The French call this method “en papillote”. We like it because every cook gets to choose her own ingredients.
Makes 1 serving, multiply as needed
• Baking sheet
• Cutting board, cutting knife
• Small & medium bowls for ingredients
• Measuring spoons, measuring cup
• Parchment paper
• Metal spatula
• Metal paper clips, if you don’t trust your parchment packets to stay closed
- any fruit you like: bananas, pineapple, berries, apple, pears, peaches, cherries, mango, apricots
- a bit of liquid: coconut milk, a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange juice, liqueur
- a bit of sweetener: sugar, jam, honey, agave, maple syrup, chocolate chips
- optional spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon peel, fresh mint
- serve with optional toppings: toasted chopped nuts, toasted coconut, granola, whipped cream or whipped coconut cream, ice cream or yogourt
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Tear off an 18-inch piece of parchment paper for each packet.
- Prepare your fruit. Slice or dice into pieces that are all about the same size. Berries/cherries are fine as they are.
- Take your piece of parchment paper and lay it in front of you, with one of the long edges towards you. Lay your choice of fruit down the centre horizontally.
- Add your choice of liquid (no more than a tablespoon, less if your fruit is very juicy), a bit of sweetener, and any optional spices you like.
- Bring the long edges up to meet in the centre above your fruit, then fold them down until they’re just above your fruit. You need to leave a little air, so your fruit will steam. You can then either twist the ends to seal your packet (it will look a bit like a big Christmas cracker), or fold them like a Christmas present: fold the sides in to make a point, then fold the point over several times to seal. If you’re worried they might come undone, use a paper clip (metal, NOT plastic-coated) to hold them closed. Your packet must be air-tight. If you would like illustrated detailed instructions, see Brette Sember’s Parchment Paper Folding Technique at https://puttingitallonthetable.com/parchment-paper-folding-technique/
- Write your name on your packet, in pencil. Use a large metal spatula to lift your packet to the baking sheet. Leave a little space around each packet.
- Bake packets until done. Fruit packets will take about 8-12 minutes at 425°F, depending on how big and solid your fruit is. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Be careful when opening, there’s hot steam in there.
- Serve topped with nuts, toasted coconut, granola, whipped cream, whipped coconut cream, ice cream, whatever you think will add to their deliciousness.
Adapted from Cooking Know-How, by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarborough (2008)