Expecting Guests?

Slice up a fresh FruitDirect apple horizontally and a FruitDirect pear vertically and add it to a selection of cheeses, grapes, crackers and relishes.  Not only is it healthy but creates a Masterchef look on your cheese board!

Or try slices of creamy cambert cheese inbetween a crunchy Champion apple.

50g unsalted butter
1kg FruitDirect Champion Apples, peeled, cored,
cut into 1cm slices
500g frozen mixed berries
185g caster sugar
300ml port
1. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
300g good-quality shortbread biscuits

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt 20g of the butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Cook apple, stirring, for 5-6 minutes until soft. Add berries, sugar, port and cinnamon. Cover and cook for 8 minutes until fruit gives off a lot of juice. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fruit to a 2L pie dish or 300ml ramekins. Reduce juice in pan over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until syrupy. Pour over fruit.

Pulse shortbread in a processor to form coarse crumbs. Add remaining butter and process to combine. Top fruit with crumbs. Bake for 35 minutes until golden.

4 ripe FruitDirect Beurre Bosc pears, peeled
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
Vanilla yoghurt to serve

Crumble:
½ cup rolled oats
40g butter, melted
¼ brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine sugar and cinnamon. Cut each pear in half and take out the core with a melon baller. Roll the pears in the sugar and cinnamon mixture, add a small cube of butter to the centre of the pear and then stand two halves together in the middle of a piece of foil.  Wrap the pears and make sure that foil points upwards and there are no holes as you will lose the juices as it cooks.  Place the pears upright on a baking tray and bake pears for 30 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile make crumble; combine the oats, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and flour in a bowl. Spread evenly on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Place cooked pears on serving plates. Pour over sauce from inside foil; add a dollop of vanilla yoghurt in the centre of the pear and sprinkle with crumble.

Cinnamon sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Muffins
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
100g butter
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1-2 diced FruitDirect apples (depending on the size of the apple)

Prepare the cinnamon sugar: mix the white sugar and cinnamon together and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Spray or brush 12 non-stick muffin pans with butter or oil.
To make the muffins, sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a mixing bowl. Stir in the white sugar. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave (about 40 seconds on high) or in a saucepan.
Beat the eggs and milk together. Pour the liquid mixture with the diced apples and melted butter into the dry ingredients. Gently stir with a spoon until just combined. The mixture should look a little lumpy.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the pans. Sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until the muffins spring back when pressed lightly or a cake tester pushed into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Leave the muffins in pans for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

125g butter, chopped
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
3/4 cup milk
2 small FruitDirect Champion Apples, cored and quartered

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 20cm cake tin (round springform pan works best) and line base with baking paper.  Place butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and using an electric mixer, beat until light and creamy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after egg is added.

Sift flours over butter mixture, add milk and fold until just combined.  Then spoon mixture into prepared pan.  Thinly slice the apples and arrange in 2 circles on batter, pressing down gently.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Remove side from pan. Slide cake onto a wire rack to cool.

5 firm, ripe FruitDirect Taylors Gold Pears, quartered, cored
1 tbs balsamic glaze
125ml 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries, thawed
1 tsp honey
200g baby spinach
1/4 cup dry-roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pears, cut-side up, on the lined tray. Drizzle over the balsamic glaze and season with pepper. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until pears start to soften and caramelise. Set aside to cool.

Place the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the berries in a small bowl and use a fork to crush the berries. Stir in the honey. Season with pepper. Set aside for 10 minutes to macerate.

Place the pear, baby spinach and remaining berries in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the hazelnut. Drizzle over the dressing or serve with the salad in a small jug.

5 slices of raisin bread
3 small ripe FruitDirect Beurre Bosc pears, cored and quartered
1 brie cheese
Pine nuts
100g honey comb

Cut the raisin bread into diagonal halves.  Slice the pear quarters into thin slices and the brie into long slices (cutting right across the round).

Toast the raisin bread until just golden and top each piece with a slice of brie and pear and place it back in the oven until the brie just starts to melt and pears are a little tender.  Add a small square of honey comb and sprinkle with pine nuts to serve.

Try blue cheese instead of the brie for a stronger cheese experience.

12 x 2cm-thick slices crusty white bread
2 tbs olive oil
5 small ripe FruitDirect Beurre Bosc pears, halved, core removed
30g butter
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs white balsamic vinegar
200g brie, thinly sliced
Baby rocket leaves to serve

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the bread slices, in a single layer, on a large baking tray. Brush with the oil. Bake in oven, turning once, for 10 minutes or until light golden.

Meanwhile, cut each pear half into 6 wedges. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the pear and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until pear is caramelised.  Add the vinegar to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Top the toasts with the brie. Bake in the oven for 4 minutes or until the brie just melts. Divide among serving plates.  Top with the caramelised pear. Serve with rocket.

20 small FruitDirect apples
3 cups sugar
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp butter
¼ cup cold water
½ tsp cream of tartar
A few drops of red food colouring (optional)

Wipe apples with a cloth and a poke skewer down into the core of each apple.
Boil together WITHOUT STIRRING (approx. 7 minutes) until a drop snaps in cold water. Remove from heat and dip in apples while holding the skewer. Stand apples on greased oven tray until toffee is dry.

WARNING: Best done with no children around as the toffee will be extremely hot!

125g butter, melted

3/4 cup Granular
2 cups self-raising flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 medium FruitDirect granny smith apple, cored, grated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 7cm-deep, 9cm x 25.5cm (base) loaf pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 5cm overhang at both long ends.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add granular, flour, eggs, apple, vanilla, milk and mixed spice and three-quarters of the walnuts. Mix until well combined. Spread into pan.  Sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top of the mixture.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve cut into thick slices.

Want to try something a little different on a cold winter evening? 
Try our mulled wine.

This delicious blend of spices, apple and orange will have hearts, souls and the atmosphere warmed in no time!

10 Cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 roughly ground nutmeg
2 cups water

Roughly grated rind of 1 orange
1 roughly chopped FruitDirect apple (skin on)
750ml light, fruity red wine (e.g. merlot)

Heat cloves, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, orange rind and apple in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add red wine and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Strain and divide among serving glasses.  Serve immediately.