Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Renaissance Marmalade redux

So last year, about this time, I tried redacting a recipe for marmalade from a early 17th century cookbook, the 1609 edition of Hugh Plat's Delights for Ladies. While inspired by the original, I altered it a lot to resemble a modern marmalade more.This year, I decided to try to follow the recipe more closely.

Modernly, a marmalade means a preserve with shreds of peel. This is not the meaning in the renaissance. Then, it meant a sweet congealed paste of fruit and sugar. Since it is cooked as whole fruit and strained, there is no peel in the result.

The original recipe was: TAke ten lemmons or orenges & boyle them with half a dozē pippins, & ſo draw them through a ſtrainer, then take ſo much ſugar as the pulp doth wey, & boyle it as you doe Marmalade of Quinces, and then box it vp.

 Since the recipe calls for either oranges or lemons, I wanted to try lemons this time. Also, I used Granny Smiths last time, and they never disintegrated. This time I used Red Delicious, which fall apart more easily. The lemons I found were a little small, I felt, so I used twelve instead of  ten.

For good food safety, I canned using modern water processing technique with modern jars and seals.

Because it is cooked with the lemon pith intact, it retains a fair amount of bitterness, but not in an unpleasant way. There is definitely a lot of pectin, it set up solid easily. 

Since it calls for even weights of pulp and sugar, I can't tell you exactly how much sugar. Expect around 45 ounces. My first batch weighed in at 43 oz., my second at 49.85 oz.

Hugh Plat's Apple Lemon Marmalade

12 medium lemons
6 large red delicious apples
sugar to match weight of pulp
1 tsp. salt

Cut lemons and apples in eighths. Put in a covered pot over medium low heat. Simmer until apples disintegrate. 

Press through a colander. Weigh resulting pulp. Combine with equal weight of sugar, and return to stove over low heat. Add salt, simmer and reduce. Marmalade will darken. 

Press through a strainer. Return to the stove on low heat to stay hot while canning, Can using water process or pressure canner.

Happy Eating!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fantasy Menus: part 2

For my second fantasy menu, I did an early spring menu. Again, the emphasis is on using seasonal flavors, and trying not to repeat flavors. Early spring is almost as difficult as late winter. Some of the berries have come in, but stone fruit is still a month or two away. I tried to bring in a few more exotic items, but not too odd.

Spring Dessert Menu

Chocolate Orange Cake with Tequila Orange Sherbet

Chocolate chiffon cake, Triple Sec buttercream, tequila orange sherbet, rolled pizelle with orange pastry cream, candied orange slice, chocolate Triple Sec sauce

Strawberry Shortcake with Greek Yogurt Gelato

Shortcake, macerated strawberries, Greek yogurt gelato, gewürztraminer rhubarb reduction sauce, crisp meringue chip, whipped cream, candied rhubarb twist.

Cherimoya Custard

Cherimoya custard, diced fresh mango, caramelized dried banana chip, lemongrass sauce, tangerine cotton candy

Sweet Lime Meringue Pie

Sweet lime Meringue pie with salty pretzel crust, candied lime peel, candied ginger brittle, ginger lime sauce

Chocolate Crepes with Dark Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate crepes, dark chocolate mousse, chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate tuile, chocolate tawny port sauce, chocolate curls

New York Style Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
Lemon ricotta cheesecake with Graham cracker crust, almond brittle, candied green almonds, thyme sauce


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Fantasy Menus part 1

In my Advanced Baking class, our homework assignments were  to create two fantasy dessert menus. I thought you all might like to see them. It was quite a challenge. We had to create six desserts. We were to use seasonal flavors, avoid repeating flavors, and have both light and heavy desserts.

My first menu was a late winter menu. I kept to in season fruits and vegetables, and wanted to avoid holiday season flavor combinations.

Late Winter Dessert Menu

Chocolate Silk Meringue Pie

A chocolate silk pie with a chocolate Graham cracker crust, and a toasted meringue topping. Served with a tawny port reduction sauce and a dark chocolate curl garnish.

White Chiffon Cake with Kiwi Curd

Three layers of white chiffon cake with kiwi curd, and Gran Marnier buttercream frosting. Served with cashew brittle and coconut cream mango sauce.

Trio of Small Tastes

Three different small desserts. A chocolate lace cookie cup with a tangerine pastry cream and a twist of candied tangerine peel. A creampuff filled with a lemon mousse and dipped in white chocolate and topped with chopped pistaschios. A lavender custard tart with an elderberry tea shortbread crust. Served with basil sauce.
Warm Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

A warm chocolate chip bread pudding with Irish Creme ice cream, mint sauce, and a crisp whiskey meringue chip.

Guava Panna Cotta

Guava panna cotta, passion fruit sauce, cardamon tuile, pulled sugar garnish.
Butternut Squash Mousse and Mascarpone Crepes With Bourbon Raisin Ice Cream
Crepes filled with butternut squash mousse and mascarpone, with bourbon raisin ice cream, cinnamon orange sauce, and candied pecans.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

CSA: Lots of Greens

Got our latest box from Farm Fresh to You this morning. Still heavy on the winter greens. Today's box had spinach, purple kale, golden beets, tatsoi, fingerling sweet potatoes, red onions, shallots, broccoli, cauliflower, an avocado, carrots, and a butternut squash,

The carrots came without greens, so no pesto, but the beets had a glorious crown of greens. Love golden beets, so that was a good thing.

Tatsoi is new to me. It's a cultivar of Brassica Rapa, making it the same species as turnips, Napa cabbage, and broccoli rabe. It has a very spinach-like texture, with a mildly bitter, mustardy taste. It can be eaten raw or cooked.

My roommate has requested a curry, as he has never had it. I figure a chicken curry with the beets, carrots, squash, bok choy, and some grape tomatoes over a black cumin rice will be great for dinner.

Happy Eating!