Dec 12, 2014

TASTING HAWAI'I Wishes You...

...with Lots of Good Food!
Local starfruit
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Starfruit are usually harvested October thru December in Hawai'i, just in time to try this beautiful recipe during the Holidays. Traditionally this recipe used old fashioned Red Hots cinnamon candy and canned peaches studded with whole cloves, but starfruit are more festive than peaches, and more Hawaiian. These delicious candied starfruit pickles are great as a garnish for a festive Holiday drink (1 part vodka or white rum, 2 parts juice from the jar, a squeeze of lime, and ice). Use them as part of a tropical dessert, perhaps served with other fruit like fresh pineapple and grapes, or serve on top of hot oatmeal on a cold morning, or simply given as a gift with a bow. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

For more starfruit recipes, click here.

Red Hot Starfruit Sweet Pickles
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Red Hot Starfruit
Sweet Pickles
Ingredients:
8 fresh starfruit
1 teaspoon red food coloring
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup Red Hots cinnamon candies
2 4-inch cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1 quart, wide mouth, canning jar, sterilized

Procedure:
Take a knife and remove the top and bottom of each starfruit. With a potato peeler, remove tough top ridge on each of the starfruit arms. Cut each starfruit into 1/4-inch stars. Remove as many seeds as you can, they are hard like apple seeds.

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Sterilize the jar and lid covered in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Carefully remove the hot jar with a long handled wooden spoon, then pack the jar with cinnamon sticks, cloves and cut starfruit.

Stir together food coloring, sugar, vinegar, water, and Red Hots cinnamon candies in a pot over medium heat until sugar and candies dissolve, stir often.

Pour hot pickling mixture into starfruit filled jar, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jar with a moist paper towel to remove any pickling syrup. Top with lid and screw on ring tightly. Carefully place filled jar back into boiling water for 15. Remove jar and let sit at room temperature until cooled. Refrigerate the jar if it does not seal. Let sit for three days before serving. Makes 1 quart.

Note: Simply double or triple this recipe to make more than one quart. You can find fresh starfruit at our Saturday Farmer's Market here on Moloka'i.

You're My Honey Muffin
These holiday honey muffins are a wonderful combination of flavors, perfect for gifts, or just eaten Christmas morning with a mug of hot honey apple cider.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
3 Tablespoons bourbon (I use Maker's Mark)

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

5 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup strong coffee
1 teaspoon orange rind, grated with a microplane

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Ingredients for Cinnamon Honey Buttercream Frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, left at room temperature for 15 minutes
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed

Special equipment:
2- 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 325°. In a small bowl, soak the cranberries in the bourbon and set aside. Line 2- 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until thick. Whisk together the honey, coffee and orange rind and slowly stir it into the egg yolk mixture. Stir in the cranberries, bourbon and pecans. Fold in the flour mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into the batter. Spoon into muffin cups until each is about 2/3 full. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool pans on a wire rack about 10 minutes. Remove the honey muffins from the pans and cool completely.

Cinnamon Honey Buttercream Frosting: 
Cream butter and shortening until fluffy. Add honey and cinnamon and blend. Slowly add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat for about 3-5 minutes, until desired consistency. If it gets too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk. If too runny, add a little bit more powdered sugar. Pipe or spread on top of each muffin. Note: This is a really rich frosting, so if you like it less sweet, I recommend just a tiny amount on each muffin. Makes 24 honey muffins.

Hot Honey Apple Cider
Living 1200 feet above sea level here in Hawaii, hot honey apple cider really hits the spot on cold winter nights. If you are really cold, add a shot of whisky to warm the cockles of your heart.

Ingredients:
2 quarts of apple cider
1 cup honey
5 orange slices
5 lemon slices
18 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks
5 more cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)

Procedure:
In a saucepan combine all ingredients. Simmer 20 minutes. Strain into mugs and garnish each mug with a cinnamon stick. Makes 8 servings.
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