Posted by: A Part of the Solution | November 20, 2010

Curried Fruit

Why curried fruit? Why not, I always say. This is just so very good, for very little effort. If you’re a non-cook and you’re going to a potluck, bring this. If you want something yummy and different to go alongside your baked ham, or with your vanilla ice cream, or on your hot breakfast cereal or waffles, this one dish does all of these things. How’s that for versatility?

Curried fruit doesn’t have a season. It’s all from cans. Curried fruit isn’t regional, except to North America in general. Curried fruit doesn’t have a long, illustrious history–it’s one of those recipes which came into being during ‘the War’, as most of my folks still refer to WWII. Curried fruit is still one of the best things to happen to food in cold weather.

The closest you can get to making this recipe politically correct is to use organic canned fruit. Suddenly, it will be very, very expensive as well as very, very delicious. It’s your call.

Curried Fruit

1 can pineapple chunks

1 can pear halves, cut in large chunks

1 can peach halves, cut in large chunks

1 can apricot halves, cut in half again

1 can sliced water chestnuts (or not, if you hate them)

1 can cherries (not pie filling, mind, and this is optional)

1/2 cup dried cherries, or chopped dried apricots (optional, but they soak up the extra juices very nicely)

1 stick ‘oleo’–for which I substitute butter or Earth Balance, Mom says you can use less but I wouldn’t go under 6 TBSP

1/2 cup brown sugar (and this is the reduced amount, don’t go with less)

1-2 TBSP curry powder, we always used the old McCormick’s can, so don’t feel like you have to go out of your way to get something special here

Drain the canned fruit in a colander for no fewer than six hours. Overnight might be better. Mix the fruit with the curry and sugar and the fat cut into chunks (and the dried fruit if using).

Put the fruit mixture in a small, greased casserole. Cover the casserole tightly with aluminum foil if it doesn’t have a lid. The curried fruit cooks for about an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half at a nice low temperature; 300° to 325° is best, but you can go higher, depending on what else needs to be in the oven and if it all needs to cook at the same time.

You can also make this way ahead (about a week, really) and reheat it close to service. It will want about 15 minutes at about 350° to reheat through.

This is good hot or warm. Because of the fats in it, it’s not great cold, but it’s easy to get some warm for quick use.

My recipe (in my aunt’s handwriting) says to ‘as soon as it’s cool enough, eat it all up and make another batch’. It smells that good, and it tastes even better. You’ll be thanking me for this one, just as soon as you wipe the curried grease from your fingers so that you can get to the keyboard.

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