Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Dinner and Spanish Dessert

I've so enjoyed last year's airing of "From Spain With Love with Annie Sibonney" on food network Canada.   If you've followed my blog in it's early days you'll know all about my obsession with Morocco and North African cuisine!  Through reading up on Spanish cuisine I loved seeing how the influence made it's way into Spanish Cuisine as well so I decided to indulge myself with a book that I picked up in one of the Chapters/Indigo locations and couldn't put down.  The rustic cuisine drew me in and I loved the use of almonds in so many recipe (LOVE almonds and we use them a lot in Middle Eastern cuisine too)

The recipe I made here is a pumpkin almond dessert, with hints of cinnamon and lemon zest it's almost like pumpkin pie but without the crust. Couldn't be simpler to whip up too!

 The recipe uses fresh pumpkin boiled until tender and then cooked some more until the water has evaporated and it's in it's puree form.  I'd love to try this one day with fresh pumpkin but for now I already had a can of pumpkin in the fridge that needed using up so I whipped up this dessert by cooking the puree stove top a bit and adding sugar to it.  In a separate bowl I mixed up the ground almond with eggs, lemon zest then mixing it all together, forming a dome shape and decorating with blanched almonds before popping into the oven for 50 minutes.  

It's finished off with a dusting of powdered sugar and a perfect accompaniment to a warm cup of black tea!

Arnadi (Valencia Dessert)

Adapted from Claudia Roden's The food of Spain book

Makes 8-10 servings

- 2 lb slice of orange pumpkin flesh.   (peel and remove seeds and string)

** I 3/4 larger can of plain pumpkin puree

- 1 1/4 c sugar

- 1 1/4 c ground almond
- 2 eggs
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp cinnamon

- 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds 
Simply add skinned raw almonds to a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.  Strain and allow to cool enough to handle then slip the skins off using fingers and set aside for later. 

-  2 - 3 tbsp powder sugar

For the pumpkin, chop in 1 1/4 inch cubes and add to a saucepan with water and boil/steam until tender, checking on them from time to time in case water evaporated then add more if necessary.  Should take 15-20 minutes.
Strain the excess water and add back to the heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat without lid and allow excess water to evaporate for 5 minutes.  Mash the pumpkin into a puree using a fork or potato masher. 

Remove off heat and add the sugar, add it back to the heat and mix until sugar is dissolved and all the moisture is nearly evaporated, another 15-20 minutes of cooking.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a separate bowl mix the ground almond with eggs, lemon zest and cinnamon.  At this point I let the pumpkin cool for about 3 minutes then add the pumpkin/sugar mixture into the almond mixture little at a time tempering it as not to scramble the eggs.

Pour into a small baking dish and form a dome, garnish with the blanched almonds and bake for 50 minutes.

Once it's done, let it cool completely and dust with powder sugar.


There is nothing better in summer time than an easy dinner and here I made lamb burgers and beef tenderloin shishkebob, all so easy to whip up and this dessert was just the PERFECT ending to the meal

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