Laura Avery speaks with the Fruit Detective David Karp about the avocado season in Southern California. Right now, the only avocados in season are the Mexicola variety, which is a root stock that not many people grow. It's very thin purple-black skin can be eaten when the fruit is soft. The taste is slightly watery with an anise note.
Laura also speaks with Jean Francois Meteigner, who's going crazy for Sugar Baby pumpkins. The chef-owner of La Cachette roasts the pumpkins whole, removes the top and seeds, scoops out the flesh and purees it in a Cuisinart. He hangs the puree in the refrigerator in a strainer or cheese cloth for two days to get all the water out. (Save the water and you can reduce it into a pumpkin honey.) The puree is great to use in a quiche or pumpkin pie with no white sugar, only honey as a sweetener.
La Cachette’s Recipe for Pumpkin Quiche
- 2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree (not fresh out of the can!)
- 2 cups of half and half
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 whole eggs
- 4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Mix pumpkin puree with half and half, cayenne pepper, salt and all the eggs. Pre-cook Pate Brisee (see recipe below) half way and add quiche mix inside. Cook for 30 minutes at 350°F in a convection oven. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and cook another 15 minutes.
La Cachette’s Recipe for Pate Brisee
- 9 ozs all purpose flour (about 1 ¾ cup)
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 4 1/2 ozs (1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- ¼ cup cold water
Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the plastic or metal blade. Pulse to mix, and then add the butter and pulse on and off very quickly 4 or 5 times, just until the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs. Remove the cover and drizzle the water evenly over the mixture then pulse again until the dough forms a rough shaggy mass on the center stem. Do not overwork. Bring the dough together into a ball on a lightly floured surface, then wrap well with plastic and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling out.
The dough will keep, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for 3 days and in the freezer for 3 months. If frozen, let the dough stand at room temperature for about 3 hours before rolling out. Use as directed in recipe.
For vegans, substitute organic margarine for butter.
Last week we talked about how to make a garlic confit with 50 raw garlic cloves. One of our listeners wrote to us with a warning about garlic infused oil and it's link to potentially fatal botulism. Some precautions to take in order to avoid botulism in oil infusions are:
- Wash all soil-contaminated produce before adding it to an oil infusion
- Add an acidifying agent such as lemon juice or vinegar to the recipe at the rate of one tablespoon per cup of oil
- Keep oil infusions refrigerated in order to retard the growth of any microbes
- Discard infusions after one week, or sooner if apparent cloudiness, gas bubbles, or foul odor develop
- When in doubt, throw it out
Music break: A Swinging Doll by Buck Clayton