Creamy citrus pops

Citrus season on Burgeson Family Farm always starts with the lime harvest. Before the very hot summers have faded to the crisp days of autumn we treat ourselves to cool lime-centric drinks on the porch in the evening: gin and tonic, greyhound and margarita cocktails and sparkling water on ice with generous wedges of lime plucked from the tree just minutes before. When I walk by the trees, laden with fruit, it is almost impossible for me to resist grabbing a lime, scratching the aromatic rind and inhaling the intoxicating aroma.

limes-with-flowers

Limes on the trees at Burgeson Family Farm. Note the bees are at work pollinating a new crop which will be ready in the spring. It is uncommon for us to have 2 crops in one year but it looks like it will happen this year.

This is the pop recipe that “started it all”, the pop obsession in our family. Lime pops are so cool, creamy and tart; it takes only 3 ingredients and minutes to make the mix, and to me they are more satisfying and delicious than a key lime pie.  This recipe will work with any limes, either the small little Key limes with their intense acidity and aroma and multitude of tiny seeds, or the big juicy seedless Bearss limes, or even store bought supermarket Mexican limes. We have also made this recipe with lemons which make a kind of frozen lemon meringue pie pop.key-and-bearss-limes

 

Key limes on the left and Bearss limes on the right

(Many people think that only key limes are yellow but all limes will turn more yellow when they are very ripe. Note the Bearrs limes are actually more yellow than the Key limes.)

If there is a farmer in your area growing limes, I urge you to  buy some at least once to make this, or your cocktails, with them.  Most of the limes in the grocery stores are shipped from Mexico, and they are far from freshly picked. The oils in the zest of a freshly picked lime add so much to the flavor of this recipe. You may want to keep one on hand to “scratch and sniff” for a pick me up.

3 Ingredient Creamy Lime Pop Recipe

For this recipe you need only 3 ingredients:

Limes (4-5 large ones or about 10-14 small ones)

1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces) (I use organic)

1 ½ cups of non-fat Greek yogurt (I use organic, usually either Straus, Clover or Wallaby because I have actually seen their farms and “happy cows” as I travel about Northern California)

(Note, if you want a creamier, more decadent pop, you can replace some, or all of the Greek yogurt with softly whipped cream. Now you really have an ice cream bar!)

Finely zest the rind from the limes. I love this little tool, a microplane grater, for making a very fine zest:microplane-grater-rind

You should have 2 Tablespoons of zest. Note the beautiful fine zest this tool makes.

a-fine-lime-zest

Squeeze the juice from enough limes to make ½ cup.  This handy citrus juicer makes that task a breeze.

juicing-limes

Put the juice and zest in a bowl. Stir in the condensed milk.  Add the Nonfat Greek yogurt and/or whipped cream and mix well. I use a hand whisk. You can also whip it in a blender which will make the mixture fluffy and the pops will be more light and creamy once frozen.

whisking-ingredients

(I like to mix it in a measuring cup with a pour spout for easy pouring into the molds).

Note: These are high in protein and low in fat (see the analysis below). If you would like the recipe to be even higher in protein and lower in sugar and fat, you can add more of the Greek yogurt. That can be done according to your taste, as it will make them tart.  They also will be a bit less creamy.

Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds. This recipe will make 10 popsicles of about 1/2 cup each.

filling-pop-molds

If you don’t have molds you can use small paper cups, but I urge you to consider buying some popsicle molds. They are the most used piece of kitchen equipment we have purchased in a long time.

Put the popsicle sticks in the molds.

insert-sticks

Don’t shove the sticks all the way to the bottom. That will leave a short stick for eating. The mixture should be thick enough to suspend the sticks at the right depth. If not, freeze for awhile and then insert the sticks about halfway into the molds.

Now put the molds in a flat spot in your freezer and patiently wait for at least 4-6 hours for them to freeze completely all the way through. The sticks must be completely frozen in the middle of the pop.

