Tag Archives: orange

Gourmet’s Orange Pumpkin Cloverleafs

We live on a hill.  Some may not call it that, but I do, and depending on which direction you approach our hill, it resembles something quite large with very steep roads leading to it, making it a challenge if one happens to be stuck behind a truck, a school bus, or someone who has passed a driver's test but hasn't yet figured out that the gas pedal is what makes the car proceed in a forward motion if it's properly in gear.

But I digress.

Living on this hill provides us a view of the Pacific from one window and from two others, the skyline of the area near downtown and the mountains in the eastern part of the county.  Actually, the view of the Pacific is about 16 inches if I strain, sneaking out my ruler just to make sure, and the other more a craning of my neck around my neighbor's Texas Cherry Brush hedge that is more like a jungle.  On days like today when the weather is not exactly as most expect it to be, I look at both horizons and notice the dark grey upper sky heavy with rain clouds.  The sun is struggling to shine somewhere East casting the mountains in varying shades of grey and adding to the ominous look of the storm clouds.  The Pacific is indiscernible, as grey as the sky. 

I love rainy days. 

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So it seems appropriate that I bring you something that is about as close to packaged sunshine as I can find.  If you're lucky enough to get one right from the oven, the warmth speaks for itself.

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Tuiles and Orange Yogurt Sabayon

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Thursday:  8:10 am

I swore I'd not be late on this month's Daring Baker's challenge.  I even mentioned to others I'd complete it two weeks into the month, but time has a way of passing so quickly these days and before I knew it, this week was upon me and bearing down hard.

Two days ago, I cut some forms for the tuiles we are to have made.  And even yesterday, I retrieved some egg whites from the freezer to thaw so I could begin work.  But did I?  No.  So here I am today just getting started.

I know what you're thinking.  What a slacker.  And you'd be right, but it's only a bit after 8am, and I've got plenty of time even with the refrigeration time that's required for the recipe.

I'm thinking that zabaglione or pots de creme should go with my tuiles.  But I'll let you know.  So come back later even though you've got hundreds of others to visit.  I'll be posting in stages.  This month's challenge is
brought to us by
Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte
aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by
Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

11:12 am

The good news is that it's still Thursday.  Even better?  I'm done with the tuiles!  They're very easy to make, but do require a 30-minute refrigeration time before baking, and if you're me, then you forgot to turn on the oven and had to wait an addition period of time after the cookies were were already on the chilled baking sheets.  It never fails…

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Very few ingredients are needed to make tuiles:  only 1/4 c. softened butter, 1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 c. sifted all-purpose flour, 2 large egg whites, and a splash of vanilla.

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The soft butter and powdered sugar are mixed to a paste, the egg whites added gradually while stirring to bring the mixture together.

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The flour is added gradually as well, stirring, but not over-mixing until everything comes together.  A splash of vanilla is incorporated and then the whole mixture goes into the fridge for about 30 minutes.  Line the baking sheets with parchment or silicone and chill them as well.

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Use some cardboard to cut out the shape you'd like to use.  I used corregated cardboard and then pinched the inside edges before using an offset spatula to spread batter over the forms.

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If you'd like, add some of the cocoa powder to a small amount of the batter and mix well before spooning it into a decorators bag with a plain tip.  Make whatever decorations you'd like and then put the sheets into a 350 degrees F oven for about 7 minutes or until the edges of the tuiles are barely brown.

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Remove them immediately from the pan with a thin edged spatula and use wooden spoon handles or rolling pins to shape them.  But you really have to hurry, because if you don't, then yours will be as flat and crisp as mine, poor little cute things.

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Have some fun making other shapes, too, and maybe, just maybe, you'll be able to twist a few!

Okay, off to make the dessert they'll go in.

6:30 pm

Yes, it's late.  A lot later than I thought I'd be, but the goings on of a day tend to make some things take longer than I'd like.  Especially this dessert which, by comparison, is very easy.

Orange Sabayon

1 lg. egg

1 lg. egg yolk

1/3 c. sugar

zest of 1 orange

1/3 c. freshly squeezed orange juice

1 T lemon juice

For the dessert…

1 orange

0% fat Greek yogurt

Prepare an ice bath in a bowl large enough to set the top pan of a double boiler.

