Coconut Milk Panna Cotta Parfaits

 

Today I am really excited to share with you this perfect autumn dessert that I was inspired to create for a dinner party recently. It features preserved fruits and is sweetened with maple. This cute dessert is perfect to take with you to any upcoming holiday celebration, whether you are celebrating Autumn, Harvest Season, Halloween, Samhain, Thanksgiving, etc.

Made in small mason jars, not only is this dessert rustic chic, but highly portable! Just screw the lid on and you are good to go! It is also a great dessert for groups since it is allergen friendly, as it is dairy, egg, refined sugar and gluten free. If you experiment by using agar-agar, it is also vegetarian and vegan friendly. You can also play with the flavors by using different sweeteners, like raw honey or stevia and by using different spices and various types of preserved fruit. If you don’t have preserved fruit, a small layer of homemade jam would be perfect, or how about some sweetened pumpkin puree and topped with crumbled candied nuts?

The most important thing about this dessert is that it tastes delicious, it is luscious, creamy and dreamy, not too sweet but easily satisfying those with a sweet tooth and you can play so much with the basic recipe to make it your own. It is so versatile that you can make it for more than one celebration by making it several different ways! So whip some up today and enjoy this beautiful harvest season!

INGREDIENTS:

2 ½ cups canned coconut milk (regular, not lite) – I use Native Harvest because they have BPA-free cans
¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp of cinnamon or crushed cardamom (or a combination!)
¼ cup water
1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 pint of preserved fruit – I used plums from last year’s larder
2 or 3 gluten free cookies – I used some leftover pfeffernusse shortbread (use nuts to make the dessert grain free)

METHOD:

Pour the coconut milk into a small pan and heat on the lowest setting until small bubbles form on the edges of the pan. In the meantime, in a small bowl pour a quarter cup of water and add the gelatin, whisking briskly until thoroughly combined. Set aside until the coconut milk has started to bubble, add maple syrup, vanilla extract and spices to the coconut milk once it has started to bubble slightly.

Remove the coconut mixture from the heat and add a quarter cup of it to the gelatin whisking briskly to incorporate, making sure there are no lumps. Add this back to the pan with the rest of the coconut milk, whisk to combine and then remove pan from heat.

Using ½ pint mason jars, place some preserved fruit on the bottom of the jar, then cover with some of the coconut milk mixture. You will be doing this layering one more time, so make sure to save enough. I just eyeballed it. Put the rest of the coconut milk mixture back on the stove on the lowest heat possible. You want to make sure that it doesn’t cool all the way and start to congeal, so using a whisk stir once in a while.

Put the mason jars in the freezer for about 30-40 minutes, until softly set. Remove from freezer and let the jars come to room temperature (ish). You want to make sure that you aren’t adding hot liquid to frozen glass, as this will cause the glass to break. Then add another layer of preserved fruit, and then the rest of the coconut milk mixture, add another layer of preserved fruit and then crush some cookies on top and put in the fridge for about 2 hours until top layer sets. Keep in the refrigerator until it is time to serve. Serves 6

Homemade Nutella for Norway

 

I really wish I had a Norwegian recipe to post today. I have been really saddened by the tragic events in Oslo on Friday. As many of my readers know, I spent a year in Norway as an exchange student, in between high school and college, and I have very fond and vivid memories of my life there. The people, culture and independent spirit of Norway all have a very special place in my heart. I formed many long lasting friendships that year and still have many good friends and loved ones that live there, and a lot of them currently reside in Oslo. So  Friday and Saturday were scary days waiting to hear from everyone.

Photo Courtesy

JEG ELSKER NORGE!

I have been comforted these past few days by these words by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg:

“You will not destroy us. You will not destroy our democracy, or our commitment to a better world. We are a small country nation, but a proud nation. No one shall bomb us to silence, no one shall shoot us to silence, no one shall scare us out of being Norway. We must never stop standing up for our values. We must show that the Norwegian society can stand up to these testing times. We must show humanity, but not naivety.”

I keep reading this over and over and praying for the truth in those words. As an American, experiencing 9/11 and seeing the aftermath of such events and in many ways the loss of our many freedoms and our independent spirit, I can only hope that the Norwegians will keep that alive.

Although I know this does nothing, other than feebly lend support and love to my Norwegian friends and Norwegians all over the world, you can check out some of my Norwegian and Scandinavian inspired recipes from the past. Comfort food really is a comfort and can aid in feeding our spirit during trying times.

