W is for Watercress Winter Salad

W is for … Watercress Winter Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I just love when I can get my hand on those winter fruits. It’s one of the few things I look forward to when it’s frigid and icy.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Winter Salad

• Watercress, bunch, stems removed
• Spinach, medium sized bunch, stems removed
• Parsley, handful, stems removed
• Persimmon, ripe & sliced
• Physalis, handful halved
• Kumquats, sliced
• ¼ pomegranate arils
• Blackberries, handful
• Extra creamy Danish blue cheese, crumbled
• ¼ cup pecans tossed in vinaigrette
Persimmon Kumquat Maple Vinaigrette
• 1/3 persimmon, rough chop
• 2 kumquats, rough chop
• Splash of apple cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp pure Canadian maple syrup

Assembly
Winter Salad

1. Place watercress, spinach and parsley on a large serving plate.
2. Add persimmons, physalis, kumquats, pomegranate arils, blackberries and set aside.
Persimmon Kumquat Maple Vinaigrette
1. In a food processor add persimmon, kumquats, apple cider vinegar, olive oil & maple syrup until smooth and combined.
2. In a small bowl place pecans along with a tablespoon on vinaigrette and toss.
3. Sprinkle blue cheese and pecans over the salad and drizzle vinaigrette.
4. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a wonderful winter salad with such a great combination of well everything it was a delight to eat. It doesn’t take a little longer than a regular salad; but it’ worth in.

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Cape Gooseberry Pavlova

Cape Gooseberry Pavlova – Candy Coated Culinista

If there is one item that is on this blog in many different manifestations; besides a banana bread is definitely pavlova. I totally fess up to being obsessed with this dessert and I just can’t stop. I am always so eager and will always try a new pav recipe to see if I can find a new and better meringue.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 2 hours, or until meringues are dry
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
Meringues

• Egg whites from 3 eggs
• 1/8 tsp salt
• ¼ tsp cream of tartar
• 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
• 400g gooseberries husked and halved
Toffee Cape Gooseberries
• 8 gooseberries, papery husk intact
• ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
Yoghurt Cream
• 2/3 cup plain Greek yoghurt
• ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
• Scraped seeds of ¼ vanilla pod
• 1 ½ tbsp honey
• 2 ½ tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
Decoration
• confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Assembly
Meringues

1. Preheat oven to 275°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Make eight circles about 8 cm wide, so there are sixteen circles in total.
3. Flip paper over so drawn on side is face down; but still visible.
4. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment place egg whites and salt and whisk at medium-high speed until frothy.
5. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peak form.
6. Now add sugar a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is thick and glossy.
7. Place mixture into a piping bag and pipe meringue or spoon onto circles and using a spatula form the circle, ensuring they are not taller than 1 cm thick.
8. Bake for 2 hours or until the meringues are dry.
9. Turn off the oven and let the meringues remain inside until they are completely cool.
10. Once cooled remove from the oven and set aside.
Toffee
1. Peel back the husk from the gooseberries; but leave them attached and set aside.
2. Place sugar into a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook without stirring until the sugar melts and begins to brown around the edges.
3. Tilt and swirl until all the sugar melts evenly, and the sugar turn an amber colour.
4. Remove from the heat tilt pan and dip gooseberries into the toffee. Be extremely careful not to burn yourself. Let excess toffee drip away and place on a baking sheet or plate and set aside.
Yoghurt Cream
1. Using the electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the yoghurt, heavy cream, vanilla, honey and confectioners’ sugar.
2. Keep in the fridge until needed.

Assembly
1. Place a small dollop of yoghurt cream onto each serving plate.
2. Place meringue flat side down and add more yoghurt cream to the top of the meringue followed by the halved gooseberries and then top with another meringue flat side down. (making a sandwich)
3. Dust the tops of the meringue with confectioners’’ sugar and place one toffee dipped gooseberry atop the mini pavlova. Ensure you assemble as close to serving time as possible as the meringues will soften.

