Always Do This Before Baking With Fruit

If you don't already use fruits in baked treats, there are plenty of reasons why you should start doing so. During summers when fresh berries are abundant, adding them to fruit cakes and galettes will add a pop of fresh color to otherwise monochrome desserts. Add spices to apples and pears and you'll have yourself delicious pies, along with a house that smells like Christmas.

Apart from some much-needed color, fruits also add a pop of fresh flavor to bakes which is hard to substitute. Saving some fruit and a bit of powdered sugar is also the easiest way to garnish a cake. Besides, it's a lovely way to make any dessert a touch healthier.

While fruits bring a lot to the table when it comes to baking, they can be tricky ingredients to work with. Berries contain natural sugars that can excessively sweeten bakes; apples and pears are firm and require a slower bake time, whereas stone fruits like peaches and cherries can melt into sugar syrups easily. Use the fruits incorrectly and your bakes will turn into a disaster.

Aside from knowing which fruit best suits a particular bake, there are a few things to keep in mind when you're baking with fruits in general.

You should dust your fruit in flour

If you've ever tried baking fruit cakes or muffins, you've probably surfed the internet to find a solution that will stop your fruits from sinking to the bottom of your bake. According to Food & Wine, nuts, chocolate chips, and pretty much any addition to a batter can sink to the bottom of the pan during the baking process. To make sure your fruits don't sink and instead spread evenly throughout your bake, the site suggests lightly dusting them in all-purpose flour before adding them to the batter.

It's also a good idea to use fresh fruit instead of frozen. For one, fresh fruit will add a lot more flavor to your bakes. Frozen fruit also contains higher water content, so it can easily turn a crisp golden-brown pie with soft fruit filling into a sludgy puddle of fruit juice. If you must use frozen fruit, make sure to thaw it properly to get rid of excess water.

It's important to be extra careful when slicing fruit so that the pieces are uniform and can bake evenly. It's also a good idea to use an extra sharp knife while slicing fruit so as to minimize the amount of juice lost — this contains a lot of the fruit's flavor (via Maurine Dashey).

Now that you know the trick to baking with fruit, you can work your way through all kinds of fruit dessert recipes without worry.