It’s very hard to find really bloody oranges. At the market here in Erlangen two different kinds of blood oranges are being sold: one half-blood orange called “Tarocco” and a full-blood orange named “Moro”. In the last years and during this winter as well, they were both pretty pale inside, containing only a few red pigments – if any at all. I usually try to determine the bloodiness of an orange by the color of the skin, but unfortunately a red pigmented skin doesn’t guarantee a deep red interior. Since I don’t know any better method, finding really red blood oranges remains a kind of lottery. The statistics for this current winter season are pretty disillusioning: only 1 of 20 blood oranges was truly deep red inside. I planned to use red blood oranges for this vegan dish too, but unfortunately the oranges I bought had yet again only very few red spots. Irrespectively of their color, they fulfilled their means of use by adding sourness and freshness to the dish.
Kaiserschmarrn is prepared the traditional way usually with apple puree and a vanilla-milk batter. With some imagination it can be turned into thousands of new variations. One possibility is the Caribbean coconut Kaiserschmarrn I posted a month ago, or another example would be this current butternut squash version – which is actually lactose-free. The squash adds both flavor and color to the final result, which is also the reason for its beautiful yellow appearance. I also experimented blending the softened squash with milk, but the result was much better when I used the reduced stock cooked from the seeds and skin of the butternut squash.
Next to blackberries, quince is my most favorite fruit. Although it resembles a pear or an apple, it is far too hard and sour to be eaten raw. However, if you cook quince almost indefinitely it not only turns to a lovely pink or red color, but also develops an irresistibly rich flavor. Unfortunately, the season for quince is quite short during autumn, but you can keep the jam, puree or quince jelly for several months. It pairs great with cheese, however, this time I used the quince puree in a dessert paired with another typical autumn and winter ingredient: sweet potato.
In the main course of my meatless menu for the 2011 ZEITmagazin cooking competition I wanted to present the carrot from different perspectives. The base is formed by a clean tasting creamy carrot puree. After cooking the carrots I put them back on the hot stove to dry them out a bit. Afterwards, while blending to a fine puree I adjusted the consistency if the puree by adding some raw carrot juice. Carrots tend to loose a lot of flavor during cooking – by adding carrot juice later I managed to reincorporate the clean carrot flavor into the puree.