There are so many things to love about my current job, but working with local businesses that are committed to putting out the best of the best of local produce has to be my most favorite part.
Towards the end of last year Photogirl and I were very excited to do some work for a local fruit company, TopFruit. TopFruit, is starting off 2014 with the launch of their new consumer friendly brand Gemstone Fruit®. The Gemstone Fruit® concept was born from the need to make it simpler for consumers to shop for their favourite stone fruit. Gemstone Fruit® creates two categories of stone fruit that apply to both peaches and nectarines in order to simplify the choice for consumers.
Gemstone Fruit® is divided into two ranges based on the colour of the fruit’s flesh and the taste. The stone fruit season runs from November until February and the concept is that instead of consumers buying a variety in store, which may only be available for 2 weeks, consumers can now buy the Gemstone Fruit® range based on their taste preferences and they can know what to expect each time they buy.
Gemstone Fruit® is divided into two ranges. The Diamond Range refers to the yellow fleshed nectarines and peaches, which are smooth, perfectly balanced and have a sweet tart flavour. The Pearl Range in turn refers to white fleshed nectarines and peaches which have a unique juicy and sweet flavour. I am definitely a Diamond girl. (All kinds of diamonds.) Only stone fruit that meets the stringent quality standards (I have read them, they are tough) may be packed and marketed under the Gemstone Fruit® label.
The Gemstone Fruit® brand is launching from this week at the Johannesburg (Thursday) and Pretoria (Friday) municipal markets. Buyers from all supermarkets (Pick n Pay, SPAR, Fruit & Veg etc.) buy at these municipal markets and then sell the fruit in their stores. This means that very soon, you will be able to find them in your local, so look out for the Gemstone Fruit® brand, and then buy them. And then think of me. And diamonds. Maybe make someone buy you diamonds.
This week’s exciting launch is where we came in. Our brief was simple; we had to showcase the beautiful still sun warm, just picked from the trees peaches and nectarines, and create a recipe for a recipe card which would be handed out at the market during the launch. Naturally, the fruit had to be the star. The small challenge was that the recipe needed to be something which the buyers could pick up and eat at the market.
I chose to make these Gemstone Fruit® Peach Empanadas. I added a little spice to the peaches and loved how they turned out. You could make these ahead and freeze them, then cook them as you need them for lunchboxes, parties or simply when you want to enjoy in season peaches out of season.
Please note that ALL images and the recipe Gemstone Fruit® Peach Empanadas were purchased by and belong to TopFruit and are published here with their kind permission.
A big thank you to my dear friend Erna from Flow Africa who provided all the magnificent wooden props for this shoot.
For any inquiries regarding recipe development, styling and photography please email me on sam(at)pomegranatedays(dot)co(dot)za
- Peach Filling
- 6 Gemstone Fruit® Diamond Range peaches
- ½ cup brown sugar, depending on sweetness of peaches
- ½ cup water
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. corn flour mixed with 3 Tbsp. water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- Empanada Pastry
- 3 cups flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 egg yolk
- Peel the Gemstone Fruit® Peaches and cut into small dice.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the peaches, sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, nutmeg and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer until the peaches are just beginning to soften.
- Stir in the corn flour paste and cook until the filling thickens.
- Set aside to cool.
- Empanada Pastry
- Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Add the butter and use the k-beater attachment to rub the butter into the flour.
- Mix together the egg yolk and the milk. Add enough of the milk mixture in small amounts to the flour with the mixer running until mixture comes together to form a soft but not sticky dough.
- Divide the dough into four balls, flatten and wrap in cling film. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a thin sheet and use a round disk to cut out the empanadas. (Any extra dough can be frozen in disks) Place a spoonful of the peach filling in the center of each empanada. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little egg white and seal the edges. Place the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
- Brush the empanadas with egg yolk and then rest the empanadas in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Bake the empanadas in a preheated oven at 180˚C for about 25 minutes until crisp and golden.
- Serve warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream if desired.