Monday, October 31, 2011

Persimmon Egg Nog Creme Caramel

Now playing: The Black Crowes - Hard to Handle
via FoxyTunes

Something orange that isn't a pumpkin for a change! I wish I was as creative with persimmons when I had a tree in California. They would mostly squash in the driveway and go to waste. Those were different days! I wouldn't trade Colorado back for California any day, however. Persimmons can be cultivated in a wide variety of climates, so who knows, maybe we can plant one. I had only heard of using persimmons in bread pudding, not many people in this house like bread pudding. This is what evolved in my mind this time 'round.

For culinary purposes, persimmons can be eaten fresh, if they are completely ripe. One can also dry the fruit to be eaten. In Korea they make a drink with dried persimmons. This drink can develop into a nice vinegar too. In Taiwan they cure it in lime juice and it slightly hardens.

Also in Korea, they use the leaves of a persimmon tree to make tea. In China they ripen the fruit by freezing them.

"The health benefits of this bright orange colored fruits are highly related to their rich contents of fibers,
vitamins A and C. Researchers from Israel found that the contents of total, soluble, and insoluble dietary
fibers, total phenols, epicatechin, gallic and p-coumaric acids, some minerals in persimmons are significantly
higher than in apples.

Various website writers suggest that persimmon is used for hiccups, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, lung infections
and asthma. It is also believed the persimmon may benefit people at risk of certain types of cancers, as it is
high in vitamin A. Its shibuol and betulinic acid are believed to contribute its anti-cancer properties."

Read more:

The recipe:

Place 8 - 1 c. ramekins in a large roasting pan. Preheat oven to 300 deg. F.

1/2 c. brown sugar
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
3 tbsp. water

Make a caramel in a saucepan. Pour equal of the amounts of prepared caramel in the bottom of the ramekins


1 quart egg nog (pour a cup for yourself, add some spiced rum, enjoy)
1 c. milk
1/4 c. brown sugar
5 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
4 persimmons worth of pulp
1 tsp. vanilla extract (if it isn't already included in the egg nog)

Heat the egg nog, milk, persimmon pulp and brown sugar. Run a handmixer into it to break up the persimmon pulp. Temper into the beaten eggs. Strain. Pour into ramekins and place the roasting pan in the oven, leaving rack out part way, Using a pitcher, add water to just the top of the ramekins. Cover the pan with two layers of cling film. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from hot bath and bring to room temp. Then cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Run under hot water and invert into a serving plate.

Day two of the cider brewing and it is very active. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.....Sometimes the locks blow right off!

I bought a soft sculpture, I don't came over me. Maybe it is because it is named after me. I made it into something useful....A pin cushion! Now I don't have a run of the mill pin cushion.



“When you realize you've made a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm.” -Dan Heist

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chicken and Pumpkin Maultaschen

Now playing: The Smashing Pumpkins - Today
via FoxyTunes

Maultaschen are a sort of ravioli, German-style. Maultaschen are bigger than their Italian cousins. The dish is a Swabian speciality, with traditional Maultaschen only made in Swabia, Baden-Württemberg. They are served geröstet, which means fried in a pan with scrambled eggs and onions (the way I made them this time.) They can also be served der Brühe (in broth), or geschmälzt (with butter and onions.) It is said that monks invented the meat pockets to try and fool God himself. They reckoned that God couldn't see the meat in the pasta, therefore it was alright to eat meat on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Hence the Swabian alternative name Herrgottsbescheißerle ("little ones to cheat on the Lord".) Somehow, I think God would be on to them....

I made a version with chicken and pumpkin, hardly traditional. I hope I can talk Lucie into making the traditional kind with me for the blog sometime. Mine turned out very tasty indeed and used my local ingredients very well.

The dough:

2 eggs
200 g. flour
small handful of semolina
1 tbsp. cold water

Bring all these ingredients together in a mixer. Let rest in cling film, whilst you prep the rest of the components.

The filling:

1 chicken breast, trimmed
1 shallot
1 egg white
1/4 c. heavy cream
a small handful, bread crumbs
handful of parsley
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
Small splash of brandy
Salt and pepper to taste (you can do a fry test to check the seasoning.)

Process in order, in a food processor. When it is a smooth mixture, put in a bowl and put that bowl in an ice bath in the frig. Let chill for 30 minutes.

Separately have 1 c. seasoned pumpkin puree ready.

For assembly:

Boil water in a large pot.

Toast and loosely chop pumpkin seeds. Also have chopped parsley handy.

On a copiously floured board, roll out the dough. Cut out 24 large squares. Keep well floured and moist under cling film. Roll a square pretty thin. Then (click the picture to get a better reading view):

Yes, repeat 12 times.

Drop a few at a time into the boiling water. When they rise to the top, remove from the water and drain. In a skillet brown them slightly along with scrambled eggs. Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds and parsley.

I am trying my hand at making hard apple cider too. Follow along as it is brewing!

The leaves turned colour and it has snowed and knocked the leaves down already. I still have some garden toms, however.

We are having Spag Bol tonight, made with these Romas.

“To dream of pumpkins is a very bad omen.”

-Richard Folkard

Monday, October 10, 2011


Now playing: Amy Winehouse - October Song
via FoxyTunes

A bit small my Japanese pumpkins are, but we will eat them anyway. I'm not sure why they didn't get bigger, the regular pumpkins did. I know they aren't supposed to be as big as regular pumpkins, but they are supposed to be bigger than this. Ah, well there is next year to figure it out.

The first one was delicious in a batch of sticky toffee pudding-ish muffins I made.

Kabocha Sticky Toffee Muffins

1/2 c. chopped dates

1/3 c. brown sugar

1/34 c. butter

1/3 c. water

1/2 c. Kabocha (japanese pumpkin), cooked til soft and pureed

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 c. self-raising flour

1/4 c. wheat bran

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 deg. Heat the dates, brown sugar, butter, Kabocha and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes. cool slightly and add the vanilla and baking soda. further cool that mixture and add a beaten egg. All at once, add the flours. Fill to make 6 muffins, in a lined, or prepared tin. Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes.

Caramel sauce to drizzle over the top:

1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. heavy cream

Place in a saucepan and stir over low heat until butter melts. Bring to a low boil and for 1 minute.

Pour over muffins and serve.

Here is an English stein I found at an antique store. I love it and the little saying on it. If you can't read it, it says:

The wonderful love of a beautiful maid
And the love of a staunch true man
And the love of a baby unafraid
Have existed since time began;
But the greatest love, the love of love,
Even greater than that of a mother,
Is the tender, passionate, infinite love
Of one drunken sod for another.


I am drinking my new home-brew out of it proudly.

The blue Morning Glories like to show off in late September.

I made Chili Rellenos from my harvested Poblanos and a yellow tomato sauce. Turned out nice!

The weather is dodgy and the reports haven't really been accurate. We had an somewhat impromptu harvest. All this bar a few apples and a mango are what we got out of it. Green toms anyone? Don't worry I have plans for them. The weather didn't turn as dire as once thought, so maybe there will be a bit more to come.....

“You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” - Bob Dylan