Monday, September 21, 2009

apple spice kanten

It's almost the fall equinox, but here in Southern California we are in the middle of a heat wave. It's not quite time to break out the rolling pin and start an apple crumble, none the less, today I was feeling a mildly festive and decided to welcome autumn in with some apple spice in the form of a light and cooling dessert.
Kanten or Agar agar is a gelatin substitute often used in making macrobiotic sweets. Gelatin is made from the collagen in boiled animal bones. Agar Agar on the other hand is derived from sea vegetables.
Which one would you prefer?

This is simple to make. Feel free to get creative with it. Berry Kanten would be superb too.

Macro Food Fact: Agar agar provides good bulk for regulating the intestines, and it contains zero calories.

Apple Spice Kanten
serves 4

3 cups apple cider
1/4 cup agar flakes (Whole Foods or Japanese Market)
1 cinnamon stick
3 crushed clove buds
2 tbsp coconut milk
2 1/2 tbsp agave nectar
2 small apples (if you like, choose different varieties for a festive look)
ground cinnamon for garnish
sprig of mint

1. Pour apple cider and agar flakes into a small saucepan, let sit 10 min.
2. Add cinnamon stick and clove buds. Over a low flame, slowly bring to a boil, whisking several times. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes more.
3. Remove cinnamon stick. Add coconut milk and agave nectar. Stir well. Turn off heat.
4. Evenly distribute apples into 4 small glass bowls. Ladle hot cider on top of apples, filling bowls about 1/2 full.
5. When steam is no longer rising from the bowls, place them in refrigerator to firm up, about 30-40 minutes.
6. garnish with some cinnamon and a sprig of mint.

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