Hi All. Leslie in Las Vegas here.
Fall is a wonderful time for gardening in the desert and a greater variety of veggies can be grown now than in the summer. It’s cooler outside and I am gardening with a vengeance; I am determined to work-off another 10 pounds of fat I gained laying around during the summer heat. This morning I was able to button and zip my red jeans, and after a few more days planting I should be able to bend over in them – without pain. When I get tired from planting daffodils I stand up to lube my joints and pick almonds and pistachios and today I found the first ripe Meyer lemon on our tree.
Meyer lemon is the only useable citrus that will grow in Las Vegas, (well, maybe kumquats will grow here, but not oranges). We are fortunate, because I think it is the very best variety of lemon. My Meyer lemon is the last fruit tree to pick and signals that the holidays are just around the corner. They have a long picking season if we don’t have a hard freeze. Sometimes I don’t have time to pick the whole tree before a freeze warning, so I put those frozen beauties in ziplock baggies and keep them frozen in the freezer. But for space sake, I like to freeze the juice in ice cube trays and store the cubes in ziplock freezer bags.
We also use the rinds as a cup for a desert of gelato or sherbet – with a sprig of mint and a cookie. I candy strips of the rinds for snacks and also use the juice on my hands after digging in the dirt; it softens them and helps to remove the grime. I bring a little jar of juice to the shower to soften the hard skin on my feet and use as a hair rinse. I love this tree, it is the most useful tree in my garden.
“HEY HONEY, I found the saffron crocus bulbs.” “Where were they?” Bill asked. “I forgot I planted them and they are blooming now.” That missing bag of hundreds of bulbs has been driving me crazy, and I have been driving Bill crazy. I was certain that someone snuck into the house and walked right past the diamonds and rubies and stole my saffron crocus bulbs. But, here they are, popping up as a border around a bed that I was prepping and re-planting last week.
Note from Bill: Some of the comments on epicurious said that the cranberries make the pudding taste like FrootLoops. I’ve always omitted the dried cranberry step.
It can be made in individual serving size dishes, but for larger groups I chill it in a bowl and serve with a persimmon cookie and if available a slice of Fuyu or Izu persimmon.
This dessert (without the cranberries) is great accompanied by chilled Moscato dessert wine – specifically Ironstone Vineyards “Symphony”. Ironstone Vineyards is within two hours of Gustine, but I think I found this wine at BevMo or maybe Trader Joe’s.
Rice pudding with persimmons (and dried cranberries)
Bon Appétit | November 2004
Makes 6 servings.
2 medium-size ripe Hachiya persimmons
3 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries, optional
Make deep cut in pointed end of each persimmon. Scoop out pulp into processor and puree until smooth. Measure 2/3 cup puree.
Combine milk, rice, honey, sugar, orange peel, and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, until pudding is very thick, stirring frequently, about 40 minutes.
Add cranberries and cook until softened, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2/3 cup persimmon puree. Serve pudding warm or at room temperature. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)