TDay is less than a week away, but there’s still plenty of time to execute my recipe for “proper” pumpkin pie…plus, it makes for a good use of the Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe I posted here a few days ago! Let me know if you make it and what you think. Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!
Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk (just in time for the Holiday's)
It’s insanely simple, and better for you!
1L Raw Milk (honestly makes a difference in the fatty richness of the end product, but if you can’t get raw milk, the freshest milk as possible is always best)
1C Pure Cane Sugar
1T Unsalted Butter
Add sugar and milk to a heavy bottom pot, copper is prefered if you have it (which I don’t and it sucks…yo! Santa Baby….) Bring to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to low to allow the mixture to simmer for about 2 hours.
You want to liquid to reduce by a bit more than half, but you need to stir often, and almost continually near the end to prevent any burning or discoloring. When the mixture has reduced by a bit more than half, test the consistency like you would a jam by adding a spoonful to a plate and letting it rest in the fridge until it has completely cooled and set. You can keep the mixture simmering while you check this as the mixture won’t be tight enough to burn and it will ensure a skin doesn’t form on the top while you wait.
The cooled mixture should be just like a canned sweetened condensed milk, but a bit more fluid in texture and naturally colored from the real sugar (and not any high fructose sweeteners and oil stabilizers). When this consistency has been achieved, remove from heat and stir in the butter. Pour into heat proof jars and cool in the fridge, covered to prevent a skin from forming on the top. If you don’t have plans to use the milk right away, you can seal the jars via the standard water bath method and it will last a few years on a cool dark shelf. Me? I rock it Thai style and put it in everything, including my Pumpkin Pies!
Well HELLO!! I’ll spare you the lengthy typed excuse as to why I have not updated my page for a while and will just let you know that it certainly wasn’t because I haven’t been busy. How about a visual timeline summary in 20 steps starting with the beginning of the year to present day?
1: Had a birthday and was determined to look like Dolly. This took a lot of time and consideration.
2: Went to Malaysia and almost hit a wild Elephant crossing the road while driving through the Highlands.
3: We had 2 day photo shoot with Bon Appetite magazine in our house for their July issue featuring Zak grilling.
4: Zak’s book launch party for Eat With Your Hands (which not to toot my horn too much, but I had an enormous amount of input and time into the completion of this book)
5: Worked our Amstel booth at the Miami Wine & Food Festival where we prepared 1,000 tastings of our Lamb Burger with Lady Jayne’s Worcestershire Sauce and Lady Jayne’s Salted Chilies and where many shots of Rowen’s Creek bourbon were absolutely necessary!
6: Had a private clay pigeon lesson with a new Beretta SV10 Perennia 1 20G shotgun at the Biltmore on the old Vanderbuilt property in Asheville, NC on our way to Atlanta (ps-I ain’t bad, so don’t fuck with me. Seriously.)
7: We made it to Atlanta to work the Amstel event where we prepared 400 of the Lamb Burgers we did in Miami as well as 400 beef burgers with Lady Jayne’s Hand Churned Hot Mustard.
8: Zak & I left Atlanta and drove to Charleston, S.C to visit Sean Brock & eat some good southern food. You know that stupid motto for Vegas “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”? Well, that stupid motto applied to our trip in Charleston. What is this picture? Oh, that’s Sean & I passed out in a public park in the middle of the day. mmm hum.
9: We returned to our bitchin’ home in the Hudson Valley and started construction on a restaurant space in Hudson New York that Zak & I are opening together this fall, and then decided that we needed to expand our garden to feed our home and restaurant (this is really where all my time has been going)
10: Zak & I got a puppy! His name is Waylon and he is a gazillion times cooler than any of us could ever be.
11: Made a 10 Gallon batch of Worcestershire Sauce in an attempt to try and get ahead on production because Rachael Ray loves my sauce and bought the last of my inventory in June (totally the tits, I know!!)
12: Just before the season ended I was able to get 21L of Rhubarb Kimchi in fermentation tanks, of which the kimchi is still in the tanks and are about ready to jar up.
13: Also before the season ended I was able to jar up some Sour Cherry Jam with fresh Coriander from our garden.
14: Experimented with doing Preserved Grapefruit, similar to lemons. It turned out EXCELLENT! Preserving seasoning is sea salt, sugar, star anis Zak brought back from a spice market in China and sweet paprika.
