Vanilla and Turmeric Pannacotta with Hibiscus Syrup

Vanilla and Turmeric Pannacotta with Hibiscus Syrup

Vanilla and turmeric-flavored pannacotta with hibiscus syrup. A) A rich, creamy, colorful dessert, or B) a murder victim on a teaplate? You be the judge! (Hint: It’s A.)

Every now and again with this blog, we create a recipe so unrepentantly weird that it seems a shame not to share it with the world. This week, we’d like to introduce to you a dish based on a gorse* pannacotta that we encountered a few years ago at one of our favorite restaurants, Llys Meddig in Newport, Wales.

Our vacation snapshot of the original dessert is too low-quality to share with you – suffice it to say that it was a delight and well worth trying to recreate. Pannacotta is pretty much a three-ingredient recipe (cream, sugar, gelatin) in its simplest form; all we would need, apparently, is some gorse.

So if you ever need to make a dessert suitable for a Murder Mystery night, we’ve got you covered.

*explanation of what the heck gorse is below

Vanilla and Turmeric Pannacotta
The turmeric gives these pannacotta a beautiful golden color and a delicate spice.

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Mini Dutch Babies with Lemon Curd and Blueberries

Mini Dutch Baby Pancakes cooked in individual cast iron skillets. They puff up and turn a beautiful golden brown before we spoon in homemade lemon curd and sprinkle with fresh blueberries.

Vanilla Custard Tart with Berries

Vanilla custard tart with berries

Vanilla custard tart made from homemade pastry cream and an easy graham cracker crust, topped with fresh summer berries. Perfect for summer parties!

If there’s one challenge to keeping chickens – there aren’t, of course, there are dozens: keeping the dog out of the chicken pellets and poop, keeping the chickens out of the vegetable patch and flower border; keeping Bernie Sanders, our runty salmon favarolle, from being bullied by the other, bigger, chickens – but if there were only one challenge, it would be: what the hell do we do with all these eggs?

With seven hens, even giving them away to our friends and neighbors, we’re never shy of around six dozen eggs on the counter at any one moment, with five or six being added to the stock every day. Yes, there are worse problems to have, and most of the solutions are pretty delicious.

Vanilla Custard Tart with Berries
We topped our tart with strawberries, blackberries. golden berries and fresh mint.

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Insanely Delicious Key Lime Pie

Insanely Delicious Key Lime Pie
Tasting Key Lime Pie instantly makes me feel like I’m on vacation. It’s decadent, refreshing and just plain old fun.

It’s possible that I have scurvy because recently I cannot get enough citrus. And not like regular old lemons and grapefruits. Fancy fruit. Last week it was kumquats. This week, key limes.

Key Lime
Teeny, weeny key limes

The fact that they are both adorably wee versions of regular-sized fruit may have something to do with it. I admit it. I am undeniably attracted to Lilliputian produce.

Now I’m going to tell you a secret about key lime pie. You actually don’t need key limes to make it. Regular, grocery-store Persian limes taste just as delicious. I had never seen fresh key limes before (and they weren’t that expensive) so I decided to go for it but don’t fret if you can’t find them.

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Rhubarb Curd Tartlets with Whipped Mascarpone and Berries

Rhubarb Curd Tartlets with Mascarpone Cream and Berries

So you’ve made a batch of delicious Rhubarb-Lemon Curd. Well done, sir or lady! Now I suppose you want to know what you can do with it (other than devour it slathered on toast or Pound Cake, or, let’s be honest, from a spoon straight out of the jar). [Matt says: “What’s wrong with that?” Actually, he has a spoonful of rhubarb curd in his mouth at this very moment, so it’s more like “Mwro rong wiwa?”]

These are all perfectly respectable options but if you really want to step it up a notch, you could use it as a filling in a tiny little tart, slather it with whipped vanilla-flecked mascarpone cream and top it with beautiful, local, peak-season berries.

To me, these beauties just scream “Summer!” as well as “July 4th!” and also, “Eat me quick, before anyone knows you made me!” (also, “Our deep orange egg yolks turned the curd into an unfortunate beige hue, so whipped cream and berries are a perfect and delicious disguise”). Very long-winded tarts, these.

Rhubarb Curd Tartlets with Whipped Mascarpone and Berries

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Rhubarb-Lemon Curd

Creamy pudding-like rhubarb lemon curd makes a great filling for desserts or as a sweet spread on toast. Believe us, it’s a lot tastier than it looks!

Rhubarb Lemon Curd
Only 5 ingredients needed! (We thought we would be doing this chalk writing thing way more than we did.)

Rhubarb! Rhubarb!

Oh hello, I didn’t see you there.  Sorry, I was just recording some crowd noises. Now, where was I? Oh, yes, rhubarb. Lovely vegetable, er, fruit, er, whatever it is (it’s a vegetable).

We’re not yet growing rhubarb ourselves, but enough of our local farms seem to be doing so now that it’s relatively cheap and abundant. When we lived in the city, buying rhubarb always seemed to be an “either/or” proposition: we could either buy rhubarb, or we could pay our rent. We really had to have a plan for it ahead of time. That’s not the case now, and we’ll gladly buy it when it looks good, and then figure out what to do with it afterwards.

Our first batch this summer went into a crumble (eaten too fast to blog). The next batch became cocktails. Now we’re on to batch number three. We’ve already got a great recipe for lemony lemon curd, and one day Emily walked into the kitchen, eyed the pile of rhubarb, and said, “What do you think of making rhubarb lemon curd? Is that even a thing?”

It sounded pretty good, and with a little research we discovered that yes, it was a thing, but the various recipes floating around the internet seemed deficient in one way or another. Many were extremely complicated, requiring a double-boiler and an excessive number of steps. Others were insufficiently rhubarby, and if there’s one thing I require from a rhubarb recipe, it’s that it at least has the decency to taste of rhubarb. So we decided to nerd-up our own version  (translation: simplify and improve flavor).

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