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Archive for the ‘receipts’ Category

img_0888-1In yesterday’s post I showed my chocolate bread as I mixed it, let it rise and baked it. This morning we reaped the rewards of my baking day and feasted on chocolate bread, strawberry cream cheese and Harney & Sons Valentine Blend tea, a black tea with chocolate and pink rosebuds. It was  perfect!

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quince marmalade www.paulawalton.com

For me the sharp tang of quince marmalade captures the essence of a New England autumn.  I am fortunate enough to have multiple varieties of quince growing around my property.  We purchased our house on a late autumn day in 1990.  The following spring brought daily surprises as we identified new plants emerging from their deep winter sleep.  In May the enormous shrub, growing just outside our kitchen windows, burst into a glorious explosion of deep  pink blooms.  The reflected glow from the blossoms turned the kitchen into a rosy wonderland.  I loved it, and had absolutely no clue what type of bush it was!  I’d never seen anything like it in the Midwest.  After making inquiries of some of our neighbors, who are lifelong Connecticut residents, I learned that we owned a quince bush.

The deep reddish pink blossoms on the left are from the quince bush that grows outside our kitchen windows.

The deep reddish pink blossoms on the left are from the quince bush that grows outside our kitchen windows.

After doing a bit of research I learned that flowering quince bushes like ours are not true quince.  Flowering quince is a group of three hardy, deciduous shrubs: Chaenomeles cathayensis, Chaenomeles japonica, and Chaenomeles speciosa , in the family Rosaceae. Native to eastern Asia in Japan, China and Korea, flowering quince is related to the orchard quince (Cydonia oblonga), which is grown for its edible fruit, and the Chinese quince (Pseudocydonia sinensis). Flowering quince is often referred to as Japanese quince.

Almost harvset time.  Our quince are never beautiful, as we garden organically and are quite frankly negectful orchard keepes... I comfort myself with the thought that 200 years ago quince would not have been perfect and pest free.

Almost harvest time. Our quince are never beautiful, as we garden organically and are quite frankly neglectful orchard keepers… I comfort myself with the thought that 200 years ago quince would not have been perfect and pest free.

Somewhere along the way, my search for information about flowering quince turned into an obsession with true quince trees, their place in history and early 18th and 19th century receipts (recipes) for cooking quince.  In 1908, 14 varieties of common quince were being grown the United States, but by the start of the 21st century that number had shrunk to four or five cultivars that are still widely planted.  When I was searching for quince trees to plant, I wanted older varieties.  Initially I planted Orange and Van Deman trees, and later added  a few Smyrna.

The heavy fruit had bowed this branch of from our quince tree almost to the ground.

The heavy fruit had bowed this branch of from our quince tree almost to the ground.

The varying varieties of quince trees produce fruits with distinct flavors, shapes, and scents, much like different types of apple varieties (although no apple has the intoxicatingly lovely fragrance that ripe quince has).  Some years I keep the fruit pick separated by variety when I cook and other years I don’t.  I love them all and the rest of my family can’t really distinguish the difference between  Van Deman and Orange or Smyrna, although they can tell them apart from the fruits of the flowering quince bushes.

Some of my favorite things about quince are the fact that quince marmalade was actually the first kind of marmalade, the more familiar citrus marmalades came later in culinary history.  Another bit of trivia that I love is the fact that some people think that the apple Eve gave to Adam in the garden of Eden was actually a quince.  Aside from history, I would grow quince just so that I could have a bowlful of them scenting the air in my house every fall!  The fact that they have beautiful blossoms, produce amazing edible fruit, and are related to roses are all just bonuses 🙂

Here is my favorite receipt for Quince Marmalade which is taken from The Williamsburg Art of Cookery which may be purchased online here :

quince marmalade www.paulawalton.comQuince Marmalade

Boil the quinces in water until soft, let them cool, and rub all the pulp through a sieve: put two pounds of it to one of sugar, pound a little cochineal, sift it through fine muslin, and mix with the quince to give a colour; pick out the seeds, tie them in a muslin bag, and boil them with the marmalade; when it is a thick jelly, take out the seeds , and put in pots.

