Grapes, botanically classed as berries, appear in the top 10 of the world’s favourite fruits, along with tomatoes, mangoes and bananas, and there are over 8 000 grape varieties worldwide. They are known to help minimise the risk of heart attacks – since they increase levels of nitric acid in the blood, which prevents clots – and are also used to help cure asthma, indigestion, migraines, kidney disease and fatigue. What’s more, the seeds, which are edible, are full of antioxidants. Do not wash grapes before storing them as the moisture will cause them to spoil quicker. Rather rinse them thoroughly before use. You can predict the taste of a grape by its colour: white grapes are medium sweet, red grapes are beautifully saccharine and blue-black grapes are the least sweet.
Recipe and styling by Nomvuselelo Mncube
Photograph by Dylan Swart
Grape and peach tarte Tatin
- 3 fresh peaches, pitted and cut into 1cm-thick rounds
- 500g red grapes, halved + extra, kept whole, to serve
- 15ml (1 tbsp) fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 60ml (¼ cup) brown sugar
- 400g ready-made puff pastry, defrosted
- 1 egg, beaten
- icing sugar, to dust
- whipped cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 190°C. In a bowl, mix together the peaches, grapes, thyme and sugar.
Grease a 35cm x 11cm oblong baking tin and layer in the grape and peach mixture.
Roll out the puff pastry to a 38cm x 13cm rectangle and secure over the grape mixture, tucking in the pastry edges along the sides of the tin. Brush all over the top of the pastry with the eggwash and bake in the oven, 20 – 30 minutes.
Invert the tarte onto a plate, dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream and fresh grapes.