I spent all of Friday sweating over steamy vats of curds and whey and fluffing cheese curds at The Cellars at Jasper Hill – that is something for another post though…so when I got home that night, I hadn’t heard anything about what was going on in Norway. One of my best friends lives in Oslo, and so Roberto really was worried about telling me what had happened, but luckily she had posted on my facebook wall that everything was OK, and like a lot of other Norwegians, she and her husband were out of the country on holiday.

So in lieu of posting a Norwegian recipe, I am going to post about making homemade Nutella, because the first time I ever tasted Nutella it was in Norway. The first time I had it, I thought it was a Norwegian invention, and I was hooked! When I returned to the US, after my year in Norway, I was lucky to be able to find it in the grocery stores here, and so it has always been a staple in my house. Then I married an Italian (Italy is the actual birthplace of Nutella) and we just always had a jar in the pantry…until we noticed the ingredient profile had changed and it now included soy lecithin and vanillin – artificial vanilla …so we stopped buying it. We have found and tried several organic and more healthy versions, but they never really tasted that good, and were expensive.

In comes The Spunky Coconut blog. I am an avid fan of both the blog and the cookbook – The Spunky Coconut has really changed my life in a lot of ways, her baked goods are all gluten and grain free and don’t contain weird fillers and gums, like a lot of gluten-free baked goods do. I have tried several of her recipes, and they have all been fantastic – perfect taste and texture every time – and they don’t require any tweaking, which makes my life so easy!

So when she posted a recipe for homemade Nutella on her blog, I felt like our prayers had been answered – especially for Roberto.

The only thing I changed about the recipe was by adding a bit of maple syrup at the end to taste. Roberto, the official taste tester felt that it wasn’t sweet enough. I probably ended up adding a little shy of ¼ cup of it after all was said and done. The recipe makes 3-4 small mason jars full, and she says in the comments that she actually froze one jar of it – but I am not sure if it turned out OK.

Roberto’s tasting notes: Regular Nutella is now way too sweet for us (we have cut down on a lot of sugar and don’t use any refined sugar products), and it has more of a bitter dark chocolate taste than regular Nutella, however because it is less sweet, he says it is more versatile. He has been enjoying it spread on The Spunky Coconut’s Boulder Banana Bread (minus the walnuts, I usually add about 2 TBS of almond butter).

Mother’s Day Brunch

 

(mom and me)

 

I know I am a little late with this. Mother’s Day has come and gone for this year. But I have had some things on my mind. For the past month or so, when it comes to blogging, I have been standing on my soapbox, discussing issues related to food, that are close to my heart – body image, omnivorism, homesteading, food sovereignty… But I am back to recipes now, and even though I made this for Mom on Mother’s day, this would be a great menu for any Sunday brunch and why not have one this weekend?

Baked Homegrown Eggs with Local Mushrooms, Goat Cheese and White Truffle Oil
Local Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Local Maple Sausage Patties
Grain-free Coffee Cake
Homemade Yogurt and Berries with Maple
Fresh Brewed Coffee with Local Cream
Pear Bellini

I was blessed this Mother’s Day to have my mom in my company. See, she lives in Florida, and with us in Vermont, it isn’t easy to get together to celebrate all the special days in the year. But this year she decided to come to visit us for Mother’s Day and I wanted it to be special and memorable. I searched all around for a local place doing the typical nice Mother’s Day Brunch buffet, but was disappointed with the offerings. I was lamenting this on facebook, and someone suggested I make brunch myself, and that is exactly what I ended up doing. It ended up being great!

 

(Grain-Free Coffee Cake from The Spunky Coconut)

I recently purchased a copy of The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts: Gluten Free, Casein Free, and Often Egg FreeHealthy Diet Cooking Books) and I was really excited to try some baked goods. Kelly, the author, and The Spunky Coconut herself, uses a lot of white beans in the base of her baked goodies. Since I like to cook as grain free as possible, this really intrigued me. It has literally been YEARS, since I had a coffee cake, but I used to love them, so I decided to try Kelly’s grain free version. The cake was delicious and power-packed with nutrients– between the beans, the eggs and the nuts, it is full of good for you goodness, but not at the expense of flavor or texture – one of the biggest issues I have had with gluten-free baking. The only thing I would change about the recipe is to cut the amount of nuts. It was a bit too crunchy, where we would have preferred cakey.

