Sweet days

Some of the season’s best perks are the fresh fruit – peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots, not to mention grapes and melons.

Apricot 311 (photo credit: Sefi Ben-Dor)
Apricot 311
(photo credit: Sefi Ben-Dor)
The Ben-Dor farm, in northern Galilee, grows fruits that are sweeter than usual – making them perfect for desserts. Amongst the special fruit are the Pita peach and nectarine, both very juicy and sweet. The yellow nectarine tastes almost like mango. The new attraction is the Rose Water nectarine that is red inside and out and has a very sweet aroma.
Ben-Dor’s apricots come in six colors: white, red, dark red, black, spotted and orange, but the real “gourmet,” according to the growers, is the Red Heart plums, that have a green skin and are red inside, just like a watermelon.
Most of the Ben-Dor produce is exported to England. In Israel it is available at Hatzi- Hinam, Rami Levy, Tiv Ta’am, Mega and at Ben-Dor’s own stall in the farmers’ market at Tel Aviv Port. For more information go to www.bendorfruits.co.il
FRUIT CRUMBLEMakes 4✔ 4 Pita peaches✔ 4 Red Heart plums✔ 100 gr. butter✔ Cinnamon✔ 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar✔ 11⁄2 cups flour✔ Juice of 1 lemon
Cut fruit into cubes. Mix lemon juice with 2 Tbsp. sugar and pour over the fruit. Set aside. Meanwhile mix 1 cup sugar, flour and a pinch of cinnamon in a separate bowl. Cut butter in and mix with your hands to make buttered crumbs.
Arrange fruit in an ovenproof shallow dish or in individual dishes. Spread crumbs on top evenly but do not press them on the fruit. Bake at 180º for 25 minutes. Cool a few minutes before serving.
PEACH CAKE✔ 150 gr. butter✔ Pinch salt✔ Juice of 1 lemon✔ 150 gr. self-rising flour✔ 12 Pita peaches✔ 3 eggs✔ 150 gr. + 2 Tbsp. sugar
Peel peaches and cut into cubes. Mix with lemon juice and 2 Tbsp. sugar and set aside. Melt butter, whip eggs with remaining sugar until lighter in color and creamy. Add melted butter and continue mixing. Add 100 gr. sugar, pinch salt and gradually add the flour. Mix until smooth.
Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Place the peaches and juice in the dish. Pour dough on top and shake the dish a little. Bake at 180º for 45 minutes.
To serve: place some whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a real summer dessert.
✔ 3⁄4 cup sugar
✔ 21⁄2 cups flour
✔ Pinch salt
✔ 1 tsp. baking soda
✔ 1 tsp. baking powder
✔ 200 ml. sour cream
✔ 3 eggs
✔ Zest of 1 lemon
✔ 200 gr. butter
✔ 6 Rose Water nectarines
Cut nectarines into cubes and mix with lemon zest. Mix sugar and butter together until creamy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix 1 cup flour, baking powder and baking soda and salt. Sift flour mixture into the egg mixture. Mix only until smooth.
Gradually add the sour cream, alternating with remaining flour. Put fruit into the dough and mix gently. Pour into an oiled baking dish and bake at 180º for 40 minutes.
✔ 50 gr. vanilla sugar
✔ 500 gr. sugar
✔ 300 gr. oil
✔ Cinnamon
✔ 25 gr. baking powder
✔ 700 gr. plums
✔ 6 eggs
✔ 580 gr. flour
Whip eggs with sugars. Add oil. Mix dry ingredients and add to egg mixture. Pour into an oiled baking dish. Pare plums and cut into strips. Spread over batter. Bake at 180º for 40 minutes or until done.
Apricots tend to ripen very quickly.
Before you throw them away, make this summer dessert or a jam, that will last long after the season is over.
✔ Butter
✔ 250 gr. sugar
✔ 1 cup sherry
✔ 200gr.apricots
Wash apricots and slice all the fruit. Butter an oven-proof dish and arrange apricots in bottom. Mix sherry and sugar and pour over apricots. Place in a 150º oven until fruit is softened. Remove from oven and let chill. Gently place a few apricots in every serving dish and add some of the liquids
✔ 1 kg. sugar
✔ Juice of 1⁄2 a lemon
✔ 11⁄2 kg. apricots
Wash and pare the fruit. Place in a pot with sugar. Cook over medium heat and keep stirring with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil and immediately lower heat to minimum, to prevent discoloration. Continue cooking, stirring from time to time.
Remove any foam that forms on the top. When the mixture thickens add lemon juice. Do not overcook, as this will result in a hard and very thick jam. Remove from heat and place in a clean jar when cooled. Cover tightly and keep refrigerated.