Once upon a time… there was christmas. and people stopped using their brain and started to cut off little beautiful pine trees to push thru their entrance door for standing in their living room with full decorations. All this for a couple of days only in magical December. Then taking off the lights n balls and all sort of weird plastic 1 pound’ deco and throw out the tree to a top of a massive pile of ‘ex christmas tree’ trash hill. And this repeatedly happening every single year. Shame. BUT…
This is not what i wanted to talk about here. Oh not at all. Thanks to my flatmates friend Jason (i only met him once but i feel i have to mention him cause literally he is the reason that i got back to writing this now…) who just popped in one night while i was battling with my xmas tree* (i found an already ‘offcut’ piece on the top of a bin what belongs to the neighbours flower shop, so no judgement, i was upcycling again) in the kitchen… then i dont know what ve been talking about but something about pines and douglas fir, and that i found a massive piece the day before what i took to job and made an amazing icecream with it. Here we go. Pine icecream. Smoked pine icecream actually. Then the other one… pine oil… oh hell yes… then smoking with pine, Jesus Christ. I was ending up with a huge list about using up your pine off cuts instead of throwing away. And it does taste great – after experimenting the ‘dosage’, really doesnt need to be christmas to enjoy it.
3 ways to use it – infuse your oil, infuse your alcohol or infuse any other sort of liquid u planning to turn into something later.
First – oil. its not just it has got beautiful color what looks amazing on the plate around your food but it does sounds very cool ‘using pine oil’. U must check the type of pine u have on hand – what i found was pretty weak, no smell, hardly any wax. The secret is definitely in the wax = as more u have as brutal flavour u ll get. So take this into account. My oil had very natural ‘green’ flavour so was not disturbing any other flavours, i used it on a dessert but can run away nicely on your creamy risotto or dress up your panfried fish steak. Be brave and creative. Get same amount of sunflower or other ^cheap fryer oil^ and picked pine “leaves”, put them in the thermomix, heat up to 90 on top speed , do it as quick as possible – oil seems very little amount so the process wont take long. I left my oil like this for 10 minutes then strain straight into a bowl what s sitting on ice (just making sure that u wont loose the clorofil). Keep refrigerated and kindof away of sunlight as more as poss.
Second – booze. Dear God. Keep me away from this. Its a tough part. Personally i didnt try to infuse booze with douglas fir, but i m continuously infusing stuff at home so if i would do…
I d possibly try to infuse gin – juniper seems to grow in ‘almost’ pine trees LOL. But get very little amount – like one handful of pines to a bottle of gin ( around 750ml). If u want to go brutal, go with the part where the wax on, if u want more a herby natural flavour then pick the “leaves” off just like in the case of making the oil. Im afraid that this can go very bitter if u let the wax dissolve deeply in your alcohol. Make things faster – vacpac and waterbath around 50 degrees for a couple of hours – or leave in the bottle for couple of days. God helps u. I think this can work very well with cocktails (blueberry, ginger stuff) but let me know if u try your naked true pine booze. LOL.
Last but not least – infuse your ‘other stuff’. I was making a f*cking delicious icecream with my xmas tree. I smoked it first – then vacpac my cream and milk mix and let it infuse in the waterbath around 50 for half day… if u just keep warming up the stuff in a pan – it works as well, no need fancy waterbath and vacpac machine if there is no. lol After u try, u taste if u happy with the flavour or not – but dont forget, with sugar it will taste much more nicer and rounder if i can say this. Mine was just beautiful – had nothing to do with any sort of pine air toilet spray or pine handwash soap. Simply gorgeous and was working very well on my chocolate – praline plate.