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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Just in Time for Christmas Eve

A couple of oldies but goodies from the hot drinks book are featured today on STC Cooks: mulled wine, and broiled dates stuffed with curried cheddar, apple, and walnuts. I'd almost forgotten about those dates, but I may just have to indulge. Especially since I still have a few of the amazing selection of a dozen or so very different varieties of dates my dear friend Heidi sent us from Dubai, where she's lived for almost a year now. Win!

5 comments:

Heidi said...

Finally catching up after Egypt...

Have I mentioned that my favorites are the Mabroom dates? I think Sofry (?) are the second choice. We have only been buying Mabroom lately but we need to eat some of the others too.

Mrs. Scrimp said...

Lianna-

This isn't actually a comment on your post. I was looking for an email address here on your blog to contact you with a question, but I wasn't able to find one.

I was given a copy of your canning book as a Christmas gift and was absolutely thrilled with it. I'm very excited to start trying all the recipes, but the price of green apples is pretty high in our area right now and I happen to have some Pomona's Universal Pectin on hand. I was wondering if you had any advice or recommendations for how to substitute Pomona's in your recipes.

I did see there was a note about this in the introduction, but wanted to delve a little deeper if possible.

Basically my concern is that the green apple pectin seems to add a lot of liquid volume to a recipe, where Pomona's, of course, doesn't. Would you recommend adding water to make up the lost volume? I'm concerned that this would drastically dilute the flavor, so I imagine it would be better, if one is going to veer from the recipe and use Pomona's instead of the homemade pectin preparation, to make up for the lost yield by doubling the recipe.

If it matters, the recipe in question for me here is the Cabernet Sauvignon Jelly on page 241.

I hope you don't mind the imposition of the question. Let me take this opportunity to say as well that your cookbook is beautiful and I plan to spend the next year trying pretty much all of your recipes.

Liana Krissoff said...

Heidi: I like the Mabroom dates too. I don't remember Sofry, but I'll go take a look at our stash and try one.

Mrs. Scrimp: Thank you for writing! That's a good question. It looks like the Pomona's website has directions for a Chardonnay jelly that you might be able to adapt; weirdly, it uses a blender to combine hot orange juice and pectin powder before using the solution in the jelly. I've never made wine jelly with Pomona's—or indeed any kind of powdered pectin—so I'm just speculating here, but perhaps you could just substitute regular apple juice or white grape juice for the pectin stock (or skip the wine reducing step?), reduce the sugar fairly substantially (remember Pomona's doesn't require sugar to gel), use a little more lemon juice, and add, say, 2 teaspoons calcium water and 4 teaspoons powdered pectin? For details, see the Pomona's website downloads here: http://www.pomonapectin.com/directionsandrec.html

Good luck!

Mrs. Scrimp said...

Lianna, thanks so much for the prompt response! I'm going to go ahead and give this a whirl (probably combining your recipe with Pomona's somehow) and I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out.

Liana Krissoff said...

Awesome. Please do let us know what you do and how it works—it'd surely be useful for other folks, too!