Thursday, November 27, 2008

fire proof

farmer's bishop
Despite the fact that it's far too early to drink, I'm feeling positively infused with the holiday spirit and so I'm going to break one of my cardinal rules and share our heretofore scrupulously guarded family recipe for Farmer's Bishop. I'm not sure if the name is meant to impugn farmers or bishops, but, honestly, who cares? Because nothing says Happy Thanksgiving* like an ENORMOUS BOWL OF BLAZING BOOZE.

Here's what you'll need:

3 oranges

what probably seems like an excessive number of whole cloves

1 bottle apple brandy (calvados if you're feeling extravagant, cheap rum, if you're in a frugal frame of mind)

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 gallon cider

spices to taste (try 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg)

Persuade one of your least favorite guests to help out by taking on the painful task of sticking cloves into the oranges (about 20 per orange). Prick the oranges a couple of times with a fork to prevent messy explosions and stick them in a pan in the oven for about half an hour at around 300°F (150°C). Take the oranges out and put them in a warm and (this is very important) fireproof punch bowl.

Heat the apple brandy in a saucepan and pour over the oranges. Sprinkle with the sugar.

While you're warming the brandy, heat the cider til it's practically boiling.

Take a 1/2 cup of the cider, stir in the spice mixture and set it aside.

Very carefully (a long fireplace match works well) set the brandy afire. Let it burn for a few seconds, enjoying the eerie blue flames, then douse it with the cider, finishing off with the cup of spiced cider.



*For all you non-Americans, I'm confident you'll be able to find an equally appropriate occasion for this festive libation. Saturnalia! New Years Eve! Arbor Day! Guy Fawkes! Dominion Day! Sankt Hans!

eta: the after-the-fire photo, just to make the whole orange-clove issue a little clearer.

20 comments:

Patti said...

How about a Friday? Or maybe Tuesday? Do they count as sufficiently wonderful to make this punch?

It sounds freakin' delicious.

niobe said...

I'm pretty sure that any day that ends with a Y would qualify....

Tash said...

Can I mix this with my orange juice? It's never too early here.

Kymberli said...

Oh. my. goodness. I'll have to try this one in the next three weeks before I hit the alcohol-less phase.

Antigone said...

My favorite part is when I ask a guest to stick the cloves in the oranges...

Bon said...

i think the last Thursday in November sounds damn festive to me...who needs an excuse? :)

Caro said...

I'm so not waiting until midsummer. ;-P

Amelie said...

Actually I'd enjoy sticking cloves in the oranges -- I'll come and help you, someday. Sounds delicious.

Aurelia said...

So I take it you burn off a little booze, but not too much?

Sounds very dramatic! And warmly yummy!

Magpie said...

If I start driving now, will I be in your city before you torch the bowl? Because, that sounds awesome.

Maybe for Christmas...

Monica H said...

Happy Thanksgiving Niobe!

Ya Chun said...

sounds like i've got a new recipe for next year

Julia said...

I stood in the spice isle yesterday, considering whether I need a new thing of whole cloves. Decided that I still had enough at home for the cranberry chutney that is on the menu. So now I don't have the 60 I would need for this. But I also don't have oranges, and I think there's less than half a gallon of cider left. So in other words, you are a cruel woman because THE STORES ARE CLOSED today!!!!!!

Commencing theatrical crying now.

Christine said...

happy thanksgiving!

mine will be, sadly, booze-free.

:-(

Anonymous said...

I feel stupid for asking this, but cloves of what?

Melissa said...

Just plain ol' cloves. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clove

Can't wait to try this!

painted maypole said...

way too much work for me, but PLEASE, can I come to your house next time you light liquor on fire?

Magpie said...

And by the way, shouldn't this be called "Flaming Bishop"? It has a certain je ne sais quoi...

niobe said...

Painted Maypole: mi casa es su casa. Can you tell I don't know even the tiniest amount of Spanish? But what I mean to say is: stop by any time and we can light lots of stuff on fire together.

Magpie: Or perhaps even a certain auto-da-fé. (now there's a Spanish phrase I'm pretty sure that I actually know)

myskytimes said...

That sounds tremendously yummy... And what do we need a reason for consuming alcohol? Somewhere on the world, it's already beer o'clock.... ;)