To remove the popsicles from the molds put some very hot water in a glass. (I heat the water in the glass for a minute or two in the microwave). Dip the pop in the hot water for 10-20 seconds or so, until it slightly releases from the sides of the mold. Now squeeze the mold a bit to loosen the pop, hold the pop with the handle facing down and slide it out of the mold. If it does not come out easily, do not pull too hard on the stick or it might come out of the pop. Instead, heat it in the water again until it releases easily.

You can refreeze the pops on a tray until they are very hard, so they don’t stick together, then store them in a container or plastic bag in the freezer. They theoretically will last a long time, but practically speaking, it is doubtful they will be around all that long. They are that good.

pops

Creamy Lime Pops

Nutrition Analysis per Pop (Makes 10):

152 calories, 6 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat,

© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

Key Lime Pie

The first citrus crop to ripen on our farm are limes. The harvest starts in early Fall.

We grow both key limes and Bearss limes on our farm here in Newcastle, California. Both are tart, juicy and delicious and can be used in this recipe. The Key limes are small, with many seeds, and are a bit more tart than the Bearss limes, which are seedless, large and juicy. Both limes will turn more yellow as the season progresses.

key lime with signature_edited-1

This recipe is for a delicious, easy frozen key lime pie.  It is so refreshing after a rich  meal and it is so simple to prepare.

Easy Frozen Key Lime Pie 

Use any recipe you like, or purchase a premade graham cracker crust:

Mix until blended:

1 Tablespoon grated lime rind

1/2 cup of lime juice

1 can of sweetened condensed milk.

Fold in:

1 cup of whipped cream (or for a lower fat version you can use Greek yogurt to replace some, or all of the cream)

Pour this into the pie shell and freeze until solid (at least 3 hours).

You can also top with more whipped cream and shredded lime rind to pretty this sweet treat up.

Do you wonder how you can purchase our Key Limes? Contact our farm to arrange to pick them up.

 

Satsuma salad with bacon

 

mandarin bacon salad recipe photo2My son sent me a text message the other day that said “bacon and Satsumas make a delicious breakfast”.  That got me thinking that the combo of Satsumas and bacon, that  sweet and salty duo of favorite flavors, could be a good start for a few tasty recipes. This is my first rift on that theme and tasty it is indeed.

Satsuma salad with bacon.

This recipe serves 4 as a side salad. As a main dish, it could serve 2 and would be yummy with added smoked turkey or smoked chicken for some extra protein.

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh squeezed satsuma mandarin juice (our Satsuma are so juicy you can even do this by just squeezing them in your hand, or use a citrus reamer or other juicing device).

¼ cups thinly sliced peeled shallot

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tsp. white wine vinegar.

¼ tsp. or less salt

6 slices bacon, chopped in large pieces, cooked until crispy and drained (save the bacon grease).

8 cups greens (I used escarole) torn into pieces. Spinach, sturdy lettuce or thinly sliced kale are other options for this salad. Arugula might also be a nice addition.

2 cups mandarins (peeled, cut in half and then segmented so they are individual segments cut in half)

2 ounces Feta cheese (I like to use the Danish Piknik sheep’s milk cheese which comes in a can with brine. It will store for a long time in the refrigerator in the brine. I find mine at middle eastern or European grocery stores).

To make the dressing, boil the Satsuma juice on the stove until it is reduced to a thick syrup (down to about 1/3 cup total volume). Add the sliced shallot the last minute or two of boiling, then let it cool down. Now add the olive oil,  Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, 1 Tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease and ¼ teaspoon or less salt (to taste) and mix well.

Put the greens in a bowl and add the mandarin pieces. Mix with the dressing. Serve into 4 bowls then top with the bacon pieces and crumbled white cheese.

mandarin bacon salad photo

Satsuma salad with bacon

To read more about our Satsuma mandarin farm, or to order our Satsuma mandarins to use in this recipe, please visit www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com.

Frozen Satsuma Smoothie

Satsuma Mandarin season is short and sweet. The fruit does not last very long on the trees after it is ripe, so we pick it as soon as possible. Usually Satsuma season only lasts for a month or two, but there are ways to preserve them to enjoy that goodness year round.

