Our July 2012 Daring Cooks' host was Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie! Sarah challenges us to learn a new cooking technique called "Cooking En Papillote" which is French and translates to "cooking in parchment".
While I have heard of "en papillote" as a cooking method (Gordon Ramsay even mentioned it on MasterChef!), I have never tried it. As soon as the challenge was announced, I had a whole bunch of ideas. And in the forum, people were posting absolutely delicious looking meals cooked in cute little parchment packets. Chicken, fish, all kinds of vegetables... you can even include pasta! Who knew?!
But one idea that stuck with me was dessert. I know, real shocker...
I found inspiration in this recipe for fruit en papillote. And while I didn't follow it it a tee, I am super glad that it inspired me.
I chose an assortment of in-season fruits, including peaches, strawberries, blueberries and cherries.
I combined them in a bowl, then prepared my parchment. Apparently, the most traditional way to cut parchment to create the packets is into heart shapes. Little miss loved that.
I then scooped a bunch of the mixed fruit into each paper heart, dotted the top with a little bit of butter (seriously, just a little!) and sprinkled the top with cinnamon sugar.
I then folded the parchment heart shut and folded/crimped the edges to seal the packet shut.
The packets were then placed onto a baking sheet and went into a 400 degree oven for about ten minutes.
When the timer beeped, I knew the fruit was cooked.
I guess I need a little practice sealing those packages...
But the results?
Even better served over vanilla ice cream.
I fully intended to try this cooking method for a main dish, but time seriously ran away from me this month. So I promise to do so in the future, and I promise to share my results here when I do.
To see some of the delicious dishes cooked up in the Daring Kitchen this month, check them out here.
Sarah, thank you so much for introducing me to this cooking method - I am so glad to have tried it and look forward to trying it again, with all kinds of recipes!
Fruit En Papillote
(inspired by myrecipes.com)
1 peach, washed, pit remived and cut into chunks
1/2 cup strawberries, washed, stems and hulls removed, and cut into pieces
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup cherries, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon (about) cinnamon sugar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine all washed and cut fruit in a bowl. Toss to mix.
Cut two to three hearts, about 8-10 inches each, out of parchment paper.
Scoop mixed fruit onto one side of each heart, making sure to leave room around the edges for sealing the packet.
Lightly dot the top of each scoop of fruit with butter, and sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar.
Close and seal the parchment packet(s).
Place packet(s) on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet into the oven.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Bag will puff slightly and may release some juices.
To serve, either place a packet onto a serving plate and cut it open as a single serving, or, if your packets were larger, slice the packet open and scoop the cooked fruit into serving dishes. Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.