The Importance of Fresh Fruit in Cupcake Recipes
The importance of fresh fruit in cupcake recipes cannot be stressed enough. It impacts the flavor of your cupcakes and, more importantly, can affect the health of the people who enjoy your cupcakes. Checking the freshness of fruits is relatively simple. You need to use your senses and a few basic rules. In essence, the juiciness of a fruit can be determined by how it looks, feels and smells.
The appearance of a fruit is very important. You should always check the color. A lighter color usually indicates un-ripened or incompletely ripened fruit. Darker color normally indicates an older fruit. Mold usually appears as a gray, brown, or dark patch. You should also search for brown or black spots that indicate overly ripened fruit. The presence of insects on or in the fruit is a definite indication of spoilage and should consequently be avoided.
Smell the fruit. A pungent or a moldy smell means old or overly ripened fruit. Mature fruit has a fresh and aromatic smell. Experience should tell you whether a fruit smells right or not. How the fruit feels is also a great indicator of freshness.
Most fruits are picked unripe. The fruits are stored in containers that promote ripening during shipping. Some fruits, like bananas, are stored in a bag that contains a naturally occurring gas that promotes the ripening of the fruit during shipment.
Most fruit has a label that indicates shipping date, harvest date, or the date the fruit was put on the ship. You need to ask your grocer to explain what the label code means so you can pick the freshest fruit.
Although rare, it is possible that disease-causing bacteria in fruit could remain alive in your cupcakes. This possibility can be avoided by noting the appearance, feel, and origin of the fruit you plan to use in your cupcakes. Your senses are the best tool you have to pick the freshest fruit.
Safe fruit storage depends on the fruit. Some fruits should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent over-ripening. Many should be stored in the open air to allow them to reach their peak. Avoid areas where insects could get to the fruit. Excess heat should be avoided because it may cause spoilage.