I usually pick the fruits from my quince bushes and make them into juice, by slowly simmering them with just enough water to cover, mashing them, then straining the juice.  Then I use the juice, along with thinly sliced quince from my trees to make the marmalade.  This year I read a recipe that called for grating the quince, instead of slicing it.  It worked very well and went much faster, as you do not need to peel the quince before grating.

Slowly cooked quince usually turns a lovely pinkish, red color on it’s own.  If is doesn’t you can add a drop of food coloring, rather than the cochineal.

Quinces are very high in pectin, so you usually do not need to add any, other than your quince seeds in a muslin bag :), but if you are worried about your marmalade setting up, the new Ball brand powdered pectin is very easy, flexible and forgiving to use.  It also lets you easily adjust for varying size batches of marmalade, jam and jelly.

One of the best  simple pleasures on a cool, crisp fall morning is warm toast, made over an open flame.  I especially love making toast with the toasting fork that my son, Blair, made for me <3

One of the best simple pleasures on a cool, crisp fall morning is warm toast, made over an open flame. I especially love making toast with the toasting fork that my son, Blair, made for me ❤

My son,Colin and daughter-in-law, JungHwa brought me quince tea from South Korea.  You could make a similar tea by infusing a spoonful of quince marmalade and a dab of honey in hot water.

My son,Colin and daughter-in-law, JungHwa brought me quince tea from South Korea. You could make a similar tea by infusing a spoonful of quince marmalade and a dab of honey in hot water.

 

The Owl and the Pussycat

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are, you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are.”
Pussy said to the Owl “You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose, his nose, his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?”
Said the Piggy, “I will”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand.
They danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

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Yeast Raised Gingerbread paulawalton.com

Instead of cookies, cakes or candies, this year I am baking bread to give for Valentine’s presents.  There is nothing cozier than freshly baked bread to warm a winters day.pear tree in winter paulawalton.com

I wanted to bake sweet yeast breads redolent of 18th century flavors, something delicious that would evoke, but not copy the past.  I began my baking experiments with dark chocolate and coffee, both important beverages in 18th century England and her American colonies.

Chocolate Yeast Bread paulawalton.comChocolate Yeast Bread

This dark dense chocolate bread makes a wonderfully indulgent breakfast.  Loaves keep well at room temperature for several weeks during the winter, or may be frozen.  If by some miracle you have any left long enough for it to get a bit dried out, it makes an amazing bread pudding!

6 cups flour

2 cups warm brewed coffee

1 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa

1 cup Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips

3 Tbsp. active dry yeast

1/2 cup melted butter

Measure all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Add warm (110-115 degrees) coffee and cooled melted butter.  Mix by hand with a large wooden spoon or use an electric mixer with a dough hook.  When your dough is completely mixed, shiny and smooth, stir in chocolate chips.  Turn out into an oiled bowl, lightly oil top of dough.  Cover with a clean cloth and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled.  heart shaped chocolate yeast bread paulawalton.comPunch down, and shape into heart shaped loaves on parchment or silpat covered baking sheets.  Chocolate yeast bread in terra cotta heart pans paulawalton.comAlternately shape into smooth loaves and put in heart shaped terra cotta bread pans.  Cover loaves and keep warm to rise.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or build a brisk fire and ready reflector oven or dutch oven.

Cross my heart!

Cross my heart!

Slash tops of loaves in an X using a sharp knife.  Bake for 20- 40 minutes depending on the size of your loaves, being careful not to burn.

Chocolate and peanut butter, a classic combination...

Chocolate and peanut butter, a classic combination…

Delicious with whipped strawberry cream cheese.

Delicious with whipped strawberry cream cheese.

Red currant jam, alone or mixed with cream cheese compliment the deep rich chocolate.

