November 13, 2013

Indian Pudding -- It's National Indian Pudding Day

This from my great grandmother.. it's all we have left from her. She was a Cherokee Indian, apparently, who married a French Count.. after which he was disowned and they settled in New England. But we still have her Indian pudding recipe.

And here is a story from NPR on the "Day" that is, Indian Pudding Day.

5 T Indian meal (corn meal)
5 T flour
3/4 cup molasses -- fill rest of cup with sugar
1 quart whole or cream top milk (NOTE: trader joe's has a very good organic creme top milk)

Scald milk in double boiler; mix meal, flour, molasses and sugar together in a bowl, then add to milk -- stir so it doesn't get lumpy. Cook over low heat until meal is transparent, and you have a thin pudding.

While hot add butter the size of an egg, 1/4 tspn ginger, 1 tspn cinnamon, 1/2 tspn salt, 1/2 cup golden raisins. Just before putting in 350 degree F oven, stir in 1 cup cold milk. Bake 2 hrs.

Stir once or twice to distribute raisins evenly. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

September 29, 2013

Almond Paste

I had to make Almond Paste for a recipe I'll post in about a week (i have to test it again, it was a little tricky, for Almond Macaroons). Turns out it's really easy to make Almond Paste. Cheaper, and you can make it organic, with either a mixer or a food processor. If raw egg white is of concern, use pasteurized egg whites which you can make yourself (google for that recipe) or find in stores.

Prep Time: about 5 minutes
Total Time: about 5 minutes

Yield: 1.5 lb (about 3.5 cups) almond paste


3 cups organic ground almond flour (Whole Foods or Berkeley Bowl carry this in their bulk section)
2 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
1 large organic egg white, lightly beaten, at room temperature
1 T organic almond extract

Put the almond flour into a food processor or strong mixer (not a handheld). I recommend a kitchen aid mixer, first with whisk attachment for blending the almond flour and sugar. Then switch to dough hook for the paste.

Whirl or whisk with mixer, the first two ingredients. Switch to dough hook in mixer, if using that. Add egg white and almond extract. Process the almond paste until it clumps together. If it's not quite in a dough-like paste, and is still sticky, add a bit of powered sugar.

Use immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap, and ziplock, in fridge for 3 months or freezer for 6 month. Bring to room temp to use again in recipes.

August 18, 2012

Adult S'Mores

Note: we served these S'Mores with Loganberry Sorbetto (pureed loganberries, minimal sugar and meyer lemon juice) mixed with liquid nitrogen and used a blow torch to do the top of the marshmallows. It was fun to use both the torch and liquid nitrogen in one dessert, and the tart loganberry was a great contrast to the dark chocolate and marshmallow.

2.5 cups evaporated cane juice or turbinado or raw sugar (don't worry about the brown color, it will still come out white in the marshmallows)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey

2 envelopes knox or similar gelatin OR 4 envelopes of vegan geletin
1/2 cup water

1 T vanilla
(9x9 pan greased and tossed with powdered sugar or cornstarch or mix of two so that inside has a fine coating of the powder mix on the sides -- if you are making the marshmallow for s'mores, you don't need this extra pan as you just put it on the chocolate / graham mix in a 9x9 pan).

Put water and gelatin into the bowl of mixer.. stir a little and let sit about 25 - 30 min.

Put the water, sugar and honey into a pan on stove.. bring to simmer but don't let boil over.. stay and stir constantly.. and use candy thermometer to bring to 244 deg. F. Took me about 5 minutes.
Once it's 244F -- carefully -- pour into the mixing bowl.. and scrape pan. Then turn on mixer slowly up to high.. and let run for 15 minutes. It will get big, white, fluffy..
you can slow it down for a sec during the process.. scrape sides of mixer bowl if you want, and then rev back to high. At the end.. add the vanilla. Pour into pan and let
sit. Use either cut up into squares to roast, and then sprinkle more powder on top and sides, or use on top of S'Mores.