 

(Baked Homegrown Eggs with Local Mushrooms, Goat Cheese and White Truffle Oil)

The other main dish I prepared was a baked egg dish with eggs from our sweet hens, chanterelle and local oyster mushrooms, fresh chives from the garden and local goat cheese, all drizzled with the last of the white truffle oil we got in Italy, while with Roberto’s mom. It seemed a fitting way to honor her in the meal, even if she couldn’t be with us to share it.

We also had roasted potatoes, maple sausage from Applecheek Farm delicious locally roasted brewed coffee from Barista’s Beans, and homemade yogurt with local blueberries and currants (both harvested last year and frozen for winter eating), drizzled with local maple syrup and to top it all off, pear bellini (sparkling wine/champagne and pear nectar).

 

(Farmchic Tablescape)

It was an elegant (for us!) and casual brunch all at once and we had a lot of good laughs and enjoyable conversation all together. We had flowers on the table and fresh linens, which is about as fancy as we get here on the homestead!

Grain-Free Coffee Cake from The Spunky Coconut

Set oven to 325 F

Add to food processor:
2 cups of room temperature cooked beans – navy or great Northern.
6 eggs
¾ tsp vanilla liquid stevia *
1 tsp vanilla extract*
1/3 cup honey*
*I didn’t have the liquid stevia, so instead I just used a little extra honey with the vanilla extract
Puree well

Add:
¼ cup coconut oil, liquefied
1/3 cup coconut flour
½ tsp sea salt
¾ cup baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Puree well, pour batter into a greased 9×13 pan

Crumble Topping:
Puree:
3 cups walnuts (I used soaked almonds, since I am allergic to walnuts, and next time I think I will use @2 cups instead)
2 TBS ghee or coconut oil
½ cup coconut sugar
1 TBS cinnamon
Spread the crumble over the top of the batter. Using a fork or knife, really swirl the topping into the batter, and pat the topping down. Bake for about 25 minutes. Great hot, or cold from the refrigerator, store in the fridge.

Baked Homegrown Eggs with Local Mushrooms, Goat Cheese and White Truffle Oil

INGREDIENTS:
2 large fresh oyster mushrooms
A palm full of reconstituted dried chanterelle mushrooms
2 TBS butter
2 TBS fresh chives
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
5 large fresh eggs
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
Salt & pepper
1 TBS white truffle oil

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium sized cast iron skillet sauté the mushrooms with the butter. Add one TBS of the chives. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on the bottom of a silicon round cake pan. Scramble eggs in a separate bowl with salt and pepper, add the sautéed mushrooms and chives to the eggs and then pour into the cake pan and sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the egg is cooked and drizzle with the truffle oil.

Sugar on Snow

 

 

The sap is running! Surely a sign of spring, in the northern woods, but with a fresh 3 inches of snow on the ground, from a storm that hit on Monday, it looks like winter, still.

Luckily, this past weekend, we did get a few spring-like days. Good for all the locals and tourists who were enjoying the annual Vermont Maple Open House Weekend!

The Open House Weekend is a celebration open to the public of the maple syrup season in Vermont. It is an opportunity for the public to visit one or more “sugarhouses” throughout the state to learn about Vermont’s first agricultural crop of the year. Activities during this free event are different at each sugarhouse but include the opportunity to watch maple syrup being made (weather permitting) and often sample syrup and other maple products.

We decided to stay close to home, and actually found a sugar shack right down the road from us. So we dropped in on our neighbors, the Cook’s. We got a nice tour of the sugar shack and learned all about how the maple sap is turned into maple syrup and then how it is graded. There is a lot to it, more than just boiling down sap. One day I hope to tap some of our trees. But until that day, we can enjoy the Cook’s syrup!

 

(photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Outside in the yard, we enjoyed a time honored Vermont tradition of Sugar on Snow, also known as maple taffy. This is definitely a reason not to curse snow at this time of year! The maple sap is boiled past the point for syrup, it is then poured, in its molten state in little puddles on top of fresh snow. If it does not form a puddle, then it needs to be boiled longer.

 

To eat it a fork is twirled in the puddle (kind of like twirling spaghetti) and sampled right off the fork. It is surprisingly addictive. The maple flavor is intense.  We were the last guests at the Cook’s and so they told us we could finish off the last tray of the sugar on snow, which I thought there was no way we could. But it was so good, we couldn’t stop eating it and we finished it off! Traditionally sugar on snow is served with donuts, sour dill pickles, and coffee. The pickles and coffee serve to counter the intense sweetness of the candy. The Cook’s had donuts and dill pickles. The combination really worked. We enjoyed their sugar on snow so much that we bought a half gallon of their syrup and they were kind enough to give us a sample of their maple glazed nuts. So delicious!