In the top of a double boiler pan, whisk the eggs until foamy.  Gradually mix in the sugar whisking until well combined.  Add the juices and the zest, mixing well.  Place the pan over a gently simmering pan of water and stir the citrus mixture constantly until the mixture thickens like a pudding.  Place the pan in the ice bath and continue to stir until it cools.

To create a light dessert, section an additional orange and place the segments in a wide-mouthed glass.  Make sure they're well drained or the juice will pool in the bottom of the glass.  In a small bowl mix 1/2 of the chilled sabayon and 1/4 c. of the yogurt.  To serve, mound the orange yogurt sabayon over the oranges.  Don't forget to include the tuiles!

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Notes:

  • The tuiles are surprisingly easy to make.  Unfortunately, I baked mine for 7 minutes instead of 5 while I was looking for the browned edges and then didn't move quite fast enough to get them positioned over the rolling pin and wooden spoon handles.  I did have a chance to try it with another batch, so know not to bake them quite so long.
  • The sabayon is also easy to put together.  If you wanted to fatten it up a bit, you could mix it with whipped cream and/or a bit of mascarpone.

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Spiced Cranberry Orange Sauce

Each year for the holidays, I experiment with a new twist on cranberry sauce — the one item that somehow for many in my family make the meal complete.  I grew up eating cranberry sauce from a can.  You know what I'm talking about, right?  The apply the can opener, and slide the gelatinous ruby red cylinder from the can cranberry sauce — can markings and all.  Its place of honor after I'd been given the responsibility for it about age nine, was to lay the cylinder on a small plate and artfully slice a few rounds so they'd be easy for those interested in laying a slab on their already loaded plate.  We love to give my mother a hard time about the can markings on the cranberry sauce, but I'm not sure she's always amused.

I can't remember when I gave the can up, but it must have been after I had my first two sons and began to get even more daring in the kitchen trying recipes I'd never thought of before.  With respect to cranberry sauce, this involves: 1) purchasing a bag of fresh cranberries; and 2)  following the directions on the bag.  Tough work if you can handle it.

But over the years, the experimenting began, and although I haven't strayed too far from something I'll call traditional, I have managed to have some fun with orange and nuts.  If I get too crazy, it doesn't get eaten — the bowl sitting on the table looking a bit too mysterious to those who like no surprises on Turkey Day. 

This year, I ran across a new recipe for cranberry sauce at The Wednesday Chef, a lovely site that I'd not visited before, but spent quite a bit of time sorting through and bookmarking other promising recipes. Her "Cranberry Orange Sauce" has the perfect mix of citrus and spice.

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Spiced Cranberry Orange Sauce

1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. fresh orange juice
1/3 c. Cointreau
1/2 tsp. all spice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 T orange zest

In a small sauce pan, add the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, liqueur, and spices.  Bring to a boil, then adjust heat to medium low, simmering until cranberries pop and the mixture thickens a bit — 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the orange zest and remove from the heat to cool completely, then refrigerate in a covered container until ready to use.

Notes:

  • I loved this recipe.  The original calls for 1/2 c. toasted, chopped pecans which I would have also loved, but the nuts in the cranberry sauce sometimes pushes it over the edge for the more picky eater.  I haven't figured out how to sneak in the nuts yet.
  • I know you're thinking the Cointreau is an issue.  You can use another orange liqueur, or, add it and burn off the alcohol with a match.  The intense flavor is wonderful and very different than what I've tried with recipes that use only orange juice or zest. 
  • If you don't like one of the spices listed, have fun with those you do enjoy.  Cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg…they'd all be excellent in this.
  • If you love herbs, then fresh rosemary would also be excellent minced in this.
  • This is definitely something I'd make the day before.  It's one less burner being used on my stove on a busy day! 

Cherry Orange Almond Scones


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Being at Lis’ wedding this past weekend was an amazingly busy swirl of activity focused on obvious preparations, food, getting acquainted, food, 4am bed times, food, and then more food.

Did I say food?