1.5 wrapped packages of graham cracker (of 3 from a regular box) -- leave in wax wrapper and hit with rolling pin to break up
1 cube butter (yes.. the original recipe called for two.. I reduced.. it worked well with 1 cube)
3 T evap cane juice or raw sugar.

Melt Butter, put in food processor, with crumbled graham crackers and sugar, pulse until fine grain.

OR.. make your own graham cracker crust, gluten free:
1.5 c light to medium buckwheat flour
1 teasp baking soda
1/2 teasp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 c coconut butter
1/2 cup coconut or muscavado sugar
1/2 teasp vanilla extract
1/4 c water or almond milk

Pull coconut butter and sugar in food processor. Then add cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and water/milk. Pulse again. Then add sifted buckwheat and baking soda, pulse again.

Press either mixture into bottom of 9x9 pan that has been greased, bake at 350F for 10 min for first mix, 20 minutes for the buckwheat mix. Let cool.

2 Trader Joes 70% organic dark or semi-sweet chocolate or equivalent 7 oz of chocolate
1/2 cup creme

Melt choc in microwave at 30 sec intervals in glass bowl so as not to burn.. when 1/2 melted, whisk chocolate until the melted parts mix well and melt the not melted parts. Then whisk in creme. Let cool, then pour into the pan with graham cracker crust. Spread evenly to edges.

After chocolate has cooled and hardened some (it will still be soft at room temp) pour the marshmallow mix above directly into the pan on top of chocolate, gently spreading so as not to squish out the chocolate or crust.. let sit to firm up/ cool down for at least 30 minutes and until cool to touch. Then use a blow torch with food grade fuel (butane is usually what they use in restaurants and they sell little mini hand torches which we have for creme brulee) and toast the top.. or use broiler but don't shut door of oven.. keep your hand in a mit, moving the pan around to toast the top evenly and pull out quickly when done..

July 16, 2010

Cherry Claflouti

This recipe was adapted from Elise Bauer's site Simply Recipes from Garrett McCord's recipe.

Cherry Claflouti with whipped creme

Cherry season is short.. but when it comes.. it's in full force. Buy or pick all you can and then eat them like crazy, fresh, in Claflouti, with cereal, on yogurt, and definitely have pit spitting contests to see who can hurl them though the tongue the farthest.

* 4 cups of fresh sweet organic cherries, pitted
* 1 cup of ground organic almonds with or without skin
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup of organic cane juice sugar
* 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, sifted
* 1/8 teaspoon of salt
* 1.5 cups of whole organic milk
* 2 tablespoons Amaretto or good dark Rum -or- 3/4 teaspoon of almond extract
* 1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
* Powdered sugar for dusting
* Optional: whipped cream whipped without sugar for serving on the side.

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9X13 baking dish. Toss cherries and ground almonds in a bowl. Then place in the baking dish.

cherries with almonds

2. Whisk the eggs, sugars, salt, and flour together until smooth.

3. Add the milk, Amaretto or Rum (or almond extract, if using), and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Pour over the cherry/almonds in the baking dish.

claflouti unbaked

Bake for 45 minutes, test by pulling it out of the oven and gently pressing the middle with a finger.. if firm, it's done.

baked claflouti

Cool some.. if you want, dust with powdered sugar, but serve a little warm with whipped creme.

Yummy! So good I'm getting a cherry pitter because i made this three times this cherry season and it appeared an axe murder had occurred on since the juice ran dark from my fingers to my elbows.

April 21, 2010

Chocolate-Orange Cake

Adapted from Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess (and translated to American measurements)

Chocolate Marmalade Cake

1.5 cubes unsalted butter
1.5 bars of 73% organic dark chocolate (trader joes or green & black worked well)
16 oz of good quality orange (or tangerine -- which I used) marmalade
1.5 cups of sugar (Nigella uses 2 cups - I used organic evaporated cane juice crystals)
1/2 T of salt
3 large eggs
1 2/3 cups of self-rising or pastry flour, well sifted before measurement

Melt butter slowly in a heavy-bottom saucepan. When it's almost melted, add chocolate pieces. Remove from heat. Stir with a wooden spoon, until chocolate has melted.

