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:
- tomatoes and cherry tomatoes
- fresh salsa
- squash blossoms
- fava beans
- green beans and wax beans
- spring onions
- bread and cie baguette
- Guanni Chocolates
- Brioche cinnamon roll
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.
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.
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.
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 tsp vanilla paste
3/4 cup of All Purpose Flour
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.
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.