How to Make Fruit Puree

So, this seems like a rather easy task, right? But, if you're like me, and had never done it before, you might think to google it or check in a cookbook or something... Yeah, bad idea. Every "how-to" on fruit purees I found assumed some knowledge of making fruit puree or cooking fruit for said puree or didn't give me adequate amounts of # of fruit to use, how to cut it up, how much water to use, etc. - which is frustrating when you have never done this and need to know the whole process, not just one piece of the process! [Isn't that what a How-to is for? To show you how to do something from start to finish? Just sayin'...]

After about an hour online (that's not a joke nor an exaggeration), I hit upon this video for making a fruit puree that very nicely breaks down the whole process. I highly suggest watching it in addition to reading any "how-to" (mine or someone else's) for making your own fruit puree.

I agree with this dude in the video: I like the simplest recipes for fruit puree - the ones that keep the natural flavors of whatever fruit you're pureeing. So, I offer up my process for fruit purees, with the caveat that after you've done it once, you will find it's very easy to do and you should start playing around with combinations and textures to make your own favorites!

Fruit Puree
(thus far I've only done apples and pears, so the process below is best suited for fruits similar in texture/hardness to those fruits)

1. Get 4 medium to large sized pieces of fruit. Peel and core them.
2. Chop into pieces - about 1 to 1.5-in size. Throw these in a large pot.
3. Cover with water that just barely covers the top of the fruit. I often don't quite cover the top pieces, since the fruit floats. So, push the fruit pieces down, and if the water covers them, then you've got enough.
4. Bring water to a boil, then cook over medium heat until done (about 45-50 minutes). "Done" means the fruit is soft enough to mush up with a spoon or masher or whatever (no need to actually mash). The water will also have reduced quite a bit. You want to have some water left over, so don't reduce it all the way, but leave about a 1/4-in of water at the bottom of the pan (this is a rough estimate).
5. Let fruit cool - I generally do this with a lid on the pan so that the water doesn't evaporate!
6. Once it's around room-temperature or a little above, put fruit into food processor. The first time you do this, I suggest not putting all the water in yet - you can always add more, but you can't really take it away... If the fruit isn't liquidy enough, add some of the water until you get the desired consistency.
7. Let cool all the way before transferring to a container and refrigerating/freezing. I've found that puree lasts for about a week in the fridge, if you don't eat it all first!

Boiling apples:


Some tips for choosing fruit for purees:

They taste richer if you use a mixture of types, but if you don't want to buy different kinds, I recommend going with a strong-tasting variety of apple or pear.

For apples: I generally use two varieties of apples in my apple purees: one pungently-flavored apple good for eating, and one less pungent, but still pretty strong flavored apple that's touted as a good baking apple. My favorite combination is Jonagold+Mutzi apples (from the Farmers' Market!), but in the off-season, Fuji+Cortland or Fuji+Golden Delicious are good alternatives. Play around with combinations.

For pears: I prefer Asian pears to Bartlett or Bosc pears. I've been using a mixture of two types of Asian pears that I get from my local Farmer's Market lately, so I don't have any good ideas yet for off-season pear purees. The ones I use are just a regular Asian pear+this variety of Asian pear that tastes like it has honey in it! Mmm...

[The most important part to remember - hot boiled apples or pears are even more delicious than their plain chopped counterparts. Just make sure you blow on them to cool a bit - they burn tongues fast! ...might be speaking from personal experience here...]

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