Lavender Pudding

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Lavender Pudding

I was looking to make a dessert that was a little out of the ordinary, and having some lavender sugar on hand, decided to make a lavender pudding.  This is a nice basic corn starch and milk pudding, but with a subtle lavender flavour.

Ingredients:

  • Milk 3 cups
  • Corn Starch 1/4 cup
  • Lavender Sugar 1/2 cup
  • Salt 1/8 tsp
  • Vanilla Extract 1/2 tsp

Method:

Heat 2 2/3 cups of the milk to the scalding point.  In a bowl mix the dry ingredients thoroughly.  Stir the remaining 1/3 cup of milk into the dry mixture.  Mix until smooth.  Add the mixture to the hot milk, and stir constantly over low heat.  Cook for about five minutes, and remove from the heat.  Stir in the vanilla, then pour mixture into a bowl to cool.  When it gets to room temperature place bowl in a fridge to set.

While the batch I made recently didn’t photograph well, it was tasty.  The spots in the pudding are lavender blossoms from the sugar.  I have tried to add a drop or two of edible lavender oil to similar recipes, and while not bad, it might make it a little too much for some tastes.  The lavender sugar really does the job itself.  If you have sprigs of lavender they might make a nice garnish.

 

Padre

Vegan Ice “Cream” Review: Ben and Jerry’s

 

Cookies on Cookie Dough Pint

image: Ben and Jerry’s

It’s Veganuary and Foodie Friday.  That being the case I decided to go to my local supermarket and pick up one of my wife’s “go to” treats – Halo brand non-dairy frozen dessert.  As I went to the freezer compartment Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough Non-Dairy Ice Cream caught my attention, so I picked it up instead.

This frozen treat does have a fairly decent “ice cream” feel to it.  Though the way it softens has a slightly different texture to it than softening real cream.  It does have a nice flavour though, and once one allows for the dough and chocolate chunks it does compare favourably to “the real thing.”

The blend has three different plant based oils in it (rapeseed, coconut, and soy), and it also is fairly high in the sugars with 28 grams of carb (19 g of it sugar) for every two scoops.  This works out at 230 calories for every 2 scoop serving, which is considerably higher than in Halo (which I will review soon).   It is however a yummy treat, and being kosher, vegetarian, and vegan certified does open up a lot of options to those limited in the dessert department.

The dough balls, and chocolate chunks are fairly large, and the portions of them fairly generous.   All in all, this is a very nice “occasional” treat, and I may soon test out some other Ben and Jerry’s non-dairy options.

Padre

Melt in Your Mouth

Baklava With Pistachios, Oriental Pastries

Image by Baklava7_de from Pixabay

The d’Verse Poetics prompt: Food, was perfectly timed.  Some very dear friends of mine have just returned from holiday in Greece and brought me some of my all-time favourite indulgent desserts: Baklava.  These diamond-shaped gastronomic delicacies melt on the tongue as the dozens of layers of gossamer-thin pastry, butter, sugar syrup, and ground nuts combine their already magical tastes to create a sensation which is exponentially greater than the mere sum of the individual elements.  Please find words, all too inadequate, to praise these diamonds of delight below.

 

Thin
Filo Pastry
Pistachio Dream
The Baklava Delicate
On My Tongue As It Melts
A Flavour Explosion
Syrup and Butter
In Harmony
Bliss

 

Padre

Thank you Gary and Suzie for the exquisite gift.

Fig and Pistachio Pancakes

I debated whether to post this under Bible Foods or not, and decided for accuracy’s sake to call it breakfast or dessert instead.  Most all of the ingredients (minus processed sugar or stavia) would have been available in one form or another in biblical times, but I will remain cautious in how I bill it.  That said these are tasty, and a little different.

Ingredients:

  • Figs  1/2 cup diced
  • Pistachios 1/4 cup shelled and crushed
  • Plain Flour 1 cup
  • Baking Powder 1 tsp
  • Eggs 2
  • Buttermilk 1 1/2 cups
  • Stavia 1 tsp (or 1 Tbs Sugar)
  • Salt 1/2 tsp
  • Sunflower Oil 1 Tbs

Method:

Crush the nuts and finely dice the figs.  Then in a mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt and sweetener.   In a separate bowl whip the eggs until evenly orange, and then stir in the oil, and milk.  Pour this into the dry mixture and mix well.  Then stir in fruit and nuts.  Place a lightly greased pan over medium high heat and when hot drop a tiny amount of the batter into the pan.  If it bubbles and begins to take a “cake” consistency, then add a few Tbs of the batter to the pan.  When this browns on the edges, and bubbles appear in the centre which leave cavities when they pop, then flip the pancake with a spatula.  Allow all liquid in the batter to cook firm then remove the pancake from the heat, and repeat the process until the batter is used up.

Padre

 

Cheese Pie

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Image: Hadley Reclaimed

Here is a recipe for a sweet, milk/cheese based pie.  While I know it is a bit hot these days for baking, the results are well worth it.  The pie is loosely based on old German and Pennsylvania Dutch recipes, and playing with the spices to fit to taste. A little more sugar can be used, but I find the balance as written really nice.