Homemade red currant jam, alone or mixed with cream cheese compliments the deep rich chocolate.

After playing with chocolate I turned my hand to yeast raised gingerbread.  I had originally planned to stud my loaves with handfuls of crystallized ginger, but my husband found out that I was making gingerbread and immediately asked me not to put “those chunks” in it…  He knows me too well… I hadn’t even taken the ginger out of the pantry yet!

This recipe makes a soft moist bread,  not overly sweet, with a bite of ginger.  It can be baked into rolls or loaves and would make an outstanding base for cinnamon rolls.

Yeast Gingerbread Hearts paulawalton.comYeast Gingerbread

6 cups flour

2 Tbsp. yeast

1 Tbsp. baking powder

3 Tbsp. ground ginger

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups warm Earl Grey tea (I used Earl Grey Extra from Simpson and Vail)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. orange oil

2 Tbsp. rum

Measure all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Add warm (110-115 degrees) tea and cooled melted butter, molasses, orange oil and rum.  Mix by hand with a large wooden spoon or use an electric mixer with a dough hook.  The dough will be soft and slightly sticky.

Turn out into an oiled bowl, lightly oil top of dough.  Cover with a clean cloth and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled.

Heart shaped yeast gingerbread paulawalton.comPunch down, and shape into heart shaped loaves on parchment or silpat covered baking sheets.  Or shape into rounded balls and put in a heart shaped cast iron muffin pan. Cover loaves and keep warm to rise.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or build a brisk fire and ready reflector oven or dutch oven.

Slash tops of loaves in an X using a sharp knife.  Bake rolls for 15 – 20 minutes. Bake bread for 20- 40 minutes depending on the size of your loaves, being careful not to burn.

Serve with butter and ginger spread or apple butter.

Serve with butter and ginger spread or apple butter.

An Unexpected Yeast Bread…

Mace Shortbread CookiesMace Shortbread

3 cups flour

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

1-1/2 cups butter

1/2 tsp. yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 tsp. mace

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

*Proof yeast in warm water for 5 minutes.  Measure flour, powdered sugar, mace and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl.  Add slightly softened butter and mix until all of the butter is worked into the dry ingredients.  Pour proofed yeast/water into bowl and beat until thoroughly incorporated.  Cover bowl with a clean dry cloth and set in a warm place for 1 hour, then chill for 30 minutes.

Roll dough out on a well floured surface to a scant 1/4 inch thickness and cut out with heart shaped cookie cutters.  Emboss the cookies by stamping them with new, washed rubber stamps that have been dusted with flour.   If desired, lightly brush ground nutmeg into the stamped designs before baking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes, until just starting to very lightly brown at the edges.  Cool completely before removing from cookie sheets.

* 18th century shortbread receipts call for the addition of barm (yeast).  I followed this tradition when I developed this recipe.  I love mace and decided to add it, along with nutmeg to the cookies (both spices are part of the seeds of the nutmeg tree).

To see more Mace Shortbread Cookie photos visit my Izannah Walker Journal.

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Patty pan squash, pink eyed purple podded peas, and heirloom tomatoes growing in my garden.

Patty pan squash, pink eyed purple podded peas, and heirloom tomatoes growing in my garden.

Every year I grow an abundance of summer squash in my gardens.  One of my favorites is patty pan squash.  The doll making retreat that I held last fall was in late September, when my squash were still plentiful, but my tomatoes and eggplants were at the end of their seasons.  You can change the proportions of the vegetables in this recipe to fit what you have available.  Ratatouille normally has quite a few tomatoes in it.IMG_2049

Ratatouille

3 large Vidalia onions

4 assorted heirloom tomatoes

2 small eggplants

6 medium patty pan squash

8 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese

6 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

sea salt

Wash the vegetables and cut them into 1 inch cubes.  Put the vegetables  into a crock pot with a removable stoneware insert.  Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt to taste.  Place the stoneware insert in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours.  Remove from oven and refrigerate overnight.  The next day, put the insert into the crock pot.  Add Parmesan cheese and the basil, stir lightly to mix.  Cook in the crock pot on high for 4 hours.

