BURNT CINNAMON CIDER CASHEW CREAM
Serve this rich and decadent cream with fruit like Fuyu persimmons or apples for dipping, on top of your favorite baked good, or dolloped on a mug of steaming cider.
Makes about 1 cup
2 cups fresh apple cider
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 -inch coin of ginger
1 cup raw, unsalted cashew pieces (about 4 1/2 ounces)
squeeze of lemon
pinch of sea salt
Pour the cider into a small saucepot. Place the cashews in a small bowl.
Firmly hold one end of the cinnamon stick and carefully and evenly char it in an open flame until it just turns color, then dip it into the cider to put the flame out and cool the charred end. (Be careful—when you burn the cinnamon stick, the heat can move through the hollow center.) Then hold the cooled charred end and burn the other end, then drop it into the pot with the cider.
Add the cardamom pods and ginger to the pot, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low so the liquid gently boils and cook until the mixture has reduced to ¾ cup, around 35-40 minutes. (Keep a liquid measuring glass nearby to check the volume.)
Let the sauce cool for a few minutes, then strain it through a fine mesh sieve over the cashews. Discard the cinnamon stick and reserve the cardamom
Soak the cashews in the reduced cider for 20 minutes, until they soften.
Transfer the cashews and spiced cider to a high-speed blender and purée until smooth. Blend in the ginger, inner seeds of the cardamom to taste (I use the seeds of two pods), salt and lemon.
The recipes of Lauren Chandler Cooks celebrate the colors, flavors and textures of the Pacific Northwest.