Not much else can be expected from a group of serious foodies, right?  I’m still in awe of the idea that people can meet through the Internet, converse for a year and a half in blog comments, cyber bake sessions, and more than a few phone calls in some cases, then meet — it all seeming surrealistically normal.  Like I’d always known Lis, Helene and John.  The wedding ceremony was tear inducing (I’m a sucker for big guys who are so obviously devoted to their wives), the reception an artfully decorated evening on the shores of stormy Lake Erie, and the cake something I wish I still had a slice or two of hidden deep in the freezer so I might sneak it out when no one was looking and nibble on it, savoring.  Yes, very good times — and wistful, surprisingly.  When you’ve spent so much time together for several days, and are so busy, once you’re gone, you think of all the conversations you might have had — questions you might have asked.

But there’s always next time, right?

In the meantime here’s a bit of tea and scones served up on my wedding dishes.  I’ll imagine that my no longer invisible friends are sitting across the table with me.  The rest of you can pull up a chair as well if you’d like a warm Cherry Orange Almond scone with Devonshire Cream and jam with a hot cup of Assam.

How do you like your tea?

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Orange Rosemary Muffins with Pinenuts


I already wrote this once today.  You know, when you sit down and immerse yourself in a post, wallowing in the moment of getting everything just right, choosing the perfect photos, and salivating all over again over what you made.  No, not on it.  About it.

And then your browser shuts down.  The post is lost, and your motivation to begin again is just not there.

That would be me, now.  And the feeling overshadows the fun I had this morning making these lovely muffins.  So I’m trying to suck it up and get rolling once more.

You’ve already looked at the photo and are wondering where I could have come up with this one.  Or maybe you’re not wondering and you just want me to stop blathering and get on with it.  I don’t blame you.

So here’s the short version:  We’re going to Italy this summer.  Although some of the time will be spent near Florence, the bulk of our time will be spent in Rome and Sorrento near the Amalfi coast where lemons are everywhere.  So I’ve had citrus on my mind and when Helene of Tartelette chose citrus as the featured flavor of Sugar High Friday #43, well, I surprised myself by choosing not lemons as I’d been planning, but oranges.

And I just happened to have these cute little Italian terra cotta pots…

 

Notes:

*** Someone brought it to my attention that I left out an ingredient quantity — 1 tsp. baking soda.  Thanks!

  • The terra cotta pots hold exactly 8oz. or 1 cup.  Comparatively, large muffin cups also hold 8 oz. and the more standard 12-muffin pans hold 4 oz. or 1/2 cup.
  • I used a convection setting at 375 degrees F and checked the muffins at 10 minutes, then in 3 minute intervals until they were nicely golden brown, no longer wet-looking on the top, and a wooden skewer inserted in the center came out clean.  I am still not buying the often described 20 percent reduction on heat and time for convection ovens.  I think it depends on what I’m cooking.  At most, I keep an eye on the food, and reduce the temp if things begin to get brown too fast, but rarely by more than 5 or 10 degrees.  Not very scientific, but I’ve been experimenting with my oven for 3-1/2 years, and nothing’s completely conclusive, just with any other oven you have to get to know.
  • I’m thinking you could add 50 percent more rosemary to this and pine nuts that are more coarsely chopped so there’s more of a crunch in every bite.  The flavors are very nice together.
  • The muffins are excellent without the glaze that we just drizzled on after removing them from the pots, and I had the juice from the orange, so why not?The crema fresca natural is a very thick, but pourable table cream that has the slightest bit of sourness, but nothing near to our sour cream or even creme fraiche, which would work fine in this recipe.  It can be located in the deli case at your grocery store along with other Mexican creams and cheeses if you’re lucky.
  • The texture of these muffins is fine, and extremely moist.  The top and sides have a nice crunch which presents a great contrast.  The fragrance is lovely.
  • I wish I could take credit for the terra cotta pots, but I saw the idea in a Jamie Oliver cookbook in a cheese bread recipe and actually bought them for that.  They worked so well, expect to see more later.  I’ve got requests from family about what comes next.
  • And I’m already wondering whether some extra virgin olive oil instead of all the butter would work with these muffins.  A little less saturated fat never hurt anyone.  And it’s more…Italian.  Ciao!