Flashcards in CONCEPT 49: SUGAR AND TIME MAKE FRUIT JUCIER Deck (63):
When fruit is tossed with sugar what does it change?
Flavor and texture.
By definition, what are fruits?
The reproductive part of plants, the ones containing all the seeds.
What are fruits engineered to do?
Engineered by nature to appeal, enticing animals to eat them and scatter their seeds. When ripe, they're often brightly colored, filled with sugar, and smell aggressively good.
The ripening process of fruit is triggered by what?
The release of ethylene, a simple gas produced by the plant when it is ready to ripen.
Do all fruits ripen the same way?
No, there are two different methods.
Describe the climacteric method of ripening.
One type of fruit, called climacteric fruit, produces a sudden burst of ethylene right when it is ready to ripen. During this process, fruits like bananas, peaches and pears convert starch into sugar and begin to digest their cell walls, thereby becoming sweeter as they ripen. Most importantly, climacteric fruits continue to ripen in this way even after they're separated from the plant. For this reason, they are harvested before ripening when they are more capable of handling the rigors of transporting and storage.
Describe the non-climacteric method of ripening.
The non-climacteric produces ethylene only very slowly and does not continue to ripen after being separated from the plant. Non-climacteric fruits like blueberries, cherries, and oranges do not convert starch to sugar but must receive it from the parent plant. As a result, non-climacteric fruits will not ripen any further after harvesting and should be purchased as ripe as possible.
Is the cell structure of fruit different from the cell structure of vegetables?
No, but unlike vegetables who need salt to release juices, to fruit we add sugar.
Is sugar more effective at coaxing fruit to release its liquid?
No, it has 1/10 the coaxing power of salt but is effective nonetheless.
When added to fruit (often chopped, with skin removed, to maximize surface area) sugar produces what?
Osmotic pressure, pulling moisture out of the fruit's cells.
Why does sugar pull out moisture from fruit?
Sugar is hygroscopic, so it draws out water by osmotic action, then holds on to the water.
Sugar has such a lust for water it will even draw it out of the ______.
What is it call when sugar is added to fruit to draw out water?
Does maceration change the texture of fruit? How?
Yes, making it softer and less waterlogged. Cells filled with water are firm, while those containing less water become flaccid and soft, just like a plant wilts when it becomes dry.
What can you do with liquid left over from maceration?
The flavor-rich liquid that's created can be used to moisten dishes like fruit salad or berry shortcakes, or it can be discarded to help keep crumbles and pies from becoming a soggy mess.
TEST KITCHEN: 4OZ FRESH STRAWBERRIES SLICED INTO 1/4 INCH PIECES AND PLACED IN A NAPKIN.
Moments after berries came into contact with sugar they started glistening. At the 5 minute mark they'd saturated almost an inch of the napkin; 10 minute mark was an extra 1/2 inch; 15 minutes later they'd hit the napkins edge, registering over 2 inches.
List of climacteric fruits.
Apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, peaches, pears, plums, tomatoes, papayas and mangoes.
List of non-climacteric fruits.
Bell peppers, blueberries, cherries, grapefruits, lemons, oranges, grapes, melons, pineapples, raspberries and strawberries.
How could you use the juice from macerating on a fruits salad?
As a flavorful dressing.
How long should fruit be macerated?
15 to 30 minutes.
What could you balance the sweetness in a fruit salad with?
Lime juice or lemon juice.
Best way to add herbs, spices and zest to a fruit salad.
Muddle everything with the sugar for even flavor and sprinkle it on the fruit; tossing these flavors right on doesn't work as well - their texture won't disappear either unless muddled with the sugar.
Is it better to make a simple syrup for fruit salads? Explain.
No, besides the irritation of turning on a stove, water doesn't make the fruit taste better. Sprinkling on the sugar allows fruit to sit in their own natural juices; they make the salad taste better.
How do you remove the skin if peaches aren't firm enough to peel?
Blanch in a pot of simmering water for 15 seconds.
A soggy topping and watery, flavorless filling are the norm for the simple, humble what?
What type of butter is better for a crumble? Explain.
Melted butter creates a topping that is too sandy. Softened butter, pulsed in the food processor, creates a cohesive dough that is easily broken apart and bakes up crisp.
Why should the crumble topping be baked before adding to the peach crumble?
No topping baked on top of steaming fruit will ever become really crisp. The solution is to bake the crumble until it's lightly browned, then add the baked topping to the fruit and put the crumble in the oven. A sprinkle of sugar over the crumble topping adds a sweet crunch on top.
When should you refrigerate peaches? Explain.
Only if they're ripe. Storing peaches at or below 40 degrees deactivates the enzyme that breaks down pectin during ripening; this creates a mealy texture in the flesh - store peaches on the counter.
How long can unbaked biscuits be wrapped and refrigerated?
Can you use biscuits to make a shortcake?
Yes, but a true shortcake should be sweet and richer; they added more sugar, half-and-half instead of milk, and an egg.
What's the secret to billowy whipped cream?
Starting with cold cream. If the kitchen is warm, chill the mixing bowl and whisk too.
Is it better to add sugar before or after whipping cream? Explain.
Sugar added at the onset will dissolve in the creams moisture, sugar added at the end will create a grainy texture.
Does adding sugar at the beginning influence the volume of cream? Explain.
