Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pressure Cooker Apple Sauce - Vegan


Pressure Cooker Apple Sauce
modified from Pressure Perfect by Lorna Sass
yields approximately 3.5 cups

.75 C water
2 lbs mixed apples (winesap, cortland, empire, braeburn, smokehouse)
one of the following: 3 sticks cinnamon, 8 whole cardamom pods, 1 t ground coriander, 6 whole cloves

Peel, core and quarter the apples. If using apples of inequal size, cut larger units into eights.

Combine water and spices in a 6 quart or larger pressure cooker. Add the prepared apples.

Lock the lid in place. Over high heat, bring cooker to high pressure; immediately turn off heat. Allow the pressure to come down naturally for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the lid.

Remove whole spices from cooker and discard. Use a slotted spoon to remove apples from cooker to the bowl of a food processor. Pour about .25 cup juices from cooker over apples; pour remainder into a separate container and reserve. Let apples cool for 5-8 minutes before processing. Purée apples until fine, 2-3 minutes on high speed, adding reserved juices as necessary to smooth the sauce.

Pour into sterilised jars, leaving .5-inch headspace. Lid jars and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours before labelling and storing.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunflower Honey Brittle - Almost Vegan

sunflower honey brittle

Sunflower Honey Brittle
adapted from the urban vegan
makes one 12 x 17-inch sheet

1.5 C granulated sugar
.25 C corn cyrup
.25 C clover honey
1/8 t kosher salt
.25 C water

2.5 C raw, hulled sunflower seeds

1 t vanilla extract
1 t baking soda

Combine sugar, corn syrup, honey, salt and water in a medium saucepot. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once sugar is dissolved, cover pot and cook for 2 minutes over medium. Alternatively, use a pastry brush to wash down sides of pot with water.

Cook mixture to 240ºF, stirring infrequently and only after the mixture is above 215ºF. Stir in sunflower seeds. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the candy reaches 310ºF.
Remove from heat. Add vanilla and baking soda and stir to combine; a large amoung of foaming will occur. Pour hot candy onto prepared slab or sheet pan. Use prepared spatula to spread brittle to a .25-inch thickness.

Let brittle cool completely before breaking into large pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookies - Vegan

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookies
makes about 20 cookies

1 C bread flour
.25 C AP flour
.75 C white whole wheat flour
.75 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
1 t ginger
1 t cinnamon
.25 c nutmeg

3/8 C margarine
1/8 C shortening
3/8 C sugar
3/8 C packed light-brown sugar
.25 C pumpkin purée

Creaming method.

Divide dough in two. Between two pieces of parchment paper, roll out half of dough to .25-inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet and chill for 8 minutes in the freezer. Repeat with remaining half of dough.

Preheat oven to 350º.

Cut dough with a shaped cookie cutter. Transfer shapes to a lined baking sheet. Freeze cookies on sheet for 15 minutes prior to baking.

Bake for 12-16 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned around the edges and puffing is reduced. Cool on pan 3 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Winter Squah: Jarrahdale

Average weight: 12-13 lbs
Excellent for baking.

A large New Zealand pumpkin with a tough blue-green-silver shell. A moderately long keeper - at least 3 months with proper treatment. Sometimes round, sometimes squat, always deeply ridged. The innards are dry and easily removed; the seeds are unusually large and plump.

Raw, the flesh is dry, thick and fine-grained. Roasted, the flesh remains fine and very hearty. Add several tablespoons water to the roasted flesh before processing. Pass through a sieve for optimal texture. Excess water will separate after a few hours of refrigeration.

Steamed, excellent. The dry nature of the flesh agrees with a wet cooking method, steaming by pressure cooker in particular. Some additional liquid may still be necessary to purée.

The sweet, tender flesh is excellent for sweet applications. The rich texture stands up well in soups, gratins and as a dish in and of itself.