 Cheese Pie

  • Cottage Cheese 1 1/4 cups
  • Mild Cheddar 1/4 cup shredded
  • Sugar 1/2 cup
  • White Flour 2 Tbs
  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Double Cream 2 cups
  • Eggs 2 separated
  • Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
  • Ground Ginger  pinch
  • Nutmeg pinch
  • Lemon Zest 1/2 tsp
  • Pie Crust (see recipe)

Method:

Mix the cottage cheese, shredded cheese, sugar, flour, salt, lemon zest and spices together in a bowl. Add beaten egg yolks and mix again thoroughly. Then add the milk a little at a time and stir until smooth. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold the whites into the mixture.  Lightly grease and flour a 8 or 9 inch pie pan, and then line with the pastry. Pour the cheese mixture into the pan. Bake in a preheated 175 C/ 350 F oven for about 1 hour (use a tooth pick check for a thorough cooking).

* This was a camera shy dessert, but I will try to add pics when I make it next time.

Padre

Padre’s Ginger Cookies

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This is an adaptation of an 1860s recipe which I have used in conjunction with “living history.”  Among the various ministries that I have been involved with was my role as a chaplain to an American Civil War reenactment society.  This was a great opportunity for me as it allowed my to link my love of history with my calling to ministry.  One of the things that I would do (in keeping with the role of “padre” to the troops) was to bring relief and encouragement to the “boys” by sharing out cookies.

These ginger gems are authentic to the period, but also a nice little snack/dessert in their own right.

Ingredients:

  • Flour  (all purpose white works best) 2½ cups (280 g)
  • Ground Ginger  2 teaspoons
  • Baking (bicarb) Soda 1 teaspoon
  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Butter (best if unsalted and at room temperature) ¾ cup (165 g)
  • Sugar 1 cup (200 g) white  (or) ½ cup (100 g) white & ½ cup (100 g) brown
  • Egg 1
  • Molasses or Treacle ¼ cup (60 ml)
  • Water 1 Tbs
  • Ginger Bits  2 Tablespoons (this can be grated root ginger or finely                               diced stem ginger) [root ginger is more authentic,  but the more expensive preserved stem is nicer by far (try Opies Stem Ginger in Syrup)].
  • Brown Sugar 2 Tablespoons

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Sift together the flour, ground ginger, bicarb and salt. Set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar.  Then stir in the egg to butter mixture. Next add the molasses, ginger bits, and water to the butter/sugar mix. Stir in dry mixture, and mix until a medium dough.  Roll dough into 1 ½ inch balls and roll in brown sugar.  Place balls onto greased sheet pan (cookie sheet) about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Padre

 

 

 

Orchard Meringue

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Ingredients (peach and second pear not shown)

I found this to be a great end of the week dessert, which allowed for the clearing out of the fruit bowl, before the new groceries are brought in.  It is tasty and relatively healthy as well. Of course this can also be done as a planned dessert in which exact proportions of fruit can be chosen.  The recipe below is illustrative and is in the proportions used this last week.

Ingredients:

  • Apple 1 large
  • Pears 2 ripe
  • Peach 1 medium
  • Cinnamon 1 tsp
  • Nutmeg 1/2 tsp
  • Stevia (or other sweetener) 5 tsp
  • Eggs 3 separated
  • Water 2-3 Tbs

Method:

Preheat oven to 200 C/390 F.  Peel and core the apple and pears and cut into slices, place in a 8-10 inch baking pan. Then slice peach and remove stone. Add the peach slices to the other fruit.  In a small bowl mix the spices and 2 tsp of sweetener, then pour over the fruit and mix until it is spread evenly.  Add water and cover with foil before placing in oven.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  While waiting place egg whites into a mixing bowl and whip until they begin to thicken.  Sprinkle in remaining sweetener a little at a time and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.  When baking time has elapsed remove fruit from oven and discard the foil. Reduce heat to 160 C and then spoon meringue evenly over fruit and return to the dish to oven for 15 minutes (when peaks begin to brown).

Serve in small dishes (with cream if desired).

I have used plums, apricots, and nectarines in the past as well.  Thus the “orchard” theme with virtually any tree fruit being a useful ingredient.

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Padre

 

 

Ancient Luxury: Stuffed Dates

 

This is my second foray into the world of recipe sharing.  Like my first, the dish is inspired by the biblical foods, and a bit of history.

I first came across this desert/snack when I was at university.  When I was introduced to it, it was called Dates Alexander.  While I cannot back up the claim that this was a favoured dish of Alexander the Great, it does contain ingredients that would have been familiar to him and his men.

Dates Alexander

Ingredients:

24 pitted dates

24 blanched almonds

1/4 cup of honey (ideally raw not pasturised) or 1/3 cup if more drizzle is desired

1/4 cup shelled crushed pistachios

Gently stuff each date with an almond and set aside.  Then pour honey in a small saucepan and gently warm (do not allow to boil or even become hot).

Remove the warm honey from the heat and gently drop in the fruit, and let set about five minutes until honey is starting to thicken again.

Place crushed pistachios into a small bowl, and roll each date gently into the nuts until crusted.  Organinse nut covered dates onto a plate and drizzle any remaining honey over the fruits.

Chill for 30 minutes and serve as a dessert (6 dates) or as a snack (3-4 dates).

Let me know what you think.

Padre