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Posts Tagged ‘candied ginger’

Happy 4th of July!!!

Time do bring out all the red/white/blue, stars and stripes you can find in the house. No need to be modest. Go big for this holiday!

This is of course an American celebration, but I know that Americans abroad celebrate it just as much as a Swede living here in the States ( I wonder who I am thinking of…) would celebrate Swedish events and holidays.

We are making it simple for this holiday. Too much to do, too little time. Don’t I say that all the time?? Perhaps I am a very stressed individual since I always want to cook simple food. Who knows.

My priority this weekend is to relax, spend time with family and friends. Just enjoy myself. We will go to the beach, go to my mother-in-law’s for Curry Goat, BBQ in the garden, so many different things are going on for these 4 days… If I am really lucky, there will also be some time left over for me to have a date with a good book. I haven’t read a book in a very long time. What a shame.

So, we are doing easy stuff for the 4th. Basic BBQ food like , marinated chicken & pork tenderloin, burgers & hotdogs. Corn & salsa.

I will make my Mini Pies filled with strawberries, blueberries and apples. Basic desserts. A little bit of “comfort” food desserts. Well known and familiar but perhaps with a little twist at times.

It is very nice to make a whole bunch of small mini pies instead of making just one big one. This way you can pick and choose what you want.

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Mini Fruit & Berry Pies.

The rule is to use any fruit or berries of your choice. Besides that, there are no rules.

There are no real recipes for this. Since I like to be able to taste the actual produce, I keep it as fresh as possible.

So just make a pie crust or even buy ready made pie crust. For these ones, I use a basic pie crust.

I choose little nice looking ramekins. Since it is 4th of July, I used my star shaped ones.

Add the rolled out pie crust to the ramekins. Well pressed down into the bottom edges.

Add the fruit or berries. Keep them separate or mix them together.

Different combinations;

Blueberries– Use a splash of your favorite liquor.

Strawberries– Add finely chopped candied ginger.

Apples– Add your favorite liquor and some ground cinnamon. (And perhaps a little granulated sugar if you need for it to be a little sweeter).

Peaches– Toasted nuts and a pinch of brown sugar.

These are just some suggestions, you can really combine anything you like.

If you use hard fruits like apples, cut them finer and fry them in a skillet for about 15 minutes or so until soft. Add a little water so that they get some help from the water to soften up. Keep a lid on so that they really cook down faster.

Directions;

When you have added the pie crust to the ramekins pack down the filling well. Cut little stripes of the crust and add about 3 stripes per pie.

Brush some egg wash onto the crust and sprinkle some granulate sugar on top of it.

Bake in a 350 F degree (175 C) for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust has turned golden brown.

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Cut out stars with a mini cookie cutter. Brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on the stars. They taste like little cookies.

Cut out stars with a mini cookie cutter. Brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on the stars. They taste like little cookies.

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You can serve some fresh berries on the side and also whip up some heavy cream spiked with some of your favorite liquor.

Add about 2-3 tbsp. per cup of heavy cream. Fold in some candied ginger.

Enjoy!!!

And again, have a great and happy 4th of July!!!

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Did you know, that in the US, Halloween is one of the bigger celebrations of the year???

People spend an enormous amount of money on decorations, costumes and candies. There are parties where people compete on who has the best costume.

Halloween is another one of those celebrations that I didn’t grow up with. I never used to bake “finger cookies”with fake blood or make faux”eye ball dishes”. Yikes…. I have also always been afraid of people in masks. I guess the fact that you can’t see who is behind the mask was so scary that I never really tried to adapt to Halloween.

I have created my own Halloween tradition, my family and I carve pumpkins. It is so much fun. We skip all the costumes and candies and stick to the carving. It is a little messy and crazy in the kitchen when we start, but it is so much fun. When done, we place them on the steps in front of the house with a lit candle inside.

So instead of giving you a recipe of some scary food or dessert I am giving you the best cheesecake ever!!!! Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger/Pecan crust!!!

It is just so smooth,light and fantastic and it gives you a little teaser for the holidays to come.

Halloween Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger/Pecan crust.

Ginger/Pecan crust;

1 c. flour.

1/4 c. chopped candied ginger.

1/4 c. chopped pecans.

1 stick of unsalted butter (113 grams).

1/4 c. brown sugar.

1 tbsp. cold water.

Pinch of salt.

Directions;

Mix flour, ginger, pecans, sugar & salt in a food processor. Make sure all is very finely ground. Add butter and water. Mix until it becomes a crumbly “dough” .

Take the dough and press into a lightly buttered pan (about 3″ high & 9″ in diameter).

Wrap some foil around the outside of the pan. Bake it in a 350 F degree oven (175 C) for about 25 minutes or until it starts to lightly brown.

When done, let cool completely on a wire rack.

The Pumpkin filling;

1 c. pumpkin puree (any kind. Bake it in the oven and scrape out the “meat” when done or just use canned pumpkin puree. I baked an acorn squash.)

1 1/4 lb. good cream cheese (aprx. 550grams).

1/2 c. heavy cream.

4 large eggs.

1/2 c. granulated sugar (white sugar).

1/2 c. light brown (or dark) sugar.

2 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla sugar.

1 tsp. ground cinnamon.

1/2 tsp. ground ginger.

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg.

1 tsp. potato flour or cornstarch.

Rind of a clementine , orange or satsuma (optional).

1/4 tsp. salt.

Directions:

Whisk together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, vanilla extract or sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon & nutmeg & salt. Set the mixture aside.

In another bowl use a hand mixer (or if you rather use a stand mixer) to soften the cream cheese. Add the sugars. Mix well. Add the potato flour or cornstarch & the eggs, one at a time. Add the clementine rind at this time. Combine the two parts of the filling. Mix well.

Pour the batter onto the crust. Put the pan in a water bath (oven proof pan with water reaching aprx. 1″ up on the foil covered cheesecake pan.) Bake in the middle of the oven in a 325F degree ( 160C) for about 70-80 minutes or until done. The center of the cake will be slightly wobbly but it will set as it cools down.

To prevent the cake from “cracking”, run a paring knife around the sides of the cake. Let cool. You can let it cool over night in the fridge as well.

Serve with some whipped cream. It makes it a little heavy but it is yummy. If you would like to, you can add some clementine zest or juice to the whipped cream. Another way to “spike” the whipped cream is to add a little ground ginger to it while whipping. This gives it a little “bite”.

You can dust a little ground cinnamon over the cake as well.

Enjoy!!

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In Sweden, we have something called all saints day (Allhelgona). We light candles at gravesites or memory groves. This to pay our respect to the dead loved ones. These candles are special “grave candles” that burns non stop for about 3 days. It is so beautiful and peaceful to travel trough Sweden during Allhelgona.

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I try to always grow some kind of pumpkin in the garden. This year, we grew these little miniature ones.

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Our carved pumpkins on the steps to our house.

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Happy Halloween!!!

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