The third issue of Bloom (a Bloomington city magazine I do some writing for) is out and they’ve got the web site up and running with lots of the magazine’s content online. There is some of my stuff on the site here and here. (These are pdf files and kind of slow loading, at least on my computer.) The current issue isn't archived yet, but I have a piece in it on my effort to create a holiday feast with ingredients that come from within 100 miles of Bloomington. The meal was fabulous, in a kind of pathetic way. You can see what I mean when the article is archived (when the next issue comes out.)
Bloom is great fun and a great magazine, with excellent writing and photography (and no, I don’t mean mine.) Kudos to editor Malcolm Abrams for moving to our little town with his high falutin’ New York City ideas and starting this thing. Whoever would have thought?
The picture above is for a Persimmon Cranberry Trifle from the holiday feast story, a joint creation of mine (i.e., I said “Hey, can we make a trifle with persimmon? And how would cranberries do for some color?") and David Fletcher of BLU Culinary Arts (i.e., he did all the work.) It turned out to be delicious. If you have some persimmon pulp on your hands and want to do something other than the usual persimmon pudding, the recipe is available below.
Check out Bloom’s web site and enjoy!
Persimmon Cranberry Trifle
1 quart whole milk
1/3 cup corn starch
2 ¼ cup sugar, divided
2 whole eggs
8 egg yolks
¼ pound butter
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1 ½ cups persimmon pulp
1 bag fresh cranberries
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon crystallized ginger, chopped
2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1 recipe of your favorite sponge cake, or purchased sponge or pound cake
Whipped cream for garnish
Sugared chestnuts, for garnish (optional)
In medium pot or skillet, combine cranberries with 1 cup water and 1 cup of sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and berries begin to pop. Add crystallized ginger and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
For pastry cream:
Place butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of the milk with the cornstarch and stir to dissolve. Add whole eggs and yolks and whisk until combined.
In a medium pot heat remaining 3 cups milk with 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until it begins to form small bubbles around edges of pan.
Temper the egg mixture by whisking in small increments of the hot milk/sugar mixture to gradually warm it (adding the hot mixture all at once will scramble the eggs.) Return the mixture to the pot, pouring it through a sieve to remove any cornstarch lumps.
Over medium heat, cook the custard until it thickens (like pudding.) Immediately remove from heat and pour over butter and vanilla in reserved bowl. Whisk until butter is melted.
Chill over an ice bath until cool, then refrigerate for at least one hour.
Once pastry cream is chilled, remove from refrigerator and divide in half. Leave one half as is. Stir persimmon pulp into other half, with 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ground cloves. Whisk until smooth.
This trifle can be made in a single, large trifle bowl, or in 6-8 individual goblets. How you slice the cake will depend on how you intend to serve it. For the large bowl, slice cake into layers approximately 1 inch thick, and cut to fit snugly in bowl. For goblets, cut cake into cubes. For added texture, cake can be sprinkled lightly with sugar and toasted until crispy around edges.
Layer ingredients – cake, both pastry creams and cranberries in serving dish(es) according to your preference. We layered cranberries, persimmon cream, toasted cake cubes, vanilla cream, persimmon cream , cranberries, cake cubes, vanilla cream, and persimmon cream.
Let trifle sit in refrigerator until thoroughly chilled and ingredients start to meld, at least 6 hours.
Serve garnished with whipped cream and sugared chestnuts, if desired.