Carrot Cardamom Puree on Cucumbers

August 22nd, 2012 2 Comments

 

I think that these pictures say everything and the less I add the better.

I will just give you the setting: a cool August evening, candle lanterns hanging in the trees lighting up the hillside like giant fireflies, a 60’x40′ tent in a grassy meadow, and the bride in a lacy wedding dress that nearly hid her cowboy boots underneath.  A perfect setting to eat these little gems.

 

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The edible flowers are from local vendors and my garden: violets, red runner beans, bachelor buttons, (the petals pulled off of the main flower), miniature marigolds, and I pulled off orange petals of an unknown (to me) flower—it looked like an orange daisy.

 

 

The carrot juice reduces into a bright tangy syrup, a great natural food coloring.  As the liquid cooks off and the sugars become concentrated, it will easily scorch if you look away for a moment.  It’s not as temperamental as cooking candy, but you don’t want to multitask when it begins to look like a syrup.

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I love that this color is real!

 

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A pastry bag with a textured tip is a great way to apply the cream cheese to the cucumber or cracker.  It gives a delicate shape to the spread, and it saves time if you are making a quantity of them. 

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This recipe came from my favorite go-to book for appetizers, Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres.  I altered it, increasing the amount of carrot juice and cardamom to add more color and flavor.

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Carrot Cardamom Cream Cheese

Prep Time: 30-45 minutes to simmer carrot juice, 10 minutes to mix

 

Simmer over low heat:

1 cup Carrot Juice, freshly juiced or packaged

Occasionally scrape the sides of the pan with a spatula.  

Simmer until it becomes a syrup.

Be careful—as it becomes thicker the concentrated sugars can scorch. 

Remove from heat and let cool.  

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Mix in a food processor or in a bowl:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

up to 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cardamom (OR simmer 4 Cardamom Pods in the carrot juice)

Dash of Salt

Reduced Carrot Juice

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Slice on the diagonal:

1 or 2 Asian or European “Seedless” Cucumber

Place a dollop of the cream cheese on the cucumber slices, or use a pastry bag to apply. 

Top with:

Orange Zest

Edible Flowers

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Heather says:

    Ruth, these are frame quality. Seriously. Beholding these beauties makes me wish to hold one in my hand once again. I smile as I recall the lovely occasions when I was divinely gifted to enjoy them, especially the girls blessing ceremony. Ahhh. Is it time to organize a special event? Hmmmm……

  2. Britney says:

    Divine!

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