15: Busted out 12 quarts of Lady Jayne’s fine salted preserved chilies (with the wonderful help of a friend) for another Amstel event in Atlantic City (that luckily I did not have to attend). No pictures for this because I was in the weeds y’all.
16: Went to a flea market in Woodstock NY and was inspired to start making my own bitters for our restaurant when I found this rad bar piece. It looks like something from Naked Lunch.
17: Made those bitters! One is dried orange with cardamom, caraway and star anis; the other is licorice root with vanilla, fresh lavender, sichuan peppercorns and muddled cherries. They have another 10 days before they are ready.
18: Remember my last post with the preserved citrus seasoned with pink pepper corns and fenugreek leaves? Well it was so god damn delicious, Zak & I are using it for the Meatopia event in September…of which…I needed to produce A LOT MORE, like 18lbs more.
(I had to push the citrus down with my hands to squeeze out some juice post seasoning because I knew y’all would freak out if I used my feet. it was one hell of a work out though, no joke.)
19: Started some more fish sauce, with local trout this time, and it went into a 4 grain barrel.
(the newly neutered and very patient Waylon got a whole raw trout for dinner)
20: And finally, I started a semimonthly column on Thursday’s with Hand Picked Nation, of which my first piece just launched this morning and is about the summer favorite food, CORN.
Okay, well that’s 20! I honestly have more I could add to this list, but I’ll save it for another rainy day. Grits.
Lady Jayne and Zak P finally got their shit together to start aging some fish sauce and since “local” is the word these days, we decided to go “local” and use Shad! Zak did the dirty work of cutting up the fish while Lady Jayne drank champagne in the afternoon sun, but the team joined forces again when it was time to pack the pieces with salt and stuff them into the Rye barrel.
I am assuming this will take many months before its ready for filtration. But, rest assured, I’ll keep y’all posted!
Most exciting, and mostly what the column was about, was all the bottling of my Worcestershire Sauce I did yesterday. The Worcestershire sauce has been fermenting in a rye barrel for 9 months and it is going to be featured in our booth next week at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival during the burger bash, where Zak, David (our grand pal) and I will be grilling up some lamb burgers and serving them with Lady Jayne’s Worcestershire sauce, Lady Jayne’s salt & oil cured chillies & Pyrenees Brebis (French sheeps milk cheese) all smooched between English muffins! Jesus Christ…I just got stupid hungry…
++++Check out some pictures from yesterday’s production++++
hammering the peg out of the barrel
There it is!
We still haven’t completely moved into our new house, so all my production supplies are still packed in storage. I had to drain this barrel into a carboy, so I could lift it to pour into the smaller bottles. You’ll see below. It was a lot of unnecessary work and it was great motivation for me to unpack my boxes and find my siphon!
As mentioned above, this was all a less than ideal way of getting my production bottled, but it was the best I could do with what I had in the time limit I have…that shit gets heavy…I really could have used those robots I requested back when I was bottling the Ginger Wine! That and a fucking harness for my back.
Now into the bottles.
All ready for the labels.
Stay up to date as I sense a website coming soon…maybe even a merchant website!
It has been a tremendous Fall in the Hudson Valley so far. The land is so fertile, and Zak & I have been foraging deep in the woods for all things edible.
(It’s good to forage with a pack! This one has a water pack, books for referencing plants & fungi, some bags for collecting, tick repellent and a loaded crack pipe)
The wild apples on our property have fruited more than I can recall from the previous years, and I have taken full advantage! These apples are best for jelly, apple butter or cider because they are so goopy with natural pectin, that once you start to cook them down, they form a glue like paste which isn’t ideal for pie or sauce. I unfortunately do not have a cider press (note to self: add it to my christmas list), so I have simply been making jelly with the amazing apples.
I washed the apples and cut them into bite size pieces. I then added the apple pieces (skins, seeds and all) to a heavy bottom pot (never use aluminum). I also added celery from my garden and some wild thyme from the field, because it’s delicious and why not? Topped it with some water, brought it to a boil, then simmered until all mushy and cute.
(wild field thyme)
After cooking until soft and mushy, I poured it all into a cheesecloth and tied it up and hung it over a wide mouth heavy bottom pot (never aluminum!!!) and let it hang at room temperature overnight.
In the morning, I tossed the fruit mush into the trash with hopes that someday I would have some farm animals that would eat it instead. I took the juice to the stove and decided I was going to combine the Wild Apple Juice with my Wild Fox Grape Juice to have a higher yield of jelly . I do not add pectin to apple jellies because they naturally have so much.
