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IQF Fruits: 9 Tips For Great Results

Posted by Jillian Mead on Nov 26, 2013 10:31:00 AM

I spoke with Jean Francois Devineau, chef technician for Ravifruit, about his best tips and suggestions for working with IQF (individually quick frozen) fruits.

An integral ingredient in every kitchen, fruits are a great way to add color, variety, texture, and, of course, flavor to so many applications. Ravifruit’s excellent selection of IQF fruits are a superb way to take advantage of the harvest, year-round.

 RAV985_APRICOT_1-2_1QF

 

 

1) Think of IQF Fruits as Fresh Fruits...Only Better

You can use IQF fruit pretty much anywhere you’d use fresh fruit: atop tarts, featured in plated desserts, blended into coulis and sauces, as a garnish, or cooked into jams and preserves.

Conversely, don’t use IQF fruits where you wouldn’t use fresh fruit. For example, if included in ice cream cake, the frozen water in the fruit would make for some unpleasant, icy bits and “disrupt” the eating experience.  In many ways, IQF fruits are actually better than fresh. Ravifruit only uses fruit at their peak of ripeness and seasonality for their products, so they are consistently of the highest quality.  There’s also no waste or prep involved--just use what you need right out of the freezer, no thawing required, and you don’t have to spend any time peeling or pitting.

 

2) Proper Storage

It couldn’t be easier: Take what only you need, then wrap up the rest air-tight and pop the package back in the freezer.  Because these are truly individually quick frozen, you can utilize exactly the number or quantity that you want for each preparation.

3) Gorgeous Garnishes

Improving upon nature’s design is tough, so fruits are always a great choice for garnishes. The IQF process ensures that the fruits stay intact, without losing shape or bruising. Simply pluck whichever fruit you like from the freezer and brush on a neutral, clear glaze for simple, stunning garnishes.

 4) Ideal Apricots

Ravifruit only uses French Bergeron apricots, a particular varietal grown in France right where Ravifruit headquarters are located. Juicy, tasty, and colorful, these apricots are one of Jean Francois’s favorite products in the Ravifruit line. Use them straight from the freezer, or place them on a baking sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle generously with "cassonade" (Sugar in the Raw), then bake at 320 degrees F for 20 minutes. Let them cool, then refrigerate until needed (they’ll keep for several days like this). This protects the fruit from oxidation.

 5) Unrivaled Rhubarb

Rhubarb has become so popular in the U.S., and chefs love how its tartness plays against sugar in sweet dishes like crisps, compotes, and pies. When using IQF rhubarb, Jean Francois prefers to remove it from the freezer, then sprinkle it with sugar and let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight covered with plastic wrap. This takes away some of the bitterness and sourness of the fruit without stripping it entirely of its characteristic tangy nature.  Rhubarb makes marvelous compote and pairs perfectly with strawberries.

6) Perfect Plums

Plums are so beloved that the Ravifruit line of IQF fruits includes two very different varieties: Quetsche and Mirabelle. Quetsche plums are large, oval, purple fruits with a bit of sourness and great flavor. Mirabelle plums are sweeter, smaller, round and yellow--they are less common and only grown in the Northeast of France.  Great for tarts!!  Quetsche plums can be prepared using the same methods described for apricots above.

RAV990_mirabelle        RAV989_Plum_Quetsche_IQF

 

                 MIRABELLE                                                                              QUETSCHE

 7) Be Creative

Instead of a typical smooth coulis, introduce some texture by stirring in some diced IQF fruits. Use IQF morello cherries for a twist on the classic Black Forest Cake: make a miniature version in a verrine by layering chocolate cake, cherry coulis, whipped cream and whole cherries. Always add the morello cherries while still frozen for best results.  Create refreshing cold fruit soups and add texture and flavor to salads and dressings.

