Archive for the 'dessert' Category

Easy Plum Tarts

plum tarts 3 Easy Plum Tarts

Plums are in.

Not in fashion, but in the market. Although my tongue for food is far more developed than my eye for fashion, and I’d love a pair of pants or some wallpaper in dusty prune plum. Right?

plum tarts 1 Easy Plum Tarts

These came to be the morning after a particularly late night, when a small group of fun people gathered for a cooking class and sleepover at a beautiful retreat out in the foothills, and I was in charge of feeding everyone breakfast. We fired up the pizza oven, which was still warm from the night before, and baked a frittata, and roasted plums with butter, sugar and rosemary from the pot outside the window, and sliced a few more to turn into tarts just by baking them on squares of puff pastry, with a bit of sugar and sliced almonds as a buffer in between.

plum tart Collage Easy Plum Tarts

It’s as easy as it looks – roll out thawed puff, cut into squares, top with sugar/almonds/plums, and fold the edges over to contain any wayward juices. If there had been some cream cheese, soft goat cheese or mascarpone, I might have sweetened and spread it over the pastry to nudge the plums into.

plum tart Collage 2 Easy Plum Tarts

These could be considered dessert, and would make a fine vehicle for a scoop of ice cream, or breakfast pastries a little more fruit-heavy than the usual jam-dabbed Danish. And if plums aren’t in season, thinly slice apples or pears would do just as well, although you may want to consider adding a pinch of cinnamon to your sugar. If you happen to have a jar of vanilla sugar, all the better.

plum tarts 2 Easy Plum Tarts

Easy Plum Tarts

1/2-1 pkg. puff pastry, thawed
2-3 plums, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2-3 Tbsp. sliced almonds
1 egg, beaten (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out 1/4-inch thick (or less) and cut into 3-4 inch squares. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, sprinkle each with about half the sugar and the almonds, then top with thinly sliced plums. Fold the edges over about half an inch and if you like, brush with some beaten egg.

Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.

Makes 4-6 pastries.

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September 18 2014 | dessert | 5 Comments »

Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

cucumber gin sorbet 1 Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

Apparently not having a kitchen is not keeping me from making stuff.

We were clearing out the fridge to move it, and I became obsessed with the use of three quarters of an English cucumber. We couldn’t just eat it – I had to transform it. I almost made fattoush, which would have utilized a couple pitas in the freezer (extra points! It’s like the culinary version of Scrabble) but the gin won. And besides, I needed to get that ice cream machine insert out of the freezer too – those things take up some serious real estate.

cucumber gin sorbet 2 Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

W was not pleased when he heard the machine going and learned I was making cucumber ice cream.

It’s the easiest sorbet ever – chop a cuke into your food processor, add mint, gin, and a simple syrup made my warming sugar and water – which you can totally do in the microwave. It deserves a good gin, like Hendrick’s – something smooth and herbal. Puree + freeze for a refreshing patio sorbet that’s also perfect for scooping into a glass of prosecco or tonic.

Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 large English cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
small handful fresh mint
2-4 Tbsp. (1-2 shots) good gin

In a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, heat the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Pour into a glass or other container (to speed up the cooling process) and put into the fridge until it’s cooled down.

Put the cucumber, mint and gin in the bowl of a food processor. Add the simple syrup and pulse until as well blended as you can get it. Scrape into the bowl of an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. (Alternatively, pour into a large loaf pan and freeze, stirring every hour or so until it’s frozen.)

Makes about 1 L.

pixel Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet
button print gry20 Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

August 20 2014 | dessert and freezable | 9 Comments »

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