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Dash of Class: Fruity recipes call for Kentucky crops

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

According to the Kentucky Proud availability brochure the following fruits and vegetables are in season during July and August. I urge you to keep these lists available until the end of August. These products can be found at Kentucky farmer markets, roadside stands and you-pick-it operations in Kentucky.

July only: blueberries, brussel sprouts, carrots, okra and raspberries.

July and August: apples, beans, beets, blackberries, cantaloupe, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, onions, peaches, pears, plums, summer squash and tomatoes.

August only: lettuce, paw paws, watermelon and winter squash.

With an ever-changing climate and precipitation levels, these lists are not always 100 percent accurate. Remember, these are Kentucky Proud products. Notice there is no kiwi or citrus fruit listed as those products are not native to Kentucky. Though, with transportation from Florida and California and other warmer places, most every fruit and vegetable known to humans is available as long as price doesn’t prohibit its purchase.

To help you make the most of our Kentucky Proud fruits and vegetables, I have some recipes for fruit today and in weeks to come I will have recipes for Kentucky Proud vegetables. This should help you to incorporate some of those products in your meals while they are in season.

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,” is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached atnorasweat@thenewsenterprise.comor by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

Peach Cobbler with Praline Biscuits

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups sliced peeled fresh peaches

Biscuits:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup buttermilk

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and water until smooth. Stir in peaches. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Pour into a greased 13-inch by 9-inch by 2-inch baking dish; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the pecans, brown sugar and butter; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk just until moistened.

Turn dough onto a well floured surface; knead 3 to 4 times. Roll into a 12 by 8-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with reserved pecan mixture to within 1/2 inch of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style; starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Cut into 1/2 inch slices; place cut side down over peach mixture.

Bake cobbler at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 12 servings

Note: If self-rising flour is not available, add 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt to all purpose flour to measure 2 cups.

Source: “Taste of Home Holiday and Celebrations Cookbook”

Mojito Marinated Fruit

Note: A mojito is a popular Cuban cocktail featuring rum, lime juice, sugar and fresh mint.

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ½ cup light rum
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 2 cups each cantaloupe, honeydew, and seedless watermelon balls
  • 2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
  • 3 fresh mint sprigs, additional mint sprigs, optional

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in rum, lime juice and lime peel. Cool.

In a large bowl, combine melon, pineapple and mint. Add marinade; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Discard mint. Spoon fruit with syrup into serving cups. Garnish with additional mint if desired. Yield: 10 servings.

Source: “Taste of Home Holiday and Celebrations Cookbook”

Plum Dumplings

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 medium black plums, halved and pitted
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Cinnamon sugar mixture

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. Stir in egg and milk just until blended. Divide dough into six portions.

On a lightly floured surface, pat each portion of dough into a 5-inch circle. Place a plum half on each circle. Gently bring up corners of dough to center; pinch edges to seal.

In a Dutch oven, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Carefully add dumplings. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into dumpling comes out clean. Serve warm with pan juices, melted butter, and cinnamon-sugar. Yield: 6 servings

Source: “Taste of Home Holiday and Celebrations Cookbook”