Using bottled fruit and purée

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Bottled fruit can be used in the same way as fresh and frozen fruit, but it is already cooked and should not be subjected to long cooking processes. To use bottled fruit cold, just turn it out into a bowl and add sweetening if necessary before serving with cream, ice cream or custard. For a fruit flan, arrange drained fruit in a baked pastry flan case or sponge case. Heat the liquid from the bottle and thicken with a little arrowroot. Cool slightly before pouring over the fruit and cooling for service.

For fruit trifles, or for filling gâteaux, drain the fruit very well before adding to the dish (and use the drained liquid for flavouring fresh fruit when you cook it). For crumbles, drain the fruit and tip it into an ovenware dish, before covering with the crumble mixture and baking at 400°F/200°C/Gas Mark 6 until the topping is crisp and golden. Thicken the bottling liquid with arrowroot or cornflour to use as a sweet sauce.

Purée may be just turned out of the bottle and mixed with whipped cream or custard to make a fruit fool, or it can be used as the base of a fruit ice cream. Bottled fruit purée may also be used as sauce for vanilla ice cream, or can be heated to serve with milk puddings or steamed puddings. Tomato purée can be used as a hot tomato sauce for pasta, fish or meat dishes, or to serve with vegetables. It also makes a useful base for tomato soup and for meat sauces.

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