Sugar on Snow parties are popular here in northern New England as well as the Quebec region of Canada, where it is known as tire d’érable. If you want to host your own Sugar on Snow party this weekend, here is a great recipe and article to get you started!

 

The BEST Gluten-Free Pancakes EVER!

 

Many of my regular readers and Facebook followers will know that I have been trying to find the perfect pancake recipe for a while with many disasters. When I was still eating wheat, I was trying to find a good sourdough version, and did with my Sourdough Crêpes. Then, once I became gluten-free, I managed the perfect Coconut Pancakes -wheat-free, grain free pancakes using coconut flour. But these yeasted buckwheat pancakes that ferment overnight are absolutely incredible. They are the best pancakes I have actually ever tasted, restrictions aside. Plus they are gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free – perfect for people with multiple intolerances/allergies.

My dear readers, these pancakes were so good, that I almost cried. Seriously. When you have food intolerances, it is the simple foods that are the hardest to find substitutes for – things like pancakes, pizza crust, pie crust, and bread etc – all the quick and easy go-to foods. Plus for us, Sunday morning pancakes and Friday evening pizza had become traditions that we shared and looked forward to every week. So losing the tradition aspect is really hard.

When you don’t have a substitute you experience many frustrating moments in the kitchen. These are not recipes you can just come up with in the moment either. Learning to bake without wheat, grains, eggs or dairy for that matter means you can’t use the old techniques that you are used to. You have to learn how the new flours work, which leavening agents to use, how to thicken without eggs, etc. Many on-the-fly experiences end in disaster, leading to more frustration.

Sometimes all you want is a regular ‘ol grilled cheese sandwich, or a plate of pancakes with butter and maple syrup.

These pancakes answer the call.

 

I cannot take the credit though; these pancakes are the recipe of my gluten-free guru and good friend Amy Green from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. Based on a recipe she got from Beard On Bread by James Beard. I love her recipes because I know that I can eat them. There is no gluten or refined sugars in her recipes which means I don’t have to think about substitutions. She really is quite an amazing cook and well educated in the culinary arts – she is currently going to culinary school a lifelong dream she thought she would never realize because of her gluten issues. But she is there learning, and then comes home and applies her learning to figuring out gluten free versions to the most prized baked goods – things like croissants and cream puffs. Can’t wait for those!

Whether it is her mission or not, she takes the guesswork out of it for people like me who are just learning to live a life without gluten and who has a spouse that loves his breads and pastries. I think what makes Amy’s style so appealing is that her husband is not gluten-free either and yet they eat the same meals, so in her quest to feed him the foods he loves, she has to come up with gluten-free versions that are close to the real deal! Which is exactly what I need!

 

So if you are gluten-free or thinking about going that route, I strongly suggest you get her newly released cookbook Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less, it is full of delicious recipes that even your non-gluten-free friends and family will enjoy! If you purchase it through my link, I will get a small kickback.
Now that I know how much I love these pancakes, I will likely make 2 batches and freeze one. If you are a small family, you might even have leftovers from the initial batch. This will make quick breakfasts nutritious and delicious!

*TIP: I always preheat my oven to 200F, and as each batch of pancakes finishes, I put them on a cookie sheet in the oven to keep them warm. Once all the pancakes are cooked, the cast iron skillet is nice and clean and hot to cook bacon or sausage.

Now for the recipe

Yeasted Buckwheat Pancakes


makes about 20 (3-inch) pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

1 package (7 grams) instant dry yeast
2 cups (500 grams) warm water (about 100°F)
1 teaspoon (4 grams) kosher salt
2 cups (260 grams) buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons (42 grams) blackstrap molasses ( I used date syrup)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, melted

I also added 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

METHOD:
Combine the yeast, warm water, salt, and buckwheat flour in a large bowl. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let it sit overnight.
The next day, mix in the molasses or date syrup, baking soda, and melted butter. The batter will be relatively thin. Heat a large pan or griddle over medium heat. Lightly butter the surface and drop 1/4 cup of the batter onto the hot surface. Let it cook until the surface bubbles, then flip it and let it cook all the way through, about 30 seconds. Serve hot with butter and warm honey (we did butter and maple).

Trail Mix and Raw Milk Hot Cocoa

 

Well since Old Man Winter came back with a vengeance last night, I figured I would honor him by posting about one of my favorite winter activities, snowshoeing. I thought this post was going to have to wait until next winter, as we had a definite hearkening of spring this past week. But last night we got hit with the biggest storm of the year by far, with at least 2 feet – and it is still coming down!

