Tag Archives: Dessert

Candied Pomelo Peel

This is sweet from the honey, but retains a nice bitter edge. It’s simple and delicious. And it’s really fast to make.

Pomelos usually show up in the market at the height of winter. They look like really big grapefruit, sometimes having a slight pear-like shape. Skins range from yellow to yellow-green. Find a pomelo that has no blemishes on the skin.

Cut the fruit into quarters, through the stem end. For each quarter, make a small cut between the fruit and the pith nearest one end, and then running your thumbnail around the fruit, separate the peel and fruit. You should be able to remove the peel on each quarter in a single piece. Reserve the fruit for eating.

Cut the peel into strips about 5/8 of an inch wide, but the size and shape is up to you. Turn each strip on its side and trim the pith down so the thickness of the peel is about 3/8-inch.

Put the peels into a pot full of water. Bring it to a strong boil, let it boil for one minute and drain off all the water. Add cold water and in under a minute the peels should be cool enough for you to squeeze out the water without burning yourself. ATTN Repeat the process of boiling, draining and squeezing the peel three more times. Each time you do this it removes some of the bitterness, so you can adjust the bitterness to your taste according to how many times you boil the peel. If you really like a bitter flavor, only boil it a total of three times, not four.

Set up a cake rack and place a sheet of wax paper or foil underneath it.

After the last boiling, put the drained peel back in the pot with 1 to 11/4 cups of honey. (You don’t have to measure it precisely because if it’s too dry you can add more and if there’s a little extra it will boil down or drain off.) Bring to a simmer and move the peel pieces around with tongs or chopsticks. The honey level may seem low, but you will need to get all the sides of the peel covered, so turn them as necessary. Add a little more honey as it cooks down, if needed. When the honey is disappearing and  ATTN the peel is translucent, transfer the pieces to the rack. Make sure the pieces aren’t touching. I find some pieces are done faster (they become translucent as they absorb the honey) and I remove them and let the rest keep cooking.

Fruit Crumble

Combine 1/3 cup walnuts, 1/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup oatmeal, 1/2 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter. Mix until it’s crumbly.

Peel and cut up 4 cups of fresh fruit (peaches, apples, pears or whatever you like). Mix with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 to 2 TBL cornstarch, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Place fruit mixture in buttered casserole. Cover with crumb topping.

Bake at 375 degrees F until bubbly, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Anise Cornmeal Fingers

Cream 11/2 sticks butter until soft. Add 1 TBL Pernod, 1/2 tsp ground white pepper, 1 TBL fennel seeds (ground after measuring), 1/4 tsp salt. Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 1 egg white. When mixed, add 13/4 cups flour and 2/3 cup cornmeal, blending just until mixed in. By hand, mix in grated lemon peel from 2 lemons.

Put dough into a pastry bag or plastic bag with a 1/2-inch opening cut at one corner. Pipe 3- to 4-inch cookies onto parchment-lined cookie sheets, about 11/2 inches apart. Bake at 325 F convection for about 20 to 25 minutes. (Bake at 325 F non-convection for 25 to 30 minutes.) Cookies will be golden and brown around the edges.

Lemon Whipped Cream

*Small Recipe (for 9″ cake): Combine in top of double boiler, 2 egg yolks, zest of 3 lemons, 1/4 cup lemon juice, pinch of salt, 3/4 cup sugar and 3 TBL butter and cook as directed below.

*Full Recipe (for tube cake): Combine in top of double boiler, 4 egg yolks, zest of 4 lemons, 1/2 cup lemon juice, pinch of salt, 11/2 cups sugar and 6 TBL butter.

Set double boiler over medium heat and stir mixture continuously making sure nothing sticks to the pan. Cook for 10-20 minutes… time varies according to the temperature of the ingredients, etc. It is done when the mixture starts to thick and it coats a spoon. (It thickens more when it cools completely.) Transfer to small bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled.

Beat whipping cream (8 ounces for small cake, 12 ounces for large) until it is thick, but peaks don’t form. Add lemon curd to taste, and beat more. Generally there will be more lemon curd than you will need to flavor the whipping cream, but it just depends on how you like it to taste.

The lemon curd keeps refrigerated up to 5 days. This is great with a fruit salad or as a filling for Lemon Cloud Cake.

Maple Ice Cream

Put 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup and a pinch of salt in a sauce pan. Add either 11/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped into mixture. Include the pod in the mixture, too. Heat until steaming, but do not let boil.

In a bowl, combine 41/2 TBL (that’s a generous 1/4 cup) of corn starch and 3/4 cup milk. Stir with fingertips to confirm there are no lumps. Remove vanilla pod from pot. Add cornstarch mixture, cook, stirring until it reaches a boil. Reduce heat to low and let cook for 5 minutes or until thick, stirring so it won’t scorch.

Strain and chill a couple of hours and freeze in ice cream maker.

Cherry Pie

Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine 4+ cups of pitted sour cherries (I prefer the bright red Montmorency cherries), 3 TBL minute tapioca, 3/4 cup sugar and 2 TBL kirsch. Let stand 15 minutes. Meanwhile, roll out pie crust and fit into 9-inch pie plate. Pour filling into crust, dot with 2 TBL butter cut into small pieces, cover with top crust and seal. Brush top with egg white.

Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking until crust is golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes more.

Ice-Box Cake

Make whipped cream using 2 cups heavy cream, 2 – 3 TBL confectioners’ sugar and 1 – 2 tsp vanilla. Spread 1/2 TBL whipped cream on each cookie in a box of Famous Chocolate wafers, building up a stack. Arrange two 7-inch stacks next to each other (on their sides) on a plate to form a cake. Cover generously with remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate overnight. Serve, cutting on diagonal.