What the hell are Fox Grapes? Well…
In the early fall, the wild grapes are abundant as well. The wild grapes where we are are Fox Grapes and they are similar in structure to a concord grape, but much smaller and more tart.
(collected fox grapes from the vines)
These little delicious jerks are very labor intensive. First you gather the grape clusters from the vines, then you have to remove the grapes from the twigs that form the clusters. Sounds simple, but when you’re dealing with 20 or so pounds, it takes forever! I tried to get my 8 year old step son and his friend to remove each grape from the twigs for me, but they said it was “too boring” and informed me that eating them was a lot more fun. I gave in and let them eat what they could and decided to save the task for the next day. I returned the kids to their mothers and Zak & I tackled the job sans ankle biters. It wasn’t so bad thanks to some Morgon, a joint and incredible weather.
Once the grapes are twig and leaf free, like the apple procedure, I added them to a heavy bottom pot (NEVER use aluminum…have I mentioned that yet?) and added water. Brought it to a boil and reduced to a simmer. While the grapes were simmering, I mashed the ever living crap out of them with a potato masher to remove the skin from the inner globule and to really release the most juice humanly possible.
After mashing the grapes over a simmer, I transferred it all to a cheesecloth, tied it up and hung it, like I explain above in the apple portion of this extensive post.
After the grapes drained overnight, I poured the liquid into another heavy bottom pot. I left behind the last 1/2 cup worth of juice and fed it to my kitchen sink drain, it has sediment that settled through the night that would cause my jelly to crystalize once refrigerated.
I married the apple and grape juices together in a clean heavy bottom pot, added the sugar and brought it to a boil, then simmered until some sexy jelly was achieved.
I wanted to add a special touch to this jelly. Last trip Zak & I took to Thailand (March 2011), I went to a market and bought fresh green peppercorns.
We asked the chef at our hotel if he would please cryogenically seal them up so we could pack them in our suit case and bring them back to NY with us. He agreed and in the spring, I took a few clusters and packed them into a 16oz jar and poured cold Riesling over them. They have been macerating in the fridge since then. They are delicious and super fragrant! When the jelly stage was achieved with my Wild Apple & Fox Grape Jelly, I poured the infused Riesling into the jelly and stirred it over low heat until it tightened up again. Then I dropped in a hand full of the macerated green peppercorns. Stirred it all together and poured it all into prepared jelly jars and processed them.
Moral of this Jelly post. Forage, create and don’t limit yourself to just juice and sugar…explore new flavors!!
So, back in November I decided to start a batch of Fresh Ginger Champagne. It was so lively and active in its fermentation tank all winter long and into the Spring. Then about 3 months ago, it started to fizz out. I was certain something had gone wrong and was frustrated as many of my winter experiments ended up in the toilet (not by me via intestinal excreta, but by me pouring the disasters into the toilet), so I left it for dead.
Last night, in a conquest to start some new wines and figure out how I was going to discard this “dead” Ginger Champagne, I opened the container and siphoned some out to taste before I tossed it. Much to my surprise, it was elegant, delicious and still slightly effervescent. I was ECSTATIC! I still am in fact. Today’s mission was to get it bottled so I can start another batch right away since it takes 10-12 months to complete. I was able to bottle 13 375ml bottles and 4 1.5L bottles and there is still some in the fermentation tank because I ran out of bottles (DOH)!!
I am taking samples to Adam Schuman (the Fatty Crew bar manager / cocktail genius) for him to try, so I will pick up some used wine bottles to sanitize, strip of labels and fill with my own sweet nectar!
Here are some pictures from the day as well as the archaic corking method I am forced to use until I can get Lady Jayne’s products up and selling and invest in some better equipment.
Close up. I didn’t filter it because it was already so clear and clarified in the fermentation tank. I also like the idea of some gingery sediment at the bottom of the bottles, like old fashion ginger beer once had.
THE CORKING PROCESS
Squeezing the new corks in this contraption
Preparing it to fit over the top of the bottle
securing it on the top of the bottle
Push the lever down, which forces the cork into the bottle
its a cheap and clumsy contraption, so I have to secure the bottles between my knees so they don’t spill over while trying to force the corn into the bottle.
back of bottle labels….DAMN IT, the upright one is totally crooked!
I finished production on the Green Bean with Borage Kimchi this afternoon, and so far, I couldn’t be happier with the flavors!
