Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sunday Morning, Part III (of III) - The Market Haul

market haul
As you have probably guessed if you've seen the other pictures, I went a little nuts at the farmers' market on Sunday.

Here's a complete list of what I purchased:

  • apriums
  • pluots
  • tomatoes and cherry tomatoes
  • fresh salsa
  • squash blossoms
  • fava beans
  • green beans and wax beans
  • spring onions
  • strawberries
  • bread and cie baguette
  • Guanni Chocolates
  • Brioche cinnamon roll
market haul
Suffice to say, we have eaten well this week. For Monday night's dinner, I stuffed the squash blossoms with ricotta cheese and lightly fried them in a beer batter. With the strawberries, I made a strawberry clafoutis.

On Tuesday, I oven-fried an organic chicken, which we ate with salad from the tomatoes, some of the bread, and some leftover Rancho Gordo beans (made on Sunday using one of the onions.) For dessert, we nibbled on the Guanni chocolates.

Wednesday's dinner was a pasta dish made with sprouted wheat pappardelle, another of the onions, the fava beans, some Niman Ranch bacon and Reggiano parmesan. I gave some of the green and wax beans to my mom, and had some in my lunches this week (they steam beautifully in the microwave).

Of all of the things I made this week though, my hands down favorite has to be the pluot and aprium tarts I made on Sunday. Saturday was my dad's birthday, and we celebrated on Sunday night. He had requested brownies, which I made - but I thought a birthday called for something more. Not a cake though, not today.
pluots and apriums ready for tart
My first idea was to make a tart using pate brisee and pastry cream - but I don't have an oblong tart pan, and I remembered that we had made some really delicious pear tarts using frangipane and puff pastry in my class. We built the tarts by rolling out the dough, cutting it into strips, and stacking the thin strips of puff dough on the sides with egg wash.

With the leftover puff dough from my St. Honore Cake and the recipe for frangipane, I set to work. Here's the Frangipane, ready for spreading.
I thawed the frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight, rolled it out very thin, and cut it into two three-inch strips, and four 1/2-inch strips. I glued the half-inch strips onto the edges with egg wash, trimmed the tarts to even and filled the centers with a generous smear of frangipane, spreading it with a offset spatula. I laid the sliced fruit on the frangipane in a pattern, sprinkled the top with toasted almonds, and brushed the edges of the pastry with egg white. They went on a parchment lined sheet pan, and baked at about 375 for 40-45 minutes, until they were deep golden brown and the frangipane had puffed and dried between the slices.
pluot and aprium tarts with frangipane
Here they are just out of the oven. (I sprinkled the edges with powdered sugar from a shaker.)

The recipe for the puff dough can be found here. I have two recipes for the Frangipane. The one I used here is the one from my class, but when I made almond brioche a while back, I used a different recipe from the Joy of Cooking. Here I have included both. Chef Foran's is a little lighter and fluffier - while the other recipe has more almond flavor and a little more heft.
pluot and aprium tart with frangipane
Frangipane I - a la Chef Foran
(makes about two cups)
4.5 ounces of butter - softened
4.5 ounces of sugar
4.5 ounces of almond meal
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla paste
3/4 cup of All Purpose Flour
pinch salt

With the paddle, beat the softened butter, sugar and almond meal until smooth and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla paste and incorporate. Blend in the flour and pinch of salt.

Frangipane II
adapted from the Joy of Cooking

1 cup almond meal (ground whole almonds)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons soft butter
1 egg white
1/4 tsp almond extract
a couple of teaspoons of water

Mix the flour, powdered sugar and almond meal in a smal bowl. Whisk together the soft butter, egg white, almond extract and corn syrup. Stir into the almond meal mixture, adding a little water if it seems dry - you want a fairly light spreadable texture.


  1. your last 3 entries have made me more homesick than ever!!! we have a sweet little farm market we can walk to on Saturday mornings, but, of course, it's just not the same ;-(

  2. Mmm.. Man, I need to get down to the Hillcrest farmer's market more often. Every time I've gone, I've been amazed, but it's just hard for me to justify driving that far when there are other markets in La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach.. I miss living in North Park!

  3. Tracy - we miss you guys too!! Any word on wedding plans?

    Maia - let me know if you want to meet there sometime - I think my chances of getting James out on a Sunday morning on a regular basis are pretty slim...

  4. I made tarts too with my leftover puff pastry...beautiful.

  5. It certainly does sound as though you've eaten well for the week and the tarts are beautiful! Our farmers' market in Connecticut opens next Friday and I'm counting the hours. There won't be much produce yet, but just being able to go to the market will be a treat.

  6. peabody - it was so good I almost want to make the pastry again, just to do the tart!

    and I think I have to excuse myself for a minute while I go outside and jump up and down - is this from Dorie Greenspan? I didn't get the Connecticut reference at first. Thank you thank you thank you!