Tips
• Use a piping bag if desired to make meringue circles. (A piping bag isn’t required)
• Meringues can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment paper.
• Toffee and yoghurt cream can only be made no more than 2 hours in advance.
• To cut some sugar don’t dust the tops of the meringues with confectioners’ sugar or add confectioners’ sugar to the yogurt cream.
• Gooseberries in North America will be found as physalis, ground cherries or golden berries. It’s all the same family of husked small marbles sized orange fruits.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The pavlova was marshmallowy in the centre and crispy on top. I wasn’t fond of the colour; which was a little tan due to the cook time. The cook time was way off for me as I didn’t require anything near the 2 hours, so I pulled mine out at the 1 hourish mark. Usually I get a tan meringue when I add vanilla extract; but this was not the case here and it still had a tint. Now while this isn’t my favourite meringue recipe by any means, the circular meringues and toffee really peaked my interest and made this a restaurant worthy dessert. Not to mention a favourite fruit of mine, the gooseberry or in my neck of the woods the physalis, ground cherries or goldenberry was in play. I also enjoyed the addition of greek yoghut to the whipped cream as it added a nice tang that cut the sweet. This book has three different pavlova recipes so as they say on to the next.

Cape Gooseberry Pavlova – Candy Coated Culinista

Ground Cherry (Physalis) & Rhubarb Thanksgiving Practice Mini Pies

Ground Cherry (Physalis) & Rhubarb Thanksgiving Practice Mini Pies – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been dreading making a pie because every time I have made a pie crust it has never turned out right. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I wanted to practice making a pie before I make a pie for Thanksgiving dinner. To date when I make pies they are always a crumb crust and it’s time for me to work on the things that intimidate me.

Yield/Serving: 2 mini pies
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Pie Crust
• 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 11 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pats
• 6-10 tbsp cold water
Filling
Ground Cherries

• Ground cherries
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp golden brown sugar
Rhubarb
• 2 stalks of rhubarb, chopped
• 1 knob of ginger, minced
• 1 tsp ground ginger
• 2 tsp sugar
Egg Wash
• 1 egg whisked
• 4 tbsp whipping cream

Assembly
Pie Crust

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt and quickly whisk.
3. Add butter and work together with your fingertips until mixture is crumbly.
4. Add in cold water little by little until dough comes together.
5. Divide dough in half and roll out on a lightly floured surface and transfer to pie dishes.
6. Poke the dough with a fork all over.
7. Fill pie shells with dried beans or pie weights and bake for 12 minutes.
8. Remove the beans or weights and reduce the temperature to 350°F.
9. One bake set aside and quickly put together the pie fillings.
Filling
Ground Cherries & Rhubarb

1. In your first small bowl; mix ground cherries, cinnamon and golden brown sugar until ground cherries are coated.
2. In your second small bowl; mix rhubarb, ginger, ground ginger and sugar until rhubarb is coated.
3. Fill each pie and roll out the remaining dough.
4. Decorate pie with cut outs and a lattice design if you want to get creative. Just ensure you crimped the edges with a fork to seal the two pieces of dough together.
5. Wash with the eggs wash and sprinkle the ground cherry pie with golden brown sugar.
6. Bake for 1 hr to & 1 & 30 hrs depending on your oven and how thick your crust is. (Ensure the bottom of your crust is golden brown to ensure it has baked through.

Tips
• Have fun decorating the pie crust if you can. It was one of the more enjoyable parts of baking the pie besides eating the filling.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Ground Cherry & Physalis are also known as Golden berries, they all have the same cherry tomato look. Except the Farmer’s market variety were smaller as a whole and less sweet than the non-organic Golden berries from Colombia. Funny enough I actually enjoyed making this dough; because it actually turned out; which never happens for me. I even tried to decorate the pie because I was on such a high. The taste was not bad and I honoured these limited and very seasonal produce. I will have to avoid making pies with tops on them for now as the top was to0 thick and not flaky. This will probably be solved by rolling out the dough thinner; but for now open faced pies will continue to be my thing. I feel confident in making pasta now and I even pulled out my Ravioli stamper for sometime in the near future.

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