We like to peel the Satsumas, section them and freeze them on cookie sheets. Once they are frozen we seal them up in plastic baggies which we tuck away in the freezer to use later in the year. We also squeeze the juice and freeze it in ice cube trays or milk cartons to use later in cocktails or as juice for breakfast.

frozen mandarins

Gold from the freezer. This is the way to carry mandarin season into the summer!

Our favorite use for the chunks of frozen mandarin juice, or the mandarin sections we have frozen, is to make smoothies.  We start with a simple formula, equal parts frozen mandarin juice or frozen mandarin sections and milk. For example use 1 cup milk, 1 cup mandarin sections for 2 servings of about 1 cup each. We like to add a scoop of NorCal Organic (local) whey protein powder before blending it in our blender. This makes it extra fluffy and adds a protein boost for an easy breakfast.mandarin smoothie

Satsuma Mandarin Whey Protein smoothie. A delicious nutritious way to start the day.

You can use this basic recipe as a base for adding other ingredients. The mandarins are very sweet so no sweetener is needed, although you can add honey if you like. Frozen fruit such as blueberries, raspberries or banana are one way to mix it up. Sometimes we add vanilla or almond extract. Greek yogurt, vanilla flavored or plain, or adds another protein boost. Flax seed, wheat germ or hemp seed also add protein, B vitamins and essential fatty acids.  A handful of spinach or kale can give you a full meal in a glass.

During Satsuma season we sometimes sell “seconds”  with skin damage, for half price, 80 cents per pound, at our farm. These seconds are perfect for juicing or for peeling and freezing right away to use throughout the year. Contact us to arrange to pick your Satsumas during December and January.

 

New Years Cheer: Satsuma Mimosas and Cocktails

When we sort through our Satsumas before boxing and bagging them we pull out all of the seconds that are not of sufficient quality to sell. Some of them have damaged skin, or skin that is very soft, and some have hard green spots on the skin. We sell these
seconds for half price at the farm, 80 cents per pound. They are very perishable due to the skin damage so they should be cut and juiced, or peeled and sectioned soon after purchase.

We often peel and freeze the mandarin sections and used them throughout the year for smoothies. These mandarins are still very sweet and juicy however, so they also make great mandarin juice. We just cut them in half and juice them using a citrus juicer. You can even squeeze them by hand, they are so soft and juicy.

mandarin-juicew

Delicious fresh Satsuma Mandarin juice

This juice can be mixed with sparkling wine for a delicious Mimosa, or can be mixed with sparkling water for a non-alcoholic holiday toast.

We have also come up with some delicious cocktail recipes using the mandarin juice.

Sierra Sunset Cocktail

In addition to using the fresh squeezed mandarin juice, this recipe uses pomegranate juice, sweet sparkling wine such as Proseco, and Grand Marnier. The recipe for our home-made pomegranate juice is here:

https://burgesonfamilyfarm.com/2018/10/05/pomegranates-how-to-get-to-the-seeds-how-to-make-juice-2/

Fill a glass with crushed ice. Fill the glass with slightly less than 1/3 pomegranate juice, then add 1/3 sweet sparkling wine and 1/3 mandarin juice. Finally pour 1 Tablespoon of Grand Marnier over the top.

sierra-sunset-cocktailw

“Sierra Sunset Cocktail”

For a non alcoholic version, fill the glass with 1/3 pomegranate juice, 1/3 tonic water, and 1/3 mandarin juice.

Mandarin Vodka Tonic

Fill a glass with crushed ice. Mix 1/2 cup mandarin juice, 1/2 cup tonic water and 1 shot of vodka and pour over the ice.

mandarin-vodka-tonicw

“Mandarin Vodka Tonic”

You can also make a delicious Satsuma Mandarin Margarita.

Satsuma Mandarin Margarita

Mix together :

3 shots fresh squeezed Satsuma mandarin juice

1 shot white 100% agave tequila (such as Patron silver)

½ shot Cointreau

½ shot fresh squeezed lime juice

Pour this over ice in a glass and serve immediately.

mandarin-margarita-close-upw

If you would like to purchase our mandarins during the winter months please contact us using this link.

