Penny aka Jeroxie - when the theme is cobbler. Have I lost my mind? Is this an alcoholic's coded cry for help? Is there nothing I won't do to get out of making dessert?
Well, yes, no, and yes, but that's beside the point. You see, I did a little cobbler research and discovered that while it can certainly be a fruity dessert wth a crumbly topping ("pie for the unmotivated," stated one definition) there is an older and more arcane definition: An iced drink made with wine, sherry, sugar, and lemon. Bingo!
So I decided to combine the fruit element with the wine element and incorporate macerated grapes into my cocktail, which I have dubbed "The Cobbler." Drink enough of it and its name changes to "The Bobbler."
I have also been itching to use an amazing ingredient sent to me by the incredibly thoughtful, creative, and sassy Maya of Foodiva's Kitchen: fresh pandan leaves. This is the second of four inspiring ingredients that somehow found their way to me, the first being those cute little finger limes. I don't know what I have done to deserve it all, but I hope I keep doing it!
Pandan is often described as the vanilla of Asia, and it is that but so much more - nutty, complex, and amenable to sweet and savory preparations. I decided to make a simple syrup with it, by boiling 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar, and then steeping the pandan in the hot liquid to infuse it. This is the first of a few applications I have for my lovely pandan, and it was a huge success - a subtly scented simple syrup with notes of vanilla, macadamia nuts, and something I can't quite put my finger on.
For my macerated grapes, I covered roughly 2 generous handfuls of seedless red grapes with this herbal liqueur that I got at a Prague monastery:
This is, above all, a quite dangerous drink, but then, the best ones always are, aren't they? Make sure to check out what everyone else brought to the cobbler party - the dishes will be posted by 9 pm EST (for once I have come to the party a bit early).