Sunday, October 17, 2010

Canadian Thanksgiving in Budapest

We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving last Sunday with a 14-person, 2-dog potluck at the official residence. The event was a roaring success: pumpkins decorated the entrance, children and dogs chased each other under the table, conversation flowed in three languages, and there was enough food to feed an army. None of us, though, were entirely convinced by the turkey (catered by a local hotel): I am pretty sure it was in fact a capon.

Richard and I brought a tourtière, a lemon poppy seed cake, a chocolate ginger cake, and sugarplum fairy balls.

The tourtière recipe is available upon request. We were very chuffed that one of the French Canadians at the table asked for seconds – this truly defines the pinnacle of tourtière making.

The sugarplum fairy balls are tiny morsels of fruit and nuts, filled with sweetness and a satisfyingly crunchy texture. They are very Christmasy in their name, their appearance, and their ingredients – but I love them at any time of year, and they work well in a potluck setting. Here they are, nestled in a tub and ready to be transported to the official residence:

Sugarplum fairy balls

What you need:
  • 1 cup dried fruit (apricots, raisins, cranberries, apples, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened dried coconut
  • 2 tbsp fruit juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar (not superfine)
What you do:
  • In a food processor, mix dried fruit, walnuts and dried coconut until you have a fine, even crumb mixture. Add the fruit juice and mix until moistened.
  • Form into small (1/2 -- 3/4 inch diameter) balls with your hands. Squeeze each ball slightly to make sure that the sugarplums stay together.
  • Roll the balls individually in granulated sugar. Serve as soon as possible.


Pickles said...

How fun having Thanksgiving in another country. It brought back some memories - at first of being homesick, but quickly followed by new friends exicted about a fun evening. Your tourtiere looks delicious!

JMN said...

Thanks! The pastry maple leaves were great -- cut out with cookie cutters, and 'glued' to the pie shell with an egg wash.