Saturday, at the Farmer’s market, I couldn’t resist a whole flat of organic Albion strawberries for just $10! This week will surely be filled with delicious strawberry treats- starting with a strawberry clafoutis. Clafoutis is a fantastic French dessert traditionally made with cherries, although I seem to recall my grandmother making a version with French prunes, pits and all.
Since I was flush with ripe beautiful berries, I decided to combine a few of my favorite things, strawberries, vanilla, and flowers in this lovely homey French dessert. It’s a double dose of vanilla with both Tahitian vanilla extract and vanilla bean in the batter. The strawberries come from, well, strawberries, and the flowers come from orange flower water. I would love to garnish this with real orange blossoms, that would be just beautiful, but alas, I’ve got none, but I always have orange flower water- it just tastes (and smells) divine. You’ll see I was pretty crazy for this, there are lots of pictures, I hope you don’t mind.
So, here it is: Strawberry Orange Blossom Clafoutis- sweet, simple, and delicious.
- 1 ¼ c milk
- ¾ c flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- ½ c granulated sugar
- ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ large vanilla bean
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tablespoons orange flower water (or more to taste)
- 1 ½ c fresh ripe strawberries
- 1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
- butter for greasing
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Grease an oval 2-quart baking/gratin dish then dust with a bit of sugar
… get the recipe
It is fig season and I am just mad for their sexy sweet taste. The way their leathery purple skin hides bright sweet seedy pink flesh is so alluring to me. When I was growing up, our neighbors had a fig tree, and if you climbed onto the railing of the inlaw unit in our backyard, you could just reach the ripe figs and pick them warm from the sun. I would rip them open with my hands and suck out the flesh leaving the skin to eat last.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized I could eat figs cooked. Of course I’d had them aside cheese or prosciutto and in newtons, but once I began experimenting with them in food, my whole world changed. After a trip to the farmers market this weekend that yielded a bunch of lovely purple food, I was down to only a few purple bell peppers, so I hit Bi-Rite market for a little inspiration.
In chatting with my favorite cheese buyer, Anthea, I got inspired by a 5 month old Spanish Goat cheese, called Queso Abrigo. I saw a basket of figs and then the whole idea for the dish just came together in my head. I told Anthea what I was thinking for dinner tonight and she said, “I think I might try that too”. We had a talk about figs and how we could just eat baskets and baskets of them- and then I went to pick … get the recipe
Hot hot hot. It’s October, and it is smokin’ hot outside. There is nothing better to beat the heat than a little homemade soda pop. Since I’m crazy about chilies, I like my soda with a little edge to it. I came up with this jalapeño lime cooler, and Joshua, my love, added a splash (or three) of Hornitos to his and Miss Jackson’s coolers. I, being too hot to drink, just had mine plain.
Oh, and when I was done making the syrup, I ate those sweet candied jalapeños. I think I’d like to pour that syrup over ice cream, over shaved ice, maybe over some key lime muffins. Mmm, I think it’s got lots of possibilies. But for now, it’s just too darned hot to cook, let’s just drink.
- INGREDIENTS—serves 4
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup organic raw sugar
- 2 jalepenos
- 6 limes
- 24 oz soda water
- tequila (optional)
- Bring water, sugar, zest of two limes, and quartered jalapeños to a boil over medium heat
- Cook until syrup thickens and begins to turn to a light caramel color
- Remove from heat and remove jalapeños with tongs and set aside
- Allow syrup to cool then add one tablespoon of syrup, and a slice syrupy jalapeño, and juice from ½ of a lime to a glass then fill with ice and soda water garnish with lime and serve. (or add tequila too)!
This blog is called The Tomato Tart for a reason. I am mad mad mad for savory tarts, but particularly for tomato tarts. The funny thing is that my mother once told me that one of my first sentences was, “Mommy, I HATE pomatoes”. I emphatically hated “pomatoes” for most of my childhood. I hated their mealy pink icky insides and refused to eat them raw. Sometimes the visual of a lovely cherry tomato would appeal to me, and I would try, but to no avail.
The turning point came, when my Auntie Gilda (soft G, please) in Napa served me her home grown tomatoes vinaigrette on her terra cotta deck. With the sun streaming down on the long table through the live oaks, my life changed forever on that day. I do believe she fed me heirloom tomatoes at least full decade before the trend hit even the trendiest restaurant.
Today, if you ask me what I would eat for my last meal, I quickly answer, a tomato tart and a frisee salad with lardons and a poached egg with a bottle of 1985 Charlie. Here’s one of my recipes for a tomato tart.
FOR THE PASTRY CRUST
- 1¼ c flour chilled
- 6 tablespoons butter cubed and chilled for at least 15 minutes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2-6 tablespoons iced vodka (or a mixture of vodka and water)
- Parmesan or Gruyere
- Preheat oven to 425°
- In the Food Processor (mine is called Maggie- all of my
… get the recipe