try it I’ll give the parchment paper a miss and go straight to a gratin dish, as you suggest!
I really see no need for it, although in theory it should have worked! I almost omitted the walnuts but they were wonderful.
Lovely idea, particularly with autumn fruits like quince. Sort of a winey instant chutney (without the vinegar). I quite like the idea of chunky fruit but I can see it might be difficult to eat without a fork!
I see what you mean. But no onions or garlic either. It’s really just roasted fruit. It’s brilliant, to use a British term!
I love pairing fruit with cheese. Your recipe looks delicious, you are a brilliant chef Mimi!
Well, it isn’t my recipe, but thank you! Definitely more fun than just grapes!
I love this idea! Perfect mix of cheese with sweet fruit and walnuts. All my favourites in one toast!
OOooo this looks so delicious!!! I definitely want to try to making it!
It’s really a brilliant idea, isn’t it?!!
Wonderful! I bet it’d be delicious on oatmeal, too.
Ha! It definitely would!!!
Wow I would be so delighted to see something like this on the fruit plate. And that cheese, oh my… Thank you for the introduction to this!
It was a really nice combination, and definitely more fun than grapes!
Such a wonderful mix of fruits, wine and cheeses. Makes me hungry! :)
I had the same results when using parchment parcels with fruits. It is indeed much better to use a pan.
Yeah. I love this idea, but the parchment is out!
Thanks for the tips and recipe, this would be lovely in the fall…maybe summer peaches with walnuts and dates or figs??? I will definitely use a dish rather than parchment paper. I have an electronic version of that book and haven’t used it much, I will look forward to your postings from it.
Whenever i first tried a cookbook on my kindle, the photos messed up, so I’ve never done it again. Have they gotten better? Yes, the fruit combos are endless and can so easily made seasonal.
They are better, but I much prefer print. That way I can easily mark pages, make notes, etc. It is not the same electronically. If I love a cookbook, it purchase it in print to sit on the counter and gather grease spots while I cook.
RuthAnn Ridley from inspiringcuisine.com writes:
I love this idea!! something elegant and delicious for an appetizer table. I only have a few good recipes for Hors D’oeuvres and am looking forward to trying this one the next time we have company.
Thank you for the continued inspiration you bring us through your blog.
That is so sweet, thank you! As for hors d’oeuvres, I honestly don’t think there’s anything better than a few good cheeses, good bread and/or crackers, nuts, and fruit. No cooking involved. But this roasted fruit is fabulous, and could be made the day before!
This is something I’d love to try and maybe one day I will. When my wife is not around. She is trying to stop eating dairy and I think this would just tempt her too much!
Oh my, it certainly would. Sometimes I wish I was allergic to cheese!!! But not really…
Being Italian, I love cheese. But we don’t keep any around the house any more.
This is seriously delicious, what a treat!
It is definitely a nice alternative to grapes!
I love cheese and fruit and will save this recipe for winter, whae I have lot of dried apples, so add some more fruits. Thank you for inspiration!
Yes, the addition of pumpkin, and fall fruits, dried fruits – it’s all exciting! I’ll be roasting fruit every season!
I will definitely try this. Brilliant idea! And keep trying for ABC kitchen. It’s worth the effort. We like to eat very early, so that was helpful.
I don’t mind early, but it’s either 5 PM or 10:30 PM. My daughter, who lives in NYC, doesn’t even want to eat at 10:30! But thanks – I will keep trying. Going back in July. And try the roasted fruit – it’s really a nice substitute for grapes!
5:00 is perfect for me :) It may not be cool, but it’s a lot better for my acid reflux, LOL
Yes, a sad affliction for someone who adores food.
These look yummy and sound even tastier 😄
It was really fun – and so good with cheese!
I can imagine 😊
We would normally eat walnuts and sliced apples, pears, grapes, figs and quince jelly or onion chutney with cheese but I’ve never cooked the fruit before. I like the idea of roasting them in the oven and then cooling them. The local French here prefer walnut bread with cheese too.
It’s all good, it’s just that this is so different, and satisfying. I almost left out the walnuts, just to put on the cheese platter, but I’m glad I went with the recipe. They were good in the fruit. What’s fun is that you can change up the fruits, both dried and fresh, plus you really don’t need jelly, honey, or chutney because it’s all in there. Try it!
I’m sold! I’ll try it on my French neighours!
This is absolutely gorgeous, Mimi! I love the presentation and the warm, inviting images. I can imagine how good this tastes and would love to try this myself. Inspired! xx
And the way you can mix and match the fresh and dried fruits creates endless possibilities!!!
Very true! I can see that! :) x
It’s always nice to open something packed in parchment at table, but this does look like it’d be better suited to a gratin dish. Really neat combo of flavors — this looks excellent. Extremely interesting recipe — thanks.
I think so too. Which is funny cause the use of parchment paper is what originally got my attention! Can’t wait to make a different recipe every season!
Nice! Looking forward to what you do in autumn.
This is a really creative idea and a great way to shake up a cheese course. GREG
My mother used to do this with peaches, although she roasted them in a casserole. I really think the paper makes a big differing for the way things cook and “breathe.” Also, I need to find Saint-Félicien! It looks amazing!
It’s now in my top five cheese! There’s always fromages.com if you can’t find it locally.
What a beautiful plate.
This looks so luscious. I will definitely serve this at my next gathering! Love it. Thank you very much, Mimi.
You are so welcome! Definitely a nice change from grapes!!!
I’m late to the recipe Mimi but my mind is racing with possibilities for this. I would roast in ‘flat parchment’ parcels – no joins – which wouldn’t leak.
How about with Baked Brie?
Absolutely! Isn’t this a fabulous recipe?!! The cookbook was great.