Roberto and I discovered snowshoeing last year, and this winter we decided to get our own snowshoes. This morning they came in handy when we had to go out to collect firewood in 4 foot snow drifts, and are very practical when living in a climate such as ours, just to survive and do chores around the house. But they are also a great source of fun for us during the long winter months.

 

(If this picture looks familiar it is because you have likely seen it before, but usually it is bare feet and there is sand instead of snow!)

Snowshoes and cross-country skiing are pretty big sports in Vermont and much like when I lived in Norway, people make a day of going on an adventure. There is nothing like being out in the woods following deer trails or making your own path through the forest. It is not only great exercise, especially towards the latter part of the season, when even with snowshoes on, you sink to about knee high, but it is also breathtakingly gorgeous. The views are all for you, you feel like you are alone in the world, and it is so quiet you can almost hear the snow fall. My favorite time to be out snowshoeing is in the middle of a storm – when you feel very much like you are walking in one of Mother Nature’s snow globes. I always picture it on one of her shelves with the words “walking in a winter wonderland” on it.

Since snowshoeing does take a lot of energy, we always make sure to bring nourishing snacks with us. We usually find a beautiful spot to stop and have a nice snack. Our staple snack is always homemade trail mix. We usually also have a nice bar of dark, fair trade chocolate and sometimes a Tanka Bar. But the trail mix is a must. It is a nice hearty combination of dried fruits and soaked nuts.

 

In Norway, when I used to go ut på tur, or out on a walk – which in the winter meant cross-country skiing, we always brought a nice thermos of something hot to enjoy on our break. So I carried the tradition to our snowshoeing tur here in Vermont. Usually I bring raw milk cocoa, and sometimes I bring a lovely thermos of spicy tea. I learned to make raw milk cocoa from some friends in New Hampshire. It is a revelation in its simplicity. I don’t even feel the need to sweeten it because raw milk is already sweeter than pasteurized milk. So this makes it a definite “health drink” as opposed to a splurge. Regardless, the break and the snack help to re-fuel us for the journey back home.

But trail mix really is good for any time of year. It is a well-balanced snack and definitely keeps you going. So even if it is already spring where you are – make up a batch today and enjoy on the go!

***********************************************

Trail Mix

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup raw soaked and dried organic almonds
1 cup raw soaked and dried organic cashews
½ cup of raw soaked and dried pepitas
½ cup dried (organic, no sugar added, un-sulfured) blueberries
½ cup dried (organic, no sugar added, un-sulfured) cherries
¼ cup dried (organic, no sugar added, un-sulfured) Turkish apricots
*You could also add dark chocolate or carob chips, or other fried fruits as suits your palate

METHOD:

Here is a great link for the whys and hows of soaking and drying nuts. You can also chose not to soak them. Mix all ingredients together.

Raw Milk Cocoa

For each serving:

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz raw milk
3 TBS fair trade cocoa powder
Pinch of cinnamon
Maple syrup to sweeten

METHOD:

Heat raw milk in a saucepan for about 3-5 minutes, over medium heat, until hot but not boiling. Stir in cocoa powder and cinnamon. Sweeten with maple.

Homemade Granola

We enjoy dessert almost every night, here on the homestead. The most typical one being homemade yogurt, usually Filmjölk (Swedish counter-top cultured yogurt) with mix-ins. Look for a recipe for Filmjölk coming up later this week. Mix-ins are usually dried or freeze dried fruit, pumpkin puree, nut butters, cocoa nibs and either maple or goat’s milk cajeta stirred in for a little sweetness. Personally I also like a liberal dusting of cinnamon on top!

We also like granola. But good granola can be very expensive, and usually any store-bought granola, even the organic varieties, contain sweeteners and oils that I try to stay away from. So after many months of thinking about making my own, I finally did, and it was awesome!

I looked at several different granola recipes, and settled on this one from Passionate Homemaking, however I did not end up mixing in any extra fruits even though I meant to. I think this calls for a next time! However for my next batch, I am going to use some muesli that I have instead of just plain oats, so that I can get the added crunch and benefit of the seeds and other grains that are in there and then of course add some coconut, which we both love.

This granola was deliciously crunchy and very satisfying and really easy to make!

