Taste the summer with these fruit-based recipes

Nanci McDermott, author of the latest UNC Press “Savor the South” cookbook series, showcases all the wonderful ways to enjoy the south’s favorite fruits all year.

Fresh Peach Chutney

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups coarsely chopped ripe peaches
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped apple
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped candied ginger (optional)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

  • In a 3 quart saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the chopped peaches, apple, onion, and bell pepper
  • Stir with a large spoon to mix them well
  • Add the raisins, candied ginger, sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds, dried red pepper flakes, and salt, and stir well
  • Bring to a lively boil over medium high heat
  • Stir to coat all the ingredients evenly
  • Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle but active simmer
  • Cook, stirring now and then, until the chutney has thickened a little, formed a pleasing syrup, and developed its flavor, 30 to 40 minutes
  • Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature
  • Serve at room temperature
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks

Blackberry Slump

Ingredients:

For the Blackberries

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½ cups blackberries
  • ½ cup water

For the Dumplings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • ¼ cup whole milk

Directions:

  • To make the berry compote, combine the sugar, flour, and salt in a medium saucepan or a small Dutch oven
  • Stir with a fork to mix them well
  • Add the berries and water and stir gently
  • Place over medium high heat and bring the berries to a gentle boil
  • Adjust the heat to maintain a lively simmer, and stir well
  • Cook, stirring often until the berries are surrounded by a thickened, shiny sauce, about 5 minutes
  • Remove from heat and cover to keep warm
  • To make the dumplings, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and stir with a fork to mix them well
  • Cut the butter into small pieces and toss in the flour mixture
  • Use your hands, press and squeeze the butter to incorporate it into the flour mixture, working it until you have a lumpy dry mixture with butter pieces in large flakes and pea sized lumps
  • Add the milk and stir well to make a very soft dough, like biscuit dough only moister
  • Return the berry compote to the stove and bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat
  • Adjust the heat to maintain the boil. Using two teaspoons, or a tablespoon, scoop up the dough and drop it onto the bubbling surface of the berry compote, making walnut-sized dumplings
  • Continue, covering the berries with round distinct dumplings
  • When all the dumplings are in, reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer and cover
  • Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes
  • Check to see if the dumplings are dry and firm, and cooked through
  • Remove and pull a large dumpling apart if you aren’t sure they are done
  • Remove from heat and serve hot or warm

Strawberry Shrub

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups trimmed and quartered strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 3 cups sugar

Directions:

  • Prepare a large glass jar, sterilizing it
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the vinegar until it is steaming hot, just about to break into a bubbling boil
  • Remove from heat
  • Place the strawberries in the jar, and pour the vinegar over them, making sure they are covered by an inch of vinegar
  • Let cool to room temperature, and then cover tightly
  • Set aside for 24 to 48 hours, making sure the jar is not exposed to heat or light
  • Strain the vinegar into a medium saucepan, leaving the berries behind in the strainer
  • Discard the berries, and add the sugar to the vinegar in the saucepan
  • Bring to rolling boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar
  • As soon as the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let the shrub cool to room temperature
  • Pour the shrub into a clean, sterilized jar and cover tightly
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months