Monday, January 22, 2007

Paté de Fruit

I have been cooped up inside the house with two delightful young women for the last few days. It has been cold. There was even snow very close to here. Snow on the Superstition Mountains (if you've ever watch a John Wayne movie, you've seen these imposing beauties). The snow is gone now, after all, this is the desert. Anyway, I spent most of the day in a cleaning mood. But I did take some time to use a few more of the lemons my neighbor so graciously gave me. Country etiquette says without exception that if someone gives you something like fruit or vegetables from their garden you say thank you by giving them something that you make from their gift. It's the Code of the West, and the Cowboy Way. It's also going into the care package my daughter and her roomie are taking back to Medschool with them. I personally love this one. My memory is somewhat dim but I seem to recall picking this up off of an Emeril Lagasse show. It is an all around recipe, the main fruit of Pineapple substitutes well with Canteloupe, the lemon is interchangeable with lime.

INGREDIENTS

one regular ripe pineapple, crowned, peeled, cored and diced (should yield about 1.5 lbs)
1/2 cup pure pectin
2 cups baker's sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (strain through a fine sieve)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
sugar for sanding

Grease an eight inch baking pan well (or just hose it down with cooking spray, that's what I do). In a small bowl, combine the pectin with 1/4 cup of the sugar and set aside.

Puree the pineapple cubes in a food processor until very smooth. Place that in a large, non-reactive sauce pan with the remaining 1 3/4 cups sugar, the lime juice and the lemon zest over high flame, stirring with a spoon until the sugar is fully dissolved. Bring this to a full boil, then reduce the flame to low and simmer for three minutes. Stirring constantly with a spoon.

Increase the flame to a medium high and return to a boil. Lose the spoon and switch off to a whisk and add in the pectin. Allow to boil at a medium rate, whisking occaisionally until reduced by at least a third. The resulting syrup should be very thick. As a matter of fact, I recommend wearing gloves or mitts and a stout apron while you do this because as it reaches the desired thickness it will start to spit and what it spits will stick and burn. Trust me, that hurts. Have some extra pectin and sugar available to adjust the thickness and flavor to your taste. My kids and I like this a bit more on the tart side, feel free to sweeten up as you care to do.

When reduced and quite thick transfer to the 8" pan and cool on a rack at least overnight. Remove in strips from the pan, and cut into small squares with a well oiled knife. Dredge these in the sanding sugar and serve. This is a perfect companion to Shortbread Tea Biscuits, or good to just munch on your way through the kitchen. Like a liver paté it is spreadable, and can do great things to a plain old mundane English muffin.

3B's

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How "fine" is the fine seive (there are many gradations of that)?

- oddjob

5:48 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

fine enough to catch the pulp and seeds. a standard tea strainer should do nicely.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous horsedooty said...

as a practicing diabetic you are killing me.

yo soy Horsedooty!

9:01 PM  
Anonymous shades of blue said...

OT-roast veggies.
Well I gave away my venison roast, I couldn't resist the 'you owe me big time' points I racked up.
I used a pork loin instead.
You were right-they did not incinerate at 425 much to my relief.
My kids and I loved them.

Since then I've been experimenting like crazy.
I've been craving limes so I did a Thai type thing w/lime, lime zest, garlic, onions, honey, shoyu, ginger, cayenne, fresh parsley and of course sea salt/pepper.
I poured this over cauliflower, carrots and rutabaga and roasted.
Served this w/red snapper.
It was so good my son wants it again tonite.
Thanks for opening up a new world!

9:42 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

get all the lime eating that you can in. our crop was murdered by the freeze.

3:49 PM  

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