Add marmalade, sugar, salt and eggs. Stir thoroughly (it's okay to leave small visible chunks of marmalade in the batter).

Add sifted flour, stir and pour into a buttered / floured 10" springform cake tin.
Bake at 350˚F oven for 45-50 minutes, until the cake has set (test with a knife or wooden stick).

Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then slide onto a plate.

Dust with powered sugar through a sifter on the top.

Chocolate Marmalade Cake

November 14, 2009

Persimmon Cake

So, first, this is made with Fuyu or Jiro persimmons, not the very soft-when-ripe Hachiya Persimmons. Fuyu's are the ones that are more like apples, in that they are eaten when crunchy, usually fresh, and are squat in size.

Here is a slice of the Persimmon Cake, which looks as carmelized as it tastes:
A tasty slice of persimmon cake

I adapted this Apple Cake recipe from Razzle Dazzle Recipes for Fuyu Persimmons:

Chopping Fuyu Persimmons

Fuyu Persimmon Walnut Cake

5 cups organic Fuyu Persimmons peeled, chopped into small pieces
1.5 cups organic evaporated cane juice sugar
2 organic eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup organic olive oil
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
2 cups organic unbleached pastry or baking flour or for gluten free: use 2c organic buckwheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons organic cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups organic walnuts chopped

In bowl stir together chopped Fuyu persimmons and 1 cup sugar; let stand 5 minutes or as long as you need to mix the rest of this (not more than 30 minutes as it becomes too liquidy).

Mix with sugar

Mix on high beaters: 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla.

Mix eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar

Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Fold gently into in egg mixture until all is incorporated and dry mixture is gone, but don't overmix so as to keep lighter.

Fold into egg/sugar/flour mix the nuts and persimmons

Fold in persimmon mix and their liquid and scrape any sugar from bowl, plus walnuts. Fold well so that the persimmons and walnuts and liquid are incorporated, but again, you want to mix just enough. Overmixing will make it tougher.

The final batter

Pour batter into greased and floured (can use buckwheat flour here too) 13 x 9 baking pan, or a 10" greased and floured spring form pan.

Bake at 350ºF for 60 minutes or until done.

The Finished Product:
Persimmon Cake

This is shown in the rectangle pan, but I've made it more often in the springform and it turns out beautifully.. and in many ways is easier to slice and serve.

You might serve it with whipped creme, warm. We've also tried it with chocolate and orange ice cream and it complimented the cake nicely.

August 26, 2009

Blackberry Pie

First, I only really make this pie if I've picked blackberries somewhere. The reason? It's too expensive to buy this many blackberries from the store, and they don't taste nearly as good as when you pick them fresh. Or if in season, buy a flat at a great discount at the farmer's market.

Step one: rinse about 10 cups of blackberries very gently to test the dust off. Put in about 1 cup of sugar and juice from a big meyer lemon (about a 3/4 cup) or 1.5 eureka or lisbon lemons (about a 1/2 cup).

Blackberries and sugar

Step two: make a pate brisee crust.

1.5 cubes or 12 T butter
2.5 c sifted flour
1 T evaporated cane juice organic sugar
1 t salt
Cold water

Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a metal bowl. Cut the butter into the flour, sugar, salt mixture a pastry cutter, working until the butter is in very small pieces, about 1/4" cubes or smaller and coated with the dry mixture. Be sure not to touch the mixture with your hands which will warm the butter and melt it. Just use a knife to scrape it from the pastry cutter, and work quickly to keep the mixture cold. Add 1/4 cup cold water and using a fork, blend the mixture into a dough. Carefully add a tablespoon at a time of additional cold water until the dough is crumbly but there is only a small amount of loose flour outside the main dough ball. Working quickly, take the dough and place it in the center of a large piece of plastic wrap. Then fold the wrap over teh top of the dough, press everything together and quickly and lightly form into a disc. Place the neatly wrapped disc into a ziplog bag. Put into the fridge for at least a half hour.

Step three: roll out the crust.