While sugar timing doesn't affect the cream's ability to whip up properly, the temperature of cream does. Whipping cream introduces air bubbles, whose walls are stabilized by tiny globules of fat. These fat globules hold the air bubbles in place as the whipping continues, forming what eventually becomes light, airy whipped cream. Because heat softens the butterfat in the cream, the liquid fat globules will collapse completely rather than hold together the air bubbles, preventing the cream from whipping up properly; use cream straight from the refrigerator.
What is a fruit fool?
Traditional British fruit dessert that is typically made by folding pureed stewed fruit (usually gooseberries) into pastry cream. Modern recipes skip the pastry cream and add whipped cream; the whipped cream fool ends up too lose and watery.
How did test kitchen add tang to their berry fool?
They added 1/4 cup of sour cream to their 1 cup of whipped cream.
Why do most recipes call for gelatin to be hydrated?
Because adding powdered gelatin directly to hot liquid can cause the exterior of the gelatin granules to hydrate too quickly, making them clump together and preventing the center of the granules from absorbing water.
Between yogurt, mascarpone, crème fraîche and sour cream, which ingredient made whipped cream richer and studier?
Tasters preferred sour cream; provided the right degree of richness with a mild tang.
What is gelatin?
A pure protein derived from animal bones and connective tissue.
What does gelatin do to liquid?
Turns it into a semisolid state by trapping water and slowing its movement.
In contrast to other thickening agents, why does gelatin contribute to a unique sensation in the mouth?
Gelatin begins to melt at body temperature, creating a silky texture on the tongue.
What is pectin?
A carbohydrate that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, holding cell walls together like cement.
What happens when pectin is introduced to heat, sugar and acid?
Pectin molecules loosen their grip on the cell walls and bond directly with each other, creating a matrix that traps water in much the same way gelatin molecules do.
Do gelatin and pectin require similar temperatures to reverse thickening power? Does pectin work for a fruit fool?
No, pectin requires high temperatures for its thickening action to be reversed. It also proved an unsuitable thickener for the fruit it TK's fool, requiring so much sugar to work that it turned the berries into jam.
How are most natural sweeteners obtained?
By either extracting or squeezing them from these plant sources and then purifying the natural sugars.
Natural sweeteners are based on different types of sugar molecules called what?
Mono- and disaccharides, composed of only carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
Sweet tasting sugar molecules contain what?
Atoms of hydrogen linked to oxygen (called hydroxy groups) attached to a carbon framework in specific three-dimensional shapes that bind with the sweet taste receptors in your mouth.
Glucose (also known as dextrose) is one of two simple sugar molecules. It is referred to as a monosaccharide. Glucose is found in a variety of living cells, especially fruits and honey. It is also found in corn syrup made from cornstarch. Glucose is only 75% as sweet as sucrose.
Fructose is one of two simple sugar molecules. Like glucose, sucrose is referred to as a monosaccharide. Like glucose, fructose is found in many fruits as well as honey. Fructose is almost 1.5 times sweeter than sucrose.
This complex sugar contains one molecule and glucose bonded to one molecule of fructose, in what is called a disaccharide. Like glucose and fructose, sucrose is produced by green plants during photosynthesis. All sugar derived from cane or beets, including granulated sugar, consists mainly or entirely of sucrose, as does maple syrup.
Buying granulated sugar.
Common granulated sugar starts with either sugar cane or sugar beets. In kitchen tests, they couldn't tell the difference since the end product, sucrose, is chemically the same no matter the source.
Buying superfine sugar.
This superfine sugar has extra small crystals that dissolve quickly, making it a must for drinks. Superfine sugar promotes a melt-in-the-mouth texture in delicate cookies such as shortbread.
Buying confectioners' sugar.
To prevent clumping, this pulverized sugar contains a small amount of cornstarch, making it ideal for dusting over cakes or dissolving in a quick glaze.
Buying brown sugar.
Modern brown sugar is basically granulated sugar with molasses added (6.5% for dark and 3.5% for light brown). Except for certain recipes, they are interchangeable, with some slight differences in flavor and texture. Note that some natural brown sugars, such as Demerara and turbinado, are derived from sugar cane (like granulated sugar), but are slightly less processed and thus retain a gentle molasses flavor and larger crystal size.
Molasses in a byproduct of the process by which sugar cane is refined. Depending on when in the process the molasses is extracted, it can be fairly mild or quite strong. Blackstrap molasses is derived late in the refining process and has a harsh flavor we don't like in recipes.
Honey has a distinct flavor based on the type of plant from which the bees extracted their nectar. Honey contains water as well as fructose and glucose.
Buying corn syrup.
This modern sweetener is derived from cornstarch and contains glucose along with chains of glucose molecules that make it very viscous and keep it from crystallizing like honey or maple syrup. Corn syrup is less sweet than most other sweeteners.
Storing granulated sugar, superfine and confectioners'.
Will keep indefinitely in a cool, dry pantry.
Storing brown sugar.
Must be kept in an airtight container. Overtime, brown sugar will dry out. To revive hardened brown sugar, cover bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on high power for 10 to 20 seconds. This should soften the sugar enough to measure it; sugar will harden once it cools.
Keeps indefinitely but will crystallize. To return honey to a fluid state, place the open container of honey in a sauce pot filled with 1 inch water and stir over low heat until liquefied.
Replace 1 cup of confectioners sugar.
Pulverize 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in spice grinder or blender for at least 1 minute; don't use food processor. Strain through fine-mesh strainer before using.
Replace 1 cup of superfine sugar.
Grind 1 cup plus two teaspoons granulated sugar in food processor for 30 seconds.
Replace 1 cup light brown sugar.
Pulse 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon molasses in food processor until uniformly blended.