INGREDIENTS:

8 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups kefir or cultured buttermilk (yogurt often produces a very tart flavor, unless you are skipping the soaking step)
1-2 cups water (use only as much as needed to produce a moist consistency for soaking)
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2-3/4 cup maple syrup (I increased the sweetener just a tad from the original, and I think it was almost perfect – so flex as you desire!)
1 tsp sea salt
4 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp vanilla extract

EXTRAS:
1 cup dried shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped pumpkin seeds (I used the pumpkin seeds!)
1/4 cup minced dried figs (optional)
1 cup nuts (optional) – chopped almonds is wonderful!
1 cup dried apples, chopped

METHOD:

Mix oats with the melted butter and oil, kefir and water in a large bowl. Cover with a cloth and/or plate and allow to sit at cool room temperature for 24 hours. After the soaking time, preheat the oven to 200° F (93° C).

Place honey, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla in a glass measuring cup in a small pot of warm water on the stove. Bring water to a gentle simmer, stirring honey mixture, until honey becomes thin.

Combine honey and oat mixtures, mixing to incorporate.

Spread mixture out over two parchment paper-lined cookie sheets (don’t use regular paper – I learned this lesson the hard way!). Bake for 2-4 hours, until granola is dry and crisp. Allow to cool in oven before removing to a container. It will get crisper at it cools. Once cool, add your extras, like dried fruits, etc. Makes 5 quarts of granola.

I also want to take this moment, as a rural homesteader to stand in solidarity with all my Urban Homesteader friends! Today is the Urban Homesteaders Day of Action! Recently the words “Urban Homesteading” were trade-marked by The Dervaes family of Pasadena, California. As you can imagine this action has created quite a stir on the internet by bloggers, writers and websites that also Urban Homestead or have Urban Homesteading as a title for their blog, or books, magazine articles, etc. Since the trademark, the Dervaes family has used their legal rights to have facebook pages taken down, as well as letters sent to bloggers that have also been using the words. Many of us feel that this family has co-opted a movement, and we don’t like it!  So today is a call to action! If you are an Urban Homesteader please share your story on your blog, and show that this is a movement, and not a trademark. Something that has been around even longer than the Dervaes family themselves! To learn more about the events surrounding this call to action, please check out these articles.

The Green Movement Trademarking Controversy

Dervaes Family Trademarks “Urban Homestead” Term: Legal Battle Follows

Pulled Pork with Apple Barbecue Sauce

This was the runner-up from last week’s informal poll on my facebook page about what recipes you wanted to see first from my list of back-logged posts. We enjoyed this dish for New Year’s Day – and many days after! This is a perfect dish for entertaining, because there is very little hands-on work. Just let the crock pot do all the work.  Plus it feeds so many mouths and you can make amazing soups and stews with the leftovers of leftovers!

We served it with homemade Sauerkraut with Juniper Berries and an updated version of Nana’s Beans. The post for the beans shows you how my recipes have evolved as I have gotten into more healthy ways of preparing foods.

I was inspired to make an apple barbecue sauce because I wanted a sweeter sauce and have been experimenting a lot lately with fruit-sweetening. I had quite a few apples in the fridge and some apple cider left over from the holidays, and so a plan was born.

This was delicious! The pork fell off the bone and melted in your mouth. The sauce was a nice accompaniment, but absolutely not necessary – the pork honestly stands alone in this dish. Granted it was a nice roast, made from local pork. So you use your discretion on that one. But the sauce is worth making as it is great with chicken, on burgers and sweet potato fries too. A really nice all around homemade condiment that you will enjoy having in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS:

6 lb, bone in, pasture-raised Pork Roast
1 TBS maple sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp each: smoked paprika, green chili powder, Mexican mole seasoning, dried thyme and basil
Salt & pepper
¼ cup raw apple cider

For the Sauce:

½ an organic apple, cut in chunks
1/3 cup raw apple cider
1 cup tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
2 TBS maple sugar
¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
1 tsp each: coriander, cumin, paprika, thyme, basil

METHOD:

Rub pork with maple sugar and spices, wrap up tightly and store in fridge overnight. Next day put roast in crockpot with apple cider. Put crockpot on high for 8 hours, flip the roast and continue to cook on low for about another 2 hours.
Meanwhile make the sauce. Place the apple chunks and apple cider in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn down heat to a simmer and cook down for about 15 minutes. Place apple mixture and the rest of the ingredients in the blender and whirl until blended. Set aside.
Using a fork, pull the meat away from the bone, continue to shred the meat this way until finished. Then serve with the sauce. YUM!