Place about a half cup of flour over a work surface at least 24" x 24" and then take half the dough from the plastic. Leave the other half back in the fridge. Put flour on a rolling pin, dust the top of the half disc, and carefully roll out the crust. Once it's about 1/8" thick uniformly by about 15" in diameter, lift the dough in a single piece into a 10" pie pan. Place the fruit into the pan with crust. Cut the edge of the crust leaving about a half inch around the outside edge of the pan. Set the fruit / crust in pan into the fridge.

Get out the other half of the dough rolling it out using the instruction above. Once the dough is approximately 15" in diameter, cut out a shape or two (star, moon, circle, etc). Pull the fruit / pan out of the fridge. Carefully lift the dough over the pan, and press the edges together either with fork tines, or with a three finger press to make ridges.

Mix well in a small bowl:
1 egg
1 T water

Brush the egg mixture over the top of the pie crust.

Uncooked:  blackberry pie

Step four: bake it.

Bake the pie in a 350 deg F oven for 50 minutes (10 min more if at high altitude). Crust will be lightly browned and the berries will be bubbling inside the holes. Let cool and serve with creme fraiche, vanilla ice cream, whipped creme, or plain.

And here is the finished product:

Blackberry pie (finished)

August 11, 2009

Blackberry Sorbetto

Sugar syrup: heat in a pan, dissolve sugar, then cool and chill in fridge for a couple of hours.
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup water

Berries: clean fresh berries or thaw frozen until they are defrosted but still cold, keeping all juice
8 small baskets of very ripe cold fresh
1.5 lbs frozen unsweetened blackberries, thawed with juices

1/2 meyer lemon juice

Puree blackberries with juice and cold syrup in blender until smooth. Strain into large bowl; discard seeds. Mix in lemon juice.

Process berry mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer sorbetto to a container; seal and freeze until firm, about 6 hours. Keep frozen until ready to serve.

Note: we made this with Liquid Nitrogen. That means we wore gloves, masks, and purchased the Nitrogen in a Dewar from someplace like Airgas. Then at home, we carefully poured the nitrogen into a steel bowl with the sorbetto mixture, stiring it with a wooden spoon, fully decked like Dr. Horrible.

The Sorbetto was creamy, with no discernible ice crystals like what comes from a regular ice cream maker. It was so creamy, it was as if there was a little dairy in the mix, even though there was none. If you want an adveture, do a little research on using care with Liquid Nitrogen, and then try that method.

July 10, 2009

Apricot Tarte

I made this tarte bout 10 days ago for Esme Vos' birthday.

foodporn: apricot ricotta hazelnut tarte


12 Apricots
1/4 cup evaporated cane juice or similar organic sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice (prefer meyer lemon but can use lisbon or eureka lemon)

2.5 cups ricotta cheese
(you can make your own, with 1/2 gal of 2% milk, plus 1 cup cream, brought to a simmer in a large pan, with juice of 1 large lemon. then let it cool, while it curdles. Strain it and discard the "milk" keeping the soft cheese.)

Grated nutmeg from about 3/4 of a nutmeg seed or 1 t nutmeg
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 T vanilla
1/4 t salt

4 cups hazelnuts
2 T cold unsalted butter
1/4 t salt

Make the crust first. Preheat oven to 325 deg. F. Pulse in a food processor the hazelnuts. When they are finely ground and even, add the butter cut into a couple of pieces and the salt, and pulse until finely ground together in a light mix that will just look like nuts but have the butter and salt distributed.

Press the mixture into a 8x10" pan, with 2 inch sides. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly toasted on edges.

Let cool.

Make the filling by mixing well all filling ingredients. When the crust is cooled, carefully pour into the crust, and spread evenly without pulling the crust away from the sides.

It should be lower than the top of the crust.

Then prep apricots by slicing them in half. Pour sugar and juice over them and gently fold the apricots in order to coat them with bits of sugar and the juice.

Then take the apricots and put them into a row face up, so that they are neatly spread across the top in a 4 x 6 grid.

Bake at 325 deg F for about 40 minutes, or until some of the ricotta has browned slightly and the filling is lightly firm.

Cool and serve.