© 2013. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction of any content in the article without the written permission of the author is prohibited.

www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com

Candied Mandarin Rind

Rind on wood tableDon’t toss out the rinds of our Satsuma Mandarins. They make delicious candied rinds to eat as a treat or to use in baked goods or candy. We love to make panforte out of our candied mandarin rinds.

For success with this recipe I recommend you have a candy thermometer or an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of the syrup throughout the process. You also should have some parchment paper, non-stick spray or vegetable oil or shortening, a good sized saucepan with a lid, and some type of heatproof strainer. Optional items are a cooling rack, and a dehydrator.

Ingredients are only the rinds, lots of sugar, and water.

When you are peeling the Satsumas, it is easy to keep the rinds in large pieces since the rinds usually separate so easily from the fruit. Larger rinds will be easier to candy although if you plan to use chopped rind in panforte or another recipe you can also chop the rind before candying it. In this case you may not cook it to quite as high of a temperature in the final step (try 225-230 instead of 240), as it may fall apart.  When I do that, I use it right away in recipes after draining it as chopped rind is harder to dry and store.

As you are eating the Satsumas, save your large nice looking rinds in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until you have enough to make a batch. For many of our customers this does not take very long! Remove any stem ends and slice or chop if desired, or leave in good sized pieces (¼ to 1/3 of a total mandarin rind is a good size)

peels

Once you have about 6-7 cups of rinds, you are ready to candy them.

Cover the rinds with a lot of water; you cannot really use too much so a large stockpot is useful here. Bring the water to a boil, boil for 10 minutes, then drain the rinds. Do this one more time. This softens the rinds and removes some of the bitterness. Note, mandarins can have much softer rinds than other citrus so use your judgement here. If the rinds are very soft and thin you may need to shorten the boiling time or only use one boil. Make sure they do not get so soft that they will fall apart in the next step.

boiling the peel

Once the rind has been softened by boiling, drain it and set aside.

drained peels

Now, in a medium to large sized saucepan, make a syrup using 3 cups water to 6 cups sugar. The height of the syrup should not be more than about ¼ up the sides of the pan. This allows room for boiling and for adding the rinds. Stir the sugar into the water, and gradually heat it making sure it dissolves. There should be no sugar crystals on the side of the pan so wash it down with a pastry brush with water or put a lid on the pan for a few minutes to let the steam build up to wash down the sides.  Be careful not to let the pan boil over.

sugar syrup

Once the sugar is well dissolved, raise the temperature of the syrup to a rolling boil and continue to boil until it has reached the “thread stage” which is 230 F on a candy thermometer.

Now add the rind to the pan and stir it in. Tuck the rind under the syrup as best you can so it is all being infused in the syrup.

rind in syrup

Put a piece of parchment paper over the rind to help hold it under the syrup.

parchment over the rind

Now let the rind slowly simmer in the syrup for about 1 hour. Once in a while you may want to remove the paper and gently stir the rind a bit and tuck it under the syrup again to make sure all of it gets infused with the syrup.

NOTE: Excessive stirring can break up the rind, and also cause sugar crystallization so a gentle touch with minimal stirring is important in this recipe.

After one hour, remove the parchment and raise the heat to a good rolling boil. Cook the rind in the syrup, giving it a gentle stir on occasion, especially making sure it does not burn at the bottom, until the syrup thickens and reaches the firm soft ball stage which is 240-245 range on the candy thermometer. Note: If the syrup gets very thick and stirring any more is breaking up the rind, causing it to turn to mush, or if the rind has absorbed most of the syrup, stop cooking it even if it has not reached 240. Anything above 230 should be fine.

Rind in syrup finished

Now remove the rind from the syrup. The easiest way to do this is to strain it in a strainer that has relatively large openings for the syrup to go through, or to remove it from the syrup with a slotted spoon. Be careful, the syrup is very hot and can burn you.