8) Or Stay Traditional

The modern technology used in the IQF freezing process marries very well with traditional, old-school applications. These fruits are the perfect choice for classics like tart tatin, gateau basque, clafouti, and open-face tarts.  Red currants are often used as a cake filling, or glazed when frozen and used as a decoration.  Red currant jam can be marvelous but requires a significant amount of sugar.  Summer fruit mix is often tossed in neutral glaze while still frozen and used to decorate tarts and cakes.

Everyone loves homemade jams, and IQF fruits are the most convenient starting point.  Use one part IQF fruit to one part fruit puree, add 40-50% sugar, mix, and allow to sit overnight.  Bring to a boil, preferably in a copper pot.  Remove from heat, and chill to 4ºC/ 38ºF.  Refrigerate for 24 hours, and repeat the cooking and cooling process again.  This process allows the greatest marriage of fruit flavors, and the best pectin development for a rich texture.

 class buffet at Paris Gourmet

9) Take Advantage of the Selection Any Time of Year

You no longer have to wait for cherry season or use sub-par apricots in the winter with the consistent high-quality that the IQF process offers. The true integrity of the fruit, picked and immediately flash-frozen when it’s at its absolute best, is a wonderful opportunity for chefs to have access to these wonderful, natural ingredients year-round.

Topics: Ravifruit, Techniques, fruits

Apple Pectin Time

Posted by Jillian Mead on Nov 13, 2013 3:00:00 PM

A familiar ingredient to the many home cooks who use it to set their jams and jellies, pectin is a natural polysaccharide found in numerous terrestrial plants, and in particularly high concentration within the cell walls of apples.

All pectin is not created equal, as the structure, amount, and chemical composition differs among various plants, within the same plant over time, and in the diverse parts of the plant itself. Hence there are several types of pectin available for culinary preparations as a gelling agent, thickener, and stabilizer.

CT1012_APPLE_PECTIN

 

See full post for video

 

First isolated and reported by Henri Braconnot in 1825, the culinary action of pectin as a gelling agent was known long beforehand. To get good quality, well-set jams made from low-pectin fruits such as blueberries or apricots, cooks would mix some pectin-rich fruits or their extracts into the recipe. With the onset of industrialization, makers of fruit preserves turned to apple juice producers to get dried apple pomace that was cooked down to extract pectin, and eventually during the 1920s and 1930s factories were built for the sole purpose of extracting pectin in regions that produced apple juice in both Europe and the USA.

Yellow Apple Pectin is a high methylester type of apple pectin that has been standardized with dextrose and is typically used as a gelifier for pate de fruit and glazes that results in a slowly set, spreadable gel texture. Combine Yellow Apple Pectin with sugar prior before it is added to the other ingredients, as sugar increases pectin’s ability to gel and affect texture and consistency. It also requires the presence of an acid, such as citric acid, to set properly.

 

 

 

 

To create classic French pate de fruit candies, simply bring the fruit puree of your choice to a boil, then whisk in a Yellow Apple Pectin/sugar mixture followed by any remaining sugar(s) necessary for your recipe. Heat the mixture to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, then remove from heat and add an acidic ingredient (powdered citric acid works well). Dispense the mixture into molds or pour into a sheet tray with sides to set, then roll the molded or cut pieces of set pate de fruit in crystallized or granulated sugar.

 

Topics: Cuisine-Tech, Ravifruit, Techniques

Ten Keys for Great Ice Cream Cakes

Posted by John Duffy on Sep 24, 2013 8:24:00 PM

I asked Jean Francois Devineau, chef technician for Ravifruit, for his best suggestions to create great ice cream cakes.  In the U.S., ice cream cakes have tremendous popularity in the mass market.  We have all enjoyed Fudgie the Whale or Cookie Puss from Carvel's at a child's birthday party on a hot day.  And the combination of ice cream, cake, and textural elements is very enjoyable.  But with each forkful, you wish the quality of the elements was better. 

Fudgie The Whale

 Beloved, but he could be so much better!

