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Posts tagged ‘Dulce de Leche’

Sweet Memory

IMG_7443My sister has been asking me to post about canned dulce de leche since I started the site in 2008.  Still away on my summer hiatus she saw her opportunity…

When my mother told me to grab a spoon I was confused.  I looked around the kitchen and only saw her opening a can of something without a label.  “Traeme una cuchara,” she insisted.  I walked over to the drawer and brought her back two spoons.  She quickly took them from my hand and scooped something brown and gooey out of the mystery can. ‘Try it!’ She said confidently and then she started enjoying her own spoonful.  I carefully took a lick and proceeded to light up the only way a fat kid could.  I couldn’t believe my mom had made something so delicious.  “How did you make this?” I was 8 years old and amazed.  “Carefully!”, she answered looking over at the pressure cooker. Read more

Panqueques Celestinos

It’s hard not to be drawn to a recipe by a beautiful photograph.  Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent, and Francis Mallman’s Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way have all escaped from my kitchen shelves to my coffee table (where both the books and I feel they belong).  Not surprisingly, Santiago Soto Monllor won this year’s James Beard award for Best Photography for Seven Fires. Read more

Manjarblanco de Chirimoya

I’ve had one recurring thought since I tasted my first chirimoya a few months ago – there are parts of this world where flan grows on trees.  Flan on trees.  I’ve been pining for chirimoyas, also known as custard apples, ever since.  In response to my previous post where I used them to fill pavlovas, my aunt described an alternative recipe that’s popular in Peru.  The chirimoyas are folded into manjarblanco  that’s been lightened with whipped cream and chilled, like dulce de leche pots de crème.  I went back for more to but it’s been weeks since I’ve seen them.  Then suddenly, there they were, looking proud but out of place at the Park Slope Food Coop.  I scooped up a pretty heart shaped one and let it ripen on my counter like an avocado.  After the whirl of Easter weekend had passed, I finally got down to using them.  It was as simple as it seemed and the fresh fruit provided the right balance to the manjarblanco.  I don’t know when I’m going to find them again but I’ll always look.  From the moment the last scoop was served, I started to miss them.

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Merengues con Chirimoya

I’d been looking for a way to use chirimoyas since I came across them a few months ago in a nearby market.  Originally found in the Andean region between Peru and Ecuador, they’re also cultivated in small pockets throughout Chile, California, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, and Israel.  Heart-shaped and scaly, they could be a dragon’s paw and are almost as rare in my Brooklyn neighborhood, so I was excited when I found them.  Also known as custard apples, they’re like everything and like nothing else.  The fruit can be likened to strawberry, banana, pineapple, papaya, avocados, mango, ripe pears, and commercial bubble gum while Mark Twain described it more simply as “deliciousness itself.” Read more

Last Minute

I was in the final stretch of making Sunday lunch for my uncle and favorite cooking aunt, debating where I should buy a jar of dulce de leche to add to the polovorones or shortbread cookies I’d made earlier.  The gourmet shops nearby carry the good but expensive La Salamandra while the Colombian stores have a wider selection but seemed too far away in Queens.  I decided to make my own instead.  Though I knew it was easily done at home, I’d always avoided it in the past.  Worried about exploding cans, we’d take them off heat too early and end up with milky mustard instead of a deep caramel (though it was still happily eaten).  I found these recipes on From Argentina With Love for making dulce de leche at home that skipped the treacherous can boiling.  Unwilling to face yet another grocery store run to buy whole milk, I tried the second version where a can of condensed milk is cooked in the top of a double boiler over a pan half filled with water.  Though it takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours, it only needs to be checked and stirred about every 45 minutes freeing me up to work on other things.  Because I’d rolled the polvorones thinner than usual, I watched the cookies closely and shortened the baking time to 10 minutes.  I let the dulce de leche cook the entire time for a thicker consistency.  Too rich to spread, it was the right consistency for holding together the crumbly cookies.  A painless last minute (+two hour) solution. Read more

A Sweet Finish to the Weekend

I have a very dysfunctional relationship with my KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker attachment.  I’ve tried a million recipes but the results have been inconsistent.  It will give me my dreamed of  ice cream for a few hours after it’s just made, but it develops an icy, fuzzy, rock hard taste by the next day.  It’s the memories of my few successes that keep me going (there was a green tea ice cream once and a yogurt sorbet that were just right…).  That’s why I like Mariana Crespo’s recipe for dulce de leche ice cream so much.  It’s straightforward and simple and it gives you a creamy, decadent result every time, that you can take into the week with you.

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