Citrus Syrup (Oleo Saccharum)
The Oleo Saccharum experiments have been super fun. I started with the Sweeties my partner picked up from Sam’s Club the other week. She wasn’t as fond of eating them as she thought she might be. When I discovered Oleo, I was super excited, but when I discovered Jeffrey Morgenthaler‘s technique using a vacuum sealer I was in. I had been contemplating a vacuum sealer anyway and this seemed as good as any to finally jump in (the Noma fermentation book is the other reason I was planning to pick one up).
I made a batch with a half dozen or so of the Sweeties (aka Oroblanco, similar to a grapefruit). The bitter and floral notes of the fruit were really strong, almost overpowering. At first I was a bit disheartened, but the cocktail I made with it using some Mexcal and elderflower tonic water was pretty delicious and gave me a bit of hope. YouTube did me a solid and recommended the How to Drink video for making this magical elixir.
Greg macerates his oleo for a day, then simmers the result with an additional cup each of water and sugar. I decided to re-macerate the Sweeties zest I had and try again. I also prepped an entire bag of Lemons for their own batch while I was at it. I’m sure I’ll eventually blend various citruses, but right now I’m keeping them separated as I learn the process and begin to understand the potential of all these intense versions of these flavors.
After macerating in a vacuum bag overnight, I poured the entire contents of the lemon bag into a medium sauce pot. I used the water to rinse the bag. It finally dawned on me after processing the Sweeties, that I should only cut a corner so I could really slosh the water around and pick up all the sugar and citrus oil left behind. Pot on medium high to bring it peels and syrup up to temp. After about ten minutes of constant stirring, I poured the syrup through a fine strainer and funnel into a bottle for storing in the fridge. The Sweeties got the same treatment.
An ounce and half of the lemon syrup into ice and topped with club soda made a nice non-alcoholic drink. Adding an equal measure of vodka and you have a nice version of a Lemon Drop.
The leftover peels went onto parchment where I coated and tossed them with granulated sugar. I’ll dry them in the oven and jar them for garnish and treats. They won’t be as flavorful as more traditionally processed candied peel, but the tester tastes I had were pretty good already.
Oleo Saccharum is another super easy way to add a flavor option to your bag of tricks.
Mac & Cheese
Mac & Cheese
- 1 1/2 cup Water
- 1 ea Evaporated Milk, 5 ounce can
- 1 1/2 cup Cavatappi dry pasta
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3/4 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 3/4 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
- 1 tbsp Corn Starch
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- Add water, milk, pasta, and a large pinch salt to a sauce pot and bring to boil over high heat, stir occasionally. Reduce heat to medium once boiling. Use the time on the noodle package to gage how long it will take. Remove from heat.
- In a separate bowl, mix cheeses with cornstarch to coat.
- Remove from heat. Add butter and black pepper.
- Add cheese mixture to pot and stir to melt. Return to low heat if you need to finish melting.
- Taste for seasoning & add additional salt if needed. Garnish with additional shredded cheeses, black pepper.
Toasted panko crumbs are a great garnish. Simply add a couple tablespoons of ghee to a medium high sauté pan. Add a panko and a pinch of salt. Cook until golden.
220 grams of Sweeties peels on their way to becoming Oleo Saccharum using The Morgenthaler Method.
I started a small batch of mead today.
A Flight of Vinegar
Over the last month or so I’ve been aging some wine into vinegar. Last night we had a friend over so I pulled them out for their weekly tasting and set us up with a tasting flight.
Each one had a unique and delicious flavor, even the youngest of the bunch, the red wine vinegar. You can still taste the wine as it’s turning, and the blend of flavor is interesting.
I think my favorite right now is the Muscat. Very mild nose, and super delicious light, sweet tartness.
Vinegar is an easy way to explore fermentation. It’s basically foolproof… add twenty-percent of live vinegar to a volume of alcohol that’s no more than 7% abv and wait. In a few weeks you’ll have the beginnings of your own home brewed vinegar.
Tartar SauceYield: About 3/4 cup
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles
- 1/8 cup minced onion
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 tbsp pickle juice
- Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Movies to Watch
- Sound of Metal
- The Arrival
Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Peanut Butter Ice CreamYield: 4Prep Time: 30 minutesCook Time: 1 dayAdditional Time: 10 minutesTotal Time: 1 day 40 minutes
- 2 tbsp Cream Cheese
- 1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 cup Homemade Peanut Butter
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/2 cup Milk
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave the cream cheese for 10 seconds on high. Add the dark brown sugar, and beat with a whisk attachment in a stand mixer for a minimum of 60 seconds. The goal is to mostly dissolve the sugar into the cream cheese. Once incorporated, add the vanilla extract and mix again.
- Stop the mixer and add the peanut butter. Mix slowly until fully incorporated and the sugar is dissolved. Make sure to scrape the bowl.
- Reduce the speed and slowly add the heavy whipping cream. Once incorporated, slowly add the milk. Mix on medium for a minute until the batter is completely mixed.
- Pour into Creami container and freeze for 24 hours minimum.
- When ready to serve, remove the Creami container from the freezer and process immediately.
Makes 4 servings of 2 medium scoops.
Garnish with roasted peanuts, a reduction of fruit jam, or peanut brittle pieces.