Separate the rinds out on parchment that has been sprayed with non-stick spray or oil, and let them cool. You may want to spoon them onto the paper when they are still hot, then let them sit until they can be touched at which time you can separate them from each other. If they cool all the way while stuck together you will have a hard time separating them.

rind on parchment

To dry further you can put them on a drying rack that has been sprayed with non-stick spray or oil, and put them in a warm dry place. You can also dry them at 100-110 in a dehydrator or in an oven set on the dehydrator setting or with the oven light on. Once they are no longer sticky they are ready.

Rind on racks

To store the rind, refrigerate it or put it in an airtight container and store at room temperature. Make sure it is kept very dry. You can layer it with sugar to help keep it dry. Keep an eye on it and do not store it too long though because if moisture builds up it can occasionally grow mold and spoil.

Use in recipes or serve as is.finished rind

Our Satsumas are not sprayed with any pesticides or herbicides or fungicides so the rinds are safe to eat. Although we are not certified organic, everything we use on our crop, even our fertilizer, meets organic certification standards through OMRI   We typically do not spray anything on our mandarins except an occasional one time per season use of an organic oil spray to protect the rinds if a lot of rain is predicted. We use hoeing, weedeating and flaming to control weeds under the trees, not herbicides

To order a box of our mandarins shipped use this link. If you would like to pick them up at our farm, contact us using this link.

For more about our farm visit our website www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com

Persimmon salsa

persimmon with copyrightThere are 2 types of persimmons commonly available in our area of California. Both ripen in the fall. The Hachiya persimmon are extremely astringent unless ripened until they are jelly like inside. Typically these persimmons are either used in baking or to make the traditional dried persimmon called Hoshigaki. The Fuyu persimmons, which we grow on our farm, are not astringent so they can be eaten when still crispy, like an apple. They also can be eaten when quite a bit softer, and can even be used in recipes to replace the Hachiya if they are ripened to a jelly like state.

There is an easy way to distinguish the sweet Fuyu persimmon from the astringent Hachiya. The Fuyu has a rounded bottom, the Hachiya has a pointed bottom.

hachiya-and-fuyu-examples copyright

Hachiya Persimmon on the left, Fuyu Persimmon on the right

I love fruit salsa, and mango salsa is delicious, but unlike persimmons, mangoes are not commonly grown in Northern California. I find the texture, color and flavor of a slightly soft-ripe Fuyu persimmon to be similar to mango and have been using it as a California alternative to mango in recipes.  I started making this persimmon salsa several years ago, and I love it on grilled chicken or fish, or it can be eaten with chips like any other salsa.

Use slightly soft Fuyu persimmons if you can. However any Fuyu will work, whether it is still crisp or it is dead ripe soft.

fuyu-example copyright

Beautiful Fall Fuyu persimmons

I like the persimmon peeled, so I peel it, remove the seeds and chop it coarsely. For this recipe, use about 4 persimmons or enough to make 2 cups of chopped persimmon.   The spiciness of this recipe can be individualized. I use about 1/3 of a very hot Poblano chili that has turned red. I chop the chili very finely. This is about 1/4 cup of chopped Poblano chili.

chopped-persimmon-and-chiles copyright

Mix the persimmon and chili in a bowl with the following ingredients:

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

½ cup finely diced avocado (1/2 large or 1 small – about 4 ounces by weight)

½ cup chopped scallion or ¼ cup very finely chopped red onion soaked in water for 10 minutes

¼ cup fresh lime juice

1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger

If you do not have fresh chili, (for example jalapeno) you can use Tabasco or Sriracha or other hot sauce to taste. The amount of spice is up to your discretion. I usually just taste it until it is as hot as I would like.

finished-salsa copyright

Fuyu Persimmon Salsa

Nutrition Notes: persimmons are a good source of carotenoid compounds (vitamin A like compounds) and lutein and zeaxanthin. This compounds can promote eye health.

By the way, if you are interested in purchasing Fuyu persimmons, or the limes for this recipe, we do sell them at our farm when in season. Read more here.

Here is a link with more information about our farm Burgeson Family Farm

© 2013. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction of any content in the article without the written permission of the author is prohibited.

www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com