I had the idea for bean and borage on Monday night because I had been in my garden and I tasted my borage (which is taking over the planet by the way) and it is reminiscent of cucumbers and oysters to me. It’s oddly oceanic, in a good way. I thought it would pair well with the kimchi and since beans are in season right now, seemed like a handsome fit. I believe I was right in my assumption (I’m like the Yenta from Yentl with these pairing ideas!)
My method for this round was very simple and I opted out of the usual suspects I’ve add to my previous kimchi’s (garlic and ginger to be exact). I used local beans from The Berry Farm in Chatham, NY (I LOVE this place) because my garden did not produce enough this year. I pounded the beans to slightly bruise them and expose the juices in my Thai wood mortar. I added sliced “breakfast” radish, coriander leaves, scallion, onion, borage flower buds and flowers as well as torn leaves. I tossed the vegetables in mineral roasted sea salt and allowed it to macerate for a while.
For the liquid to toss all the vegetables in, I took a few Boothby Blonde cucumbers from my garden and pureed them with some salted tiny shrimp, Korean chili powder, anchovy paste, Thai chili and well water and tossed everything together and packed it all into the fermenting tank. It was honestly delicious before it went into the tank. I don’t think this will have to sit in the tanks for more than a week, which is good because once again, Fatty ‘Cue (the new location at 50 Carmine in NYC) has already requested it for their opening menu for next week!! I’m tellin’ y’all, if you want some of this stuff I’m making, you better request early because the Fatty Crew keeps buying it all!
Check out the photos from today…
Beans in the wood mortar
pounded beans and all the other deliciousness
The liquid ingredients before being pureed (cucumbers, radish, tiny salted shrimp)
After 12 days of visiting my family in Austin, Texas where the temperature stayed above 102 degrees the entire time, and most days the index was a mere 110 degrees…Lady Jayne is back and ready to pick up the show again! I have many great items and ideas coming up this month
This coming weekend I will post production on my newest kimchi - Green bean and Borage, as well as post some tasting notes on the No 4 Sauce that has been aging in a Rye barrel and production on some more Kumquat Wine for Fatty Crab West Village.
my “Aunt Ida’s” Green Beans
my straggly Borage
In the immediate (like, as in tomorrow) I will pull more Rhubarb Kimchi from fermenting tanks and jar them up to be sent to Fatty ‘Cue Brooklyn and Fatty ‘Cue Manhattan (to be featured on their opening menu).
I also filtered some Rhubarb vinegar last night…whew…I try and not waste any time
rhubarb vinegar - before being filtered
Stay Tuned this weekend for more deliciousness from Lady Jayne!
The newest addition to Lady Jayne’s products (official packaging and labels in the works). I made these 2 little guys for my friend Autumn because she just bought a house. These flavors are: Citronella with Lavender & Sage with Ylang-Ylang and Bergamot. Everybody needs some Pootie Fresh for the booty room by Lady Jayne!…well, I can’t take all the credit, my dear friend Craig McCord helped with the name.
I LOVE rhubarb. Not in the same context that most people do, where it’s masked with sugar and probably some strawberries. I mean, I love rhubarb in it’s natural earthy, musky, sour and savory self. I like to nibble on it and allow my tasters to pucker and activate. I like to make rhubarb tinctures and sip on it to help my belly digest. I like to ferment it into kimchi and literally eat it with everything.
I had the idea to make it into a kimchi at the beginning of the season because I was anxious for a new way to utilize the great flavor and cell structure of this peculiar vegetable (don’t be mistaken, it’s really a vegetable not a fruit). It started as a small test to see how it would hold up, how it would taste, how it would develop. The turn out was so successful that when Zakary Pelaccio went in for a full mouth taste of it, he smiled big, swallowed and said “No joke baby, that’s the best kimchi i’ve had yet”. I couldn’t have been happier with it as well. I am now working with 2 fermentation vessels (stashed in the basement upstate) and will be serving it up at Fatty ‘Cue until I can’t get rhubarb anymore (hopefully up till the fall). It’s lactic fermented and wonderfully active! If you have some at ‘Cue and fall in love with it, let me know, I am more than happy to sell you a jar!
Rhubarb Kimchi before going into fermentation vessel
Rhubarb Kimchi in fermentation vessel
Glorious Rhubarb Kimchi plated and on the menu at Fatty ‘Cue - $7, and totally worth it!
Rhubarb with Cardamon Tincture (excellent for tummy ailments as well as flavoring your vodka or gin cocktails!)