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Freshly washed Dragon's Tongue beans on the left and Pink Eyed Purple Podded Peas on the right.

Freshly washed Dragon’s Tongue beans on the left and Pink Eyed Purple Podded Peas on the right.

As part of  my Izannah Walker Doll Making Retreat in September, I cooked lunch for everyone, using some of the fresh produce from my gardens.  I promised to post recipes for a few of the favorites, so here they are.  Just in time for your 2013 garden planning!

Black Eyed Pea Salad

1-2 cups of shelled, cooked and cooled black eyed peas, pink eyed purple podded  peas or other field/cow peas (you may also substitute 1 can of rinsed black eyed peas)

1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into thin rings

4-6 cups of washed and dried field greens or young lettuces

optional: 1 cup of cooled, steamed “tender-crisp” young black eyed peas or pink eyed purple podded peas in the pod – cook them just as you would young green beans

1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar – or to taste

1/2 cup of olive oil

3/4 teaspoon sea salt – or to taste

1 teaspoon sugar – or to taste

Mix last four ingredients together in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake well.  Place black eyed peas, pea pods and onions in a bowl.  Pour all of the vinaigrette over the top.  Refrigerate at least one hour.  Before serving, place lettuce in a large salad bowl or individual bowls.  Spoon marinated peas, pods and onions over the top along with some of the vinaigrette.  Serve with croutons if desired.

Heirloom Dragon Tongue Beans in my garden.

Heirloom Dragon Tongue Beans in my garden.

MORE…

Another similar recipe, that is a favorite of mine, is this one that I’ve adapted from an heirloom Shaker receipt.

"Dill Marinated Beans" Dragon Tongue beans, Pink Eyed Purple Podded Peas and dill in jars, before adding vinaigrette.

“Dill Marinated Beans” Dragon Tongue beans, Pink Eyed Purple Podded Peas and dill in jars, before adding vinaigrette.

Dill Marinated Beans

6 cups of fresh beans and/or young field pea pods – cooked tender crisp in boiling salted water – then cooled

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar (or to taste)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt (or to taste)

1 teaspoon sugar (or to taste)

1 cup of fresh dill – roughly chopped

Place cooled, cooked beans and peas in clean jars with tight fitting lids (canning jars work perfectly for this).  Divide dill between the jars.  Pour the remaining vinaigrette ingredients into a separate jar, screw lid on tightly, shake well until thoroughly combined.  Pour the vinaigrette over the beans and dill, dividing evenly amongst the jars.  Cap the jars of beans and refrigerate at least overnight.  These are delicious served as a cold side dish, or spooned over mixed  greens as a salad.  They make wonderful picnic food too!

Fresh dill grown in a recycled granite-ware canning pot.

Fresh dill grown in a recycled granite-ware canning pot.

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One of the great pleasures of summer is homemade ice cream, frozen in a wooden ice cream freezer that is packed with layers of ice and rock salt.  I can not think of a single summer in my whole lifetime that has not included this sweet ritual.  My father still has the ice cream freezer that he has used for over half a century.  Mine is of a similar vintage that I found for $5 at a flea market.

Before you start imagining that my entire family possesses steel like biceps from churning all that ice cream, I must admit that while our freezers are vintage, they are also electric 🙂

This is the  ice cream recipe I use the most:

Title: Vanilla Ice Cream

Description:
This is my favorite receipe of Mom’s for Vanilla Ice Cream.   It wasn’t her favorite though, she was known to cut down on the sugar as she thought it was too sweet.   I think that it is just about right the way it is listed in the receipe.   Use very good vanilla.   I like ground vanilla beans because of their added depth of flavor.

Ingredients:
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 pint half & half
1/2 pint light cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 quart milk

Directions:
Heat Eagle Brand, eggs, sugar in top of double boiler.   Add half & half, cream and vanilla.
Add one quart of milk.   Cool in refrigerator.   Freeze in ice cream freezer.

