third issue of Bloom (a Bloomington city  magazine
I do some writing for) is out and they’ve got the web site up and running with lots of the magazine’s
content online. There is some of my stuff on the site here and here.  (These are pdf files and kind of slow loading, at least on my computer.)  The current issue isn’t archived yet, but I have a piece in it on my effort to create a holiday feast with ingredients that come from within 100 miles of Bloomington.  The meal was fabulous, in a kind of pathetic way. You can see what I mean when the article is archived (when the next issue comes out.)

Bloom is great fun and a great magazine, with excellent writing and
photography (and no, I don’t mean mine.) Kudos to editor Malcolm Abrams for moving to our little town with his high
falutin’ New York City  ideas  and starting this thing. Whoever
would have thought?

picture above is for a Persimmon Cranberry Trifle from the holiday feast story, a joint creation of mine
(i.e., I said “Hey, can we make a trifle with persimmon? And how would cranberries do for some color?”)
and David Fletcher of BLU Culinary Arts (i.e., he did all the work.) It turned out to be delicious. If you have some persimmon pulp on your hands
and want to do something other than the usual persimmon pudding, the recipe is
available below.

out Bloom’s web site and enjoy!

Cranberry Trifle

quart whole milk

cup corn starch

¼ cup sugar, divided

whole eggs

egg yolks

pound butter

Tablespoons vanilla

½ cups persimmon pulp

bag fresh cranberries

teaspoon ground cloves

Tablespoon crystallized ginger, chopped

½ teaspoons cinnamon, divided

recipe of your favorite sponge cake, or purchased sponge or pound cake

cream for garnish

chestnuts, for garnish (optional)

For cranberries:

medium pot or skillet, combine cranberries with 1 cup water and 1 cup of
sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar
dissolves and berries begin to pop. Add
crystallized ginger and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and continue to simmer for 10
minutes. Remove from heat and allow to

For pastry cream:

butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Set

a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of the milk with the cornstarch and stir to
dissolve. Add whole eggs and yolks and
whisk until combined.

a medium pot heat remaining 3 cups milk with 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until it
begins to form small bubbles around edges of pan.

the egg mixture by whisking in small increments of the hot milk/sugar mixture
to gradually warm it (adding the hot mixture all at once will scramble the
eggs.) Return the mixture to the pot,
pouring it through a sieve to remove any cornstarch lumps.

medium heat, cook the custard until it thickens (like pudding.) Immediately remove from heat and pour over
butter and vanilla in reserved bowl. Whisk until butter is melted.

over an ice bath until cool, then refrigerate for at least one hour.

pastry cream is chilled, remove from refrigerator and divide in half. Leave one half as is. Stir persimmon pulp into other half, with 1 ½
teaspoon cinnamon and ground cloves. Whisk until smooth.

To assemble:

trifle can be made in a single, large trifle bowl, or in 6-8 individual
goblets. How you slice the cake will
depend on how you intend to serve it. For the large bowl, slice cake into layers approximately 1 inch thick,
and cut to fit snugly in bowl. For
goblets, cut cake into cubes. For added
texture, cake can be sprinkled lightly with sugar and toasted until crispy
around edges.

ingredients – cake, both pastry creams and cranberries in serving dish(es)
according to your preference. We layered
cranberries, persimmon cream, toasted cake cubes, vanilla cream, persimmon cream , cranberries, cake cubes,
vanilla cream, and persimmon cream.

trifle sit in refrigerator until thoroughly chilled and ingredients start to
meld, at least 6 hours.

garnished with whipped cream and sugared chestnuts, if desired.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. anna maria says:

    The recipe sounds delicious and the articles are great. Congratulations! I particularly enjoyed the one about the farming family, of course.


  2. Feels like summer over here!
    Looks delicious.


  3. We’ve got the same heat wave, Hank. What gives?
    Thanks, Anna Maria. The farm family story was a delight to write. Of course, the spa story wasn’t a hardship either. 🙂


  4. Your fruit photo is what warmed me up!


  5. What a treat reading you in long form–you’re such a wonderful writer! Thanks for sharing the Bloom articles.


  6. You are a doll to say so. Thanks, Lisa!


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