Boost Your Immunity this Winter with South African Stone Fruit

South African plums, peaches and nectarines are natural and powerful immunity-boosters as they’re packed with nutrients and vitamins.

South African fruit is counter-seasonal, so is available when European produce isn’t, which means we’re lucky enough to enjoy beautiful sunshine fruit all year round.

Varieties of peach and nectarine are available in all major retailers from November until May, and plums from the end of December.

The South African fruit industry prides itself in supporting various ethical and transformation initiatives that focus on training, worker welfare, skills development and land ownership projects of its growers.

South African stone fruit health and nutrition:

  • High in fibre
  • An excellent source of vitamin A and C
  • Low in fat, calories, cholesterol and sodium
  • High in carotene and potassium

Nectarine & Hazelnut Open Crust Pie

You don’t have to been the winner of the Great British Bake Off to create this easy-going free-form pie! The whole idea is that it is loose and relaxed, so why not roll up your sleeves and make this sensational bake?

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 30 minutes

Serves: 8

260g plain flour

1/2tsp salt

1tbsp caster sugar

130g butter, chilled and cut into pieces

40g ground hazelnuts or ground almonds

1 egg, beaten

Chilled water, to mix

Filling:

40g ground hazelnuts or ground almonds

4 South African nectarines or peaches, pitted and sliced

50g hazelnuts or almonds, roughly chopped

75g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

Crème fraiche, cream or ice cream, to serve

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C, Fan Oven 180°C, Gas Mark 6.

2 Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the ground hazelnuts or almonds, then add 2tbsp beaten egg and 1tbsp chilled water, stirring with a knife to bring the mixture together to make a soft (not sticky) dough. Knead lightly for a few seconds until smooth. Wrap and chill for 10 minutes.

3 Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a circle with a diameter of about 38cm. Transfer to a baking sheet (the pastry will overlap). Brush the surface with beaten egg.

4 Sprinkle the ground hazelnuts or almonds over the pastry to within 7cm of the edge, then arrange the nectarines or peaches on top. Sprinkle with the sugar, then scatter the chopped hazelnuts or almonds over the fruit. Fold the pastry over to form a border, tucking and sealing it to make a free-form pie. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with extra sugar.

5 Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm or cold with crème fraiche, cream or ice cream.

Cook’s tip: Another time, try using delicious South African plums in this gorgeous recipe.

Peachy Plum Waffles with Chocolate Drizzle

Kids (of all ages!) will love these yummy waffles, topped with caramelised South African peach and plum slices drizzled with an easy-to-make chocolate sauce – with whipped cream on the side!

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

4 bought waffles

20g butter

2 South African peaches, pitted and sliced

4 South African plums, pitted and sliced

1tbsp caster sugar

100ml double cream

Chocolate sauce:

50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

10g butter

1tbsp cocoa powder

1tbsp cornflour

100ml milk

1tbsp caster sugar

1 First of all, make the chocolate sauce. Put all the ingredients into a non-stick saucepan and heat gently, stirring constantly with a silicone whisk or wooden spoon until smooth and thickened. Set aside, stirring occasionally.

2 Following pack instructions, warm the waffles.

3 Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the peach and plum slices, cooking over a high heat for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle in the caster sugar and cook for a further 40-60 seconds or so, until the fruit looks lightly caramelised.

4 Whip the cream in a chilled bowl until it holds its shape. Serve with the waffles, fruit and chocolate sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cocoa powder, if you like.

Cook’s tips: Make this recipe with pancakes instead of waffles, and use canned squirty cream instead of whipping it yourself – kids love it, and it’s quick and easy!

Mulled Plum Punch

There’s something so welcoming about a hot alcoholic tipple. Not only does it taste terrific – it gives your home a fabulous festive aroma!

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves 6

400ml unsweetened apple juice

400ml unsweetened cranberry juice

500ml dry cider

100ml peach brandy (optional)

1 small lemon, thinly sliced

2 cinnamon sticks

6 cloves

4tbsp clear honey

6 South African plums, pitted and sliced

1 In a large saucepan, put the apple juice, cranberry juice, cider, peach brandy (if using), lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves and honey. Heat until just simmering, then turn the heat to very low.

2 After 5 minutes, add the plum slices and continue to simmer on a very low heat for a further 15 minutes.

3 Ladle into heatproof glasses and serve.

Cook’s tips: For a non-alcoholic version use 700ml of both apple and cranberry juice and omit the cider and peach brandy, and add a couple of spiced apple tea bags about 10 minutes before serving.

Did you know you can use a slow cooker to make this and keep it warm? Simply put all the ingredients into your slow cooker, then cover and cook on high for 1½ -2 hours or 2½ – 3 hours on low.

Roasted South African Plum, Pumpkin and Lentil Korma

In this delicious curry, South African plums are roasted with pumpkin or butternut squash, then combined with korma curry paste, coconut cream and canned lentils. Great news – it’s suitable for vegans and vegetarians too!

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

500g pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into chunks

1 large red onion, chopped

2tbsp olive oil

1tsp cumin seeds

6 South African plums, pitted and sliced

2 x 400g cans green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained

4tsp vegetable stock powder or 1 vegetable stock cube

4tbsp Korma curry paste

200g coconut cream

2tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4tbsp natural yogurt (dairy-free for vegans)

Fresh coriander, to garnish

Naan bread, to serve

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C, Fan Oven 180°C, Gas Mark 6. Put the chunks of pumpkin or butternut squash and red onion into a roasting tin and add the olive oil, tossing to coat. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until just tender.

2 Add the cumin seeds and South African plums to the roasting tin and roast for 5 more minutes.

3 Meanwhile, tip the lentils into a large saucepan and stir in the stock powder or crumble in the cube. Add the curry paste, coconut cream and chopped coriander. Heat, stirring occasionally until simmering.

4 Tip the roasted vegetable mixture into the saucepan and stir gently to mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes. Serve, garnished with natural yogurt and coriander sprigs, accompanied by warm naan bread.

Cook’s tips: If you want to keep the curry vegan, be sure to use a dairy-free yogurt for the garnish. If you need an alternative to pumpkin or butternut squash, try sweet potatoes instead.

  • This campaign is run by HORTGRO, the industry association representing South African fruit growers.
  • The sheltered valleys between mountains in the Western Cape are ideal for the cultivation of fruit such as plums, peaches and nectarines.
  • The amazing combination of Mediterranean climate, steep hillsides and over 100 years of experience has helped to produce the most delicious, high quality fruit.
  • The vast majority of Stone African stone fruit producers choose to ship their produce to the UK, rather than flying.
  • Some of the fantastic varieties to look out for during the season are:

Plums – FORTUNE, AFRICAN DELIGHT, SAPPHIRE, RUBY SUN & FLAVOR KING

  • Peaches – AMBERCREST®, SPRING PRINCESS & JIM DANDY
  • Nectarines –  SUPER STAR®, TIFANY & ALPINE

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