Thanksgiving at the Binghams
We hope that you all have something to be thankful for this holiday season. This has been a year of ups and downs and the very unexpected.
We hope that you and yours are safe from Covid. We have had five of our children or their spouses get Covid-19. Two are still recovering. We are thankful that vaccines and treats are on the horizon.
But we have much to be thankful for. We are thankful for our friends and neighbors. We are thankful for our great employees. We are thankful for our partnerships with our neighbor businesses Giddens Art Gallery in Grapevine Texas and Yee Haw Ranch Outfitters in Fredericksburg.
We are thankful for the six gold and silver medals that our team won with wines at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. We are thankful that we had a successful organic hemp crop. More news on that soon.
Even as times have been hard, we have had blessings as well. We had a hard time deciding between three great desserts to eat at our Thanksgiving dinner. Blueberry and Lemon pie, Buttermilk pie, or Pumpkin Cheesecake. We had Bingham 2018 Reserve Viognier, 2016 Reserve Carignan (a club member exclusive which is sold out except for a few cases at our shipping fulfillment center and each of our tasting rooms) , and 2019 Reserve Moscato Giallo for wine.
At least it was easy to pair the meal with the Viognier and Carignan, and then ending with desserts with the Moscato Giallo.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all and we pray for happy holidays for you all!
Pumpkin Crepe Cake
with 2018 Viognier
You love wine and food, so we have another pairing for you. Shannon Brown, a long time team member of Bingham Family Vineyards, is here to share her expertise at creating wonderful wine and food pairings. Gather the wine and the ingredients, and try another pairing with us.
This recipe was originally paired with our 2018 Viognier which is not longer available, but try this dessert with our 2019 Viognier.
Recipe and Printing
For the crepes:
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
For the pumpkin pastry cream:
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
For optional garnishes:
- 2 ounces salted caramel sauce
- 1/2 cup cream, whipped softly with 2 Tbsp. powered sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp toasted pepitas
To make the crepes:
- Place the eggs, milk, flour, butter, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Allow the batter to rest for 20 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter, swirling the pan to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes to brown the other side.
- Transfer the cooked crepe to a wire rack to cool, then repeat until you have used all the batter.
To make the pumpkin pastry cream:
- Place the yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Heat the milk in a small pot until small bubbles form around the edge, and wisps of steam are rising from the surface.
- Add the hot milk to the egg mixture, a little at a time, whisking to combine.
- When all the milk has been added, transfer the mixture back to the pot and place over medium-low heat.
- Cook the pastry cream, whisking, until thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the pastry cream through a fine mesh strainer, into a heat-safe bowl. (Use the back of a ladle to press the mixture through the sieve.)
- Press a layer of plastic wrap directly onto the surface, and refrigerate until completely cool. (about 2 hours).
- Whip the cream and powdered sugar together until stiff.
- Fold the whipped cream, pumpkin, and spices into the pastry cream.
To assemble the pumpkin crepe cake:
- Place a crepe on a serving platter, and top with about 2 tablespoons of spiced pumpkin pastry cream, spreading it in an even layer.
- Top with another crepe, and repeat until all the crepes and filling have been used.
- Drizzle caramel sauce on every other layer and over the top.
- Garnish with salted caramel sauce, sweetened whipped cream, cinnamon, and toasted pepitas (optional).
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee.
Now you have the recipe. Don’t forget to buy the wine.
This recipe looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it now that things have slowed down after two weddings within three weeks.
Update after the Freezing Weather in the Vineyards
Texas grape growers have talked about the problem of early spring freezes in the vineyards for several years. If the plants are awakened and ready for spring, they begin to produce buds. If a hard and long enough freeze happens, then these buds can be killed causing a loss of crop for the year. There has also always been a problem at times with freezing weather in late fall or during the winter, but “winter kill” as they sometimes call it has not been a major problem until this last season.
Normally we enjoy the moisture from the winter cold or snow such as this photo shows from February of this year. You can see more photos from time here. But the vines need to be dormant or “sleeping” for them to not be damaged by the cold weather.
Last year on October 31, 2019 there was freezing weather that caused a large amount of crop loss for High Plains grape growers. Vines that have been weakened by drought, insect injury, disease, chemical drift, or mechanical injury to the trunk or roots, will be more susceptible to this type of cold weather. The effect is much the same as the COVID virus on people with underlying health conditions. The underlying health of the vine is a factor in how much damage freezing weather will cause to the plant.
Shelly Wilfong, host of ThisisTexasWine.com podcast, discussed this with Daniel Pate on a recent podcast.
You will want to check out her web site and hear more of Shelly’s podcasts. The interview that she had with Jessica Duprey was enlightening to hear Jessica’s view on what “Texas” on the label should mean for Texas wines. Jessica has her own vineyard, so she has learned how hard it is to grow wine grapes. We do appreciate both Jessica and Shelly for their stories about Texas wine for all of us to enjoy.
We are now retraining and working with our vines to overcome damage that was caused last year. Then on October 26th through the 28th last month, we had freezing weather in the vineyards. One very good aspect about that weather event was the moisture. The moisture creates a protective layer for the vines as well as giving much needed moisture back to the soil.
Our fields for organic row crops are so dry this year that we will not be doing much deep breaking (or plowing) of the fields during the winter to destroy weeds because of lack of moisture in the soil. But we are preparing the fields as we are looking forward to planting hemp again.
Back to checking on the vineyards, our Dirt Farmer, Cliff, has been out in the vineyards cutting vines and looking for life. So what does that look like? It looks … green.
Do you see green? Yes! Yea! That is what we hope for. Signs of life. Cliff did not find much of any damage in the vines from this last freeze. This freeze will actually help develop the cold hardiness of the vines for the rest of the winter.
We hope and pray for all vines and people that we can make it through this winter freezes and the COVID virus.
Save Texas Wineries
We were so excited on Saturday to announce that our tasting room in Fredericksburg has been allowed to reopen again. We are eagerly hoping that our Grapevine tasting room will be allowed to reopen soon, as well. Now we are joining with other wineries to help them to reopen as well.
We care about the weakest in our society, but we believe that Texas wineries can operate just as safely, if not safer, than Texas restaurants. Our tasting room at Fredericksburg, and Grapevine when it is allowed to reopen, will be focused on the good of all members of our society, especially the weak and vulnerable. We have decided to limit the number of people in our tasting room at one time and to practice the measures listed on our Covid-19 update page to reduce the opportunity for viral transmission.
After studying the goals of #SaveTexasWineries, we have decided to work with this organization to help all Texas wineries reopen.
You can help, too, by contacting your representatives to express your support of wineries being allowed to wisely and carefully reopen. Here is a form to help you do that. Once you put your name and address into the form, it will give you a suggested message that you can change and craft into a message for you to send to all of your representatives.
You may also choose to donate to this cause through the SaveTexasWineries.org PAC whose goal it is to open Texas Wineries.
Update from the Farm, August 14, 2020
We are busy finishing up a very strange grape harvest in the next few days. More on that soon. Quite early for that harvest to be coming to an end for the year, but here is a more encouraging update from the organic row crops on our farm.
This is the first year that we have grown organic hemp.
These plants are huge. They are growing like weeds, except that they do love water. Some are over seven and eight feet tall.
We are producing grain, fiber, and CBD for to buyers make products to help people and animals.
This is a new and adventurous endeavor, but diversification is what is helping our vineyards and farm to stay afloat during these times.