In France, frozen cakes are very popular, and run the full spectrum of quality, from low cost cakes at they hypermarket to elegant luxuries at the top patisseries and glaceries.  The big advantage for the chef is their stability.  When properly made and conserved, frozen cakes last for months with no loss of quality.  So they can be made during periods of slow business, and are always ready to sell and to please your guests.

 

Here's what Jean Francois shared..

 

Organize your recipes

JF recommends that chefs produce the same ice cream cake in several different sizes.  This way, you can accomodate guest requests for 2, 4, 6, or 8 people.  To produce these different sizes efficiently, you need to scale the recipe for each size mold.  It takes some work the first time, but after that, you'll always produce the proper amount of mis en place that your production requires.

Molds

Stainless steel domes of various sizes are best.  They give the chef a lot of flexibility.  Stainless steel conducts temperature well, and will release the frozen product easily.  And nested domes of different sizes create a nice profile when the cake is cut.

Biscuit

Biscuit should be prepared well in advance.  JF prefers crispy meringues and sable.  Add 5% almond flour to the meringue to reduce the sweetness.  Other options exist, just make sure that they are not too hard when frozen.

 

Team Japan 2013

Team Japan, Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie 2013

Frozen Components

The most interesting cakes will have a variety of frozen fillings: ice cream, sorbet, parfait, coulis.  Crunchy textural elements are best included in a parfait layer.

Proper Storage

The best results occur when freezing happens as quickly as possible.  Have your components and molds well chilled or frozen prior to assembly.  Blast freezers at -30 degrees Celsius are ideal.  Protect the cakes from exposure to air to prevent freezer burn.

Team FranceTeam France, Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie 2013

Unmolding

Cold water works best for stainless steel domes.  Use propane torches for ring molds.  Use as little heat as possible, and turn out carefully by hand.

Glazing

Glazes are highly recommended.  They protect the cake and give a lustrous, gleaming shine.  Make sure the glaze is thin!  The cakes should be frozen when glazing, but should be at -18 degrees Celsius, not directly from a blast freezer (they'll be too cold).

The glaze should be at 20 degrees Celsius.  TIP:  To glaze a dome shaped cake perfectly, place a small ring mold on top of the cake (cake on rack over sheet pan).  Fill the ring with glaze, then remove the ring.  The glaze will flow smoothly and evenly over the cake. 

Team USA

Team USA, Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie 2013

Decoration

Should be light and simple.  Chocolate decorations, caramelized nuts, and candied fruits are a few favorites.

Serving

Proper serving temperature is -9 to -13 degrees Celsius.  A frozen cake removed from a freezer at -18 degrees Celcius and placed in a refrigerator will be ready to serve in one hour.

Frozen cakes should be plated without additional garnish.

His Favorite

The summertime classic: a vacherin featuring strawberry and raspberry with meringue.

Frozen Cake Display

 

Topics: Ravifruit, Techniques, Coupe du Monde

World Pastry Cup Photo Album Available

Posted by John Duffy on Sep 11, 2013 3:20:00 PM

Official Partner of The Coupe du Monde Offers Free Photo Collection

 

Ravifruit, an official partner of the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie, has assembled a beautiful souvenir album featuring full color photos of the 2013 edition.  The Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie, also called the Pastry World Cup, is held biannually at SIRHA, a top trade show held in Lyon, France.  The Coupe du Monde is the premier professional pastry competition in the world. 

Album CMP 2013 V5 Cover

This full color album is the next best thing to attending the competition.  Get a close up view of everything that takes place in those two pressure packed days.  The teams, the competitors, the celebrities, the crazy fans- they're all here.  Everything except the taste of their incredible pastry creations.

 

Team USA missed the podium by only 39 points, less than 1% behind third place finisher Team Italy.  See all of the chocolate showpieces, ice sculptures, sugar centerpieces, and entremets that were submitted to the most demanding judging panel ever assembled.  You'll enjoy the images, and be inspired for the next edition in January 2015.  Perhaps you'll be there!

 

Click Here To Get Your Album

 

Topics: U.S. Pastry Competition, Ravifruit