Sugar Plums Dancing

With Christmas this week I’ve already got visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. So this week we’re taking a look at the traditional sugar plum as seen in the likes of stories like ‘Twas Night before Christmas, and The Nutcracker . At first I thought maybe these were just prunes rolled in sugar, but, it turns out a sugar plum is a fruit and nut ball (much like the snack power balls or protein balls I usually make) infused with an assortment of spices. Historically (in the 17th century) creating sugar plums was a lengthy process of drying fruit in a syrup or sugar but with the advance of dried fruit you can easily just start with the dried fruit and take a few short cuts (1).  Now the spices are a little different and after a couple of try’s I actually liked them but might omit the caraway in the future. On that note if you’re sharing these with guests you may want to keep the spices a little simpler by omitting, the caraway , cardamom, fennel and anise seeds. This recipe is based of ones from Alton Brown and the Nourished Kitchen, as always with a little of my own infusion. I had a lot of fun plating these up with some of my classic gingerbread (find the recipe here).

1. Pre-heat your oven to 450/475′ convect bake if you have it.

2. Mix, then toast, the following in the oven:

6 ounces slivered almonds

6 ounces Pecans &Walnuts

1/4 teaspoon anise seeds,

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

This will not take long so keep your eyes on them!!! I burned mine a bit, so check them almost every min, just a peek to see when the almonds are turning golden.

3. In your food processor pulse and chop the following into little diced pieces about the size of your fingertip:

Use unsweetened, unsulfered and sun dried where you can

4 ounces dried plums

4 ounces dried apricots

4 ounces dried figs

4 ounces pitted dates

4. Pulse in until combined :

Pinch kosher salt

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

Zest of one Orange

 5. Take a little over a TBSP of the sugar plum dough and ball it with your hands, roll it in some coconut palm sugar and almond meal, then keep in the fridge, freezer or on the counter in an airtight container. Most other recipes recommend on the counter for a week or in an airtight container on the counter for a month. I keep mine in the freezer though.

Love and Light,

Amberlea

xoxoxo

 

 

Sources:

1- http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/menus/homemade-sugar-plums.htm

2- http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/sugarplums-recipe.html?oc=linkback

3- http://nourishedkitchen.com/sugar-plums-recipe/

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s