The recipe I’m offering comes from Yerchanig Joy Callan, wife of Roy Callan, Executive Director of Camp Haiastan in Franklin, MA. Her recipe is one of the dessert selections in the recently released cookbook, “Armenian Cuisine: Preserving Our Heritage”, from St. John’s Armenian Church, Southfield, Michigan.
Joy suggests cooking the fruit separately from the other ingredients and adding it when cooled to keep the pudding's appearance an appealing pearly white. Joy also confided that the longer the pudding sets, the thicker it becomes. To loosen it up a bit, stir in a little simple syrup (the kind you drizzle on paklava) before serving.
This dish is a MUST-have at any Armenian Christmas (January 6th) celebration.
PS: Don't forget: According to our friend Ara, tonight, Jan. 5th, you should be serving Nevik - Swiss Chard with Chick Peas!
1 cup gorgod (skinless whole wheat)
3 ½ quarts water
1 cup sugar
1 cup California apricots, finely chopped
1 cup raisins (currants or yellow)
½ cup pistachios
1/3 cup pine nuts
¼ cup finely chopped filberts (hazelnuts)
½ cup slivered almonds
½ toasted pecans or walnuts
Ground cinnamon, to taste
1. In a 6-quart pot, combine wheat and water. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Cover and let rest overnight.
2. Remove cover. Return to simmer. Simmer gorgod until water begins to thicken. The lower the simmer, the “whiter” the pudding will remain. After about 1 ½ to 2 hours of simmering, add the sugar and continue to simmer. The pudding will begin to take on a thicker consistency.
3. While wheat is simmering, combine fruit, pistachios and pine nuts in a small saucepan with water. Bring to a gentle simmer and allow to cook for about 15 minutes. Thoroughly drain. Add to pudding when pudding is cooled so that fruit will not bleed color into pudding.
4. Pour into serving bowl. Garnish with filberts, slivered almonds, pecans or walnuts and cinnamon.
5. Pomegranate seeds should either be incorporated into pudding uncooked or served separately as a garnish.