Each year on my birthday, my husband bakes me a cake.  Since my birthday this year was just five days after my son’s wedding and our refrigerator was still full of left over wedding cake, I requested ice cream instead 🙂  I actually got two batches, vanilla on my birthday and blueberry a few days later, over the weekend, when our whole family gathered to celebrate.

To make the blueberry version I used the same recipe as above, but added two pints of fresh blueberries that I pureed in the blender.  I also increased the sugar to 2/3 of a cup.  Then topped the frozen ice cream with a generous amount of fresh whole blueberries.

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Wedding Cake Recipes

Even though these are modern recipes, I thought some of you might enjoy trying them.  They are the ones I used to make the Wedding Cake, Groom’s Cake and Pumpkin Tarts for my son’s wedding at the end of June.

This is the basic cake recipe that I started with.  It’s one I got years ago that was printed in the local newspaper when we lived in Minnesota.

Title: Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Description:
I like this best with ground vanilla beans. I buy mine from The Vanilla Company.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups butter
1 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour
pinch of salt
3 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
Cream butter & cream cheese.   Add sugar and cream well.   Add eggs one at a time and beat well.   Stir in flour and salt.   Add vanilla.   Bake in a 10 inch tube or bundt pan.   Start with a cold oven and bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours.

Wedding Cake

For Colin and JungHwa’s wedding cake I used this recipe, then I brushed the baked cake layers with Creme de Violette.  I made the frosting using this basic recipe:

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

I omitted most of the vanilla and added Creme de Violette instead.  The cake was decorated with organically grown wild and cultivated violets that I gathered, then pressed and dried.  I was forced to abandon all plans for intricate decorative icing when the heat soared into the 90’s on the day before the wedding.  As it was I was lucky to even keep the frosting on the cakes!

Chocolate Groom’s Cake

When I made the groom’s cake I took the same pound cake recipe, but this time I exchanged 1 cup of the flour for one cup of Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa.  I also splashed in a generous measure of Chambord and used liquid vanilla rather than ground vanilla beans. The baked cake layers were brushed with additional Chambord.

For the frosting I used the Especially Dark Chocolate Frosting recipe from the Hershey’s website.  I added more Chambord to the frosting as well.  This cake was decorated with a white and dark chocolate groom that was made in a vintage 1920’s chocolate mold.

Pumpkin Tarts

Because Colin loves pumpkin pie and often asks for it instead of  a birthday cake, I made a tower of pumpkin tarts for him in addition to his groom’s cake.

I love the molasses in the following recipe, so it’s the one I chose to use.  I did bake a real pumpkin, rather than using canned pumpkin.  Fortunately I had one Long Island Cheese pumpkin left in my pantry from last fall.  Did you know that pumpkins will often keep for over a year if stored in your house at room temperature.  Basically if it’s the right temperature for you then it’s right for pumpkins too 🙂  There is a photo that I love of Tasha Tudor’s house, showing pumpkins stored under one of her beds.

Title: New England Pumpkin Pie

Description:
This is the recipe from the back of the canned pumpkin canned by the One Pie Canning Co. of W. Paris, Maine 04289.   It is a little different than other recipes, mostly because of the molasses and the individual spices rather than using pumpkin pie spice.   I really like this version.

Ingredients:
1 can pumpkin
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. melted butter
1 1/2 cups milk or 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/8 cup molasses
1/2 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs

Directions:
Add dry ingredients to pumpkin, mix.   Stir in wet ingredients.   Pour into unbaked pie shell (9 inch) and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.   Reduce temp. to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 50 minutes.

I baked Colin’s wedding tarts in a heart shaped Nordicware muffin pan, which may have been discontinued, since I no longer see it on their website.  The tarts took about 30 minutes to bake at 350 degrees, but I would check them closely because this is going to vary depending on the pans you use.

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