Sunday, March 16, 2014

enjoying the local flavor

this afternoon
our lunch was the flavors of the season
terroir of where we live

yesterday was warm and bright and a perfect day for our local farmer's market
we picked up some zucchini flowers which seem to be on my menus from spring to autumn every year
we love them
it seems
i am continually posting recipes of them on this blog

many of you may know we are in the process of starting a little dairy on our property
the process is long and costly
we are not there yet
we live among dairies and cheesemakers
one of which sells a beautiful cow's milk crescenza
briny and soft, it is perfect for 
stuffing fiori, melting on toast, or paired with just picked tomatoes

to round out the flavor
{i love salty-sweet}
i used a bit of my homemade membrillo
i packed it away this winter
our nearest neighbor has a large u-pick orchard
this year she gave me baskets of quince which i quickly turned into sweet treats
i am mesmerized how the hard, cream colored fruit transforms itself into a gooey treat of crimson

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

pistachio-strawberry swirl ice cream

a warm winter makes way for an early harvest of strawberries
meandering down a country road this weekend passed
i happened across a roadside stand
loaded with berries and heaps of pistachios
locally grown

to keep up with our highly productive flock
i find myself
dreaming up custards
frozen custards
frozen custards made from
backyard eggs
fresh milk
farmstand goodies
pistachio-strawberry swirl ice cream
1 cup unsalted (roasted and shelled) pistachios
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
7 large eggs yolks
pinch salt (sea or kosher)
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup strawberry preserves
1/2 cup chopped pistachios (optional)
whisk the egg yolks, salt and 3/4 cup sugar. place milk and the pistachios in a blender and puree until the nuts are completely liquid and smooth.  add 3/4 cup sugar and place over low heat and warm to a simmer.  remove from heat and whisk into the eggs and sugar mixture.  tip back into the saucepan and cook over very low heat, stirring continually with a rubber spatula.  do not allow to boil, and cook until it just begins to thicken to nappe.  remove from heat and pour through a sieve into a clean bowl.  stir in vanilla and heavy cream. refrigerate 6 hours to overnight.  freeze according to ice cream manufacturers instructions. 
once the custard is frozen, transfer it to a freezer safe container.  swirl in the strawberry preserves and the chopped pistachios (if using)
*if you choose to make your own strawberry preserves, simply place 2 cups of roughly chopped strawberries in a saucepan.  taste for sweetness.  squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon.  add sugar according to sweetness.  add up to 1 1/2 cups of sugar (less if sweet strawberries, more if not sweet).  cook at a simmer until strawberries break down and soften and they sit in a thick glaze.  refrigerate until needed


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