Tag Archives: seasonal

What To Eat for Christmas Dinner – in plenty of time for next year. Sigh.

Better late than never? I hope so. I almost survived Christmas. I could not finagle a single minute to write even a little line or take one yellow-cast nighttime photo. Oh well, I can’t stand those dim candlelit dinner photos anyway.

Right now, I am hunkering down on the couch with a blanket and my laptop. Outside it is neither bright and crisply cold nor white with snow. My hand is deep in one of the many little bags of cookies my sister dropped off for Christmas. You would not believe it. Cardamom horns, chocolate nib shortbreads, chocolate sparklers, chewy ginger cookies, teeny tiny chocolate marshmallows AND (!!!) pecan chocolate dipped butter toffee. They are so gorgeously packed up – each in its own small cellophane bag with a little printed label. I should have taken a picture. (I would accuse her of showboating but I could never jeopardize her taking me off her delivery list!!! Yes. They are that good. I may have to make her write a guest post sometime in November 2013.) I digress. I am so wiped out by Christmas I can barely move. I am just sitting around eating cookies, contemplating how on earth I can get up the energy to make something decent for dinner for the ravenous hoards. (aka my children)

Part of the reason for this slothfulness is that the weather is so particularly Seattle-ish. The mercury hovers around 40 during the day, dipping down to within 3 or 4 degrees of freezing at night. I am dying for a little snow but this will not be the year for it. It’s bleak, that’s what it is. A good time for a nap on the couch, slipping in and out of sleep with a good book. Like a cookbook. I have two new ones here, which are making for a fine escape from this dreary weather. Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem, so warmly Mediterranean and  Screen Doors And Sweet Tea, a gift from my very dear friend Alicia. I’m making the Sweet Potato Biscuits for a party tomorrow, New Year’s Day, to go with baked ham and scallopped potatoes and, for tonight, the open kibbeh pie from Jerusalem. Well actually my neighbor is making the pie. But I will be eating it! With a spinach salad with dates and almonds from the same book. Toasting for peace in the Middle East on New Year’s Eve! (and celebrating my newest Ottolenghi cookbook – naturally!)

Even though the recipes are shockingly late, please give my Christmas dinner a try anyway. It would make for a thrilling Valentine’s Day dinner party. In those carvery-sort of restaurants where you often find a French dip sandwich, every component is mediocre. Often, you get some sort of feed lot slab of beef, a salty chemical jus from a jug, a limp roll, maybe slightly stale. Certainly no onion jam. And they aren’t buttering that bread with French butter. I bought my tenderloin at Rainshadow Meats, my local butcher, so I know it’s responsibly sourced. I caramelized onions for an onion jam. I made crème fraîche and swirled in a little horseradish. Even though nearly every method for French dip online calls for canned beef broth, I made my own. The seasonings on the beef might seem unusual. Fennel veers away from your run-of-the-mill French dip. Be brave! The delicate licorice notes only add to more usual thyme and black pepper! It is not a misstep or excessive in any way. None of the parts of this sandwich take much in the way of time, skill or effort. The work is minimal considering many people consider Christmas dinner to be the highpoint of the year. This small amount of work pays off in a big way.

The sandwich photos were taken the day after Christmas, without jus, as we’d dipped it all up the previous day. The leftover French dip lost nothing overnight. We hardly missed dunking into hot peppery broth.

Top Shelf French Dip Sandwiches - for 8, with leftovers

The Components:

The day before Christmas:

Season the Beef (somewhat adapted from this recipe from Fine Cooking)

  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbs. ground fennel seed
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • (1) 4 pound beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied. If the roast includes the tapered end of the roast, fold it under and tie it in place so that the roast is the same diameter for the entire length
  1. Dry the tenderloin with paper towels. Combine the olive oil, thyme, fennel seed, salt and pepper and rub all over the tenderloin. If you can do this the day before and keep the roast lightly covered in parchment in the refrigerator overnight, so much the better.

Crème fraîche

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  1. Whisk cream and buttermilk together in a heavy medium sized bowl.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Set in a warm spot for 24 hours.
  4. If the cream doesn’t thicken, it probably wasn’t warm enough. You can set the cream in a warmer spot for a further 24 hours. I set mine on top of the stove as we were baking in the oven below at 475. It worked perfectly. The following morning the cream was very thick.
On Christmas Day, starting about 2 hours before you want to eat dinner, make:

Jus

  • 6 cups veal stock
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or Worcestershire
  • splash of sherry
  • sea salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper
  1. Reduce veal stock by half over medium high heat
  2. Add soy sauce or Worcestershire, sherry and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Keep warm over low heat.
Roast the Beef Tenderloin 
  1. Remove the beef from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for an hour before roasting.
  2. Half an hour before you want to start the beef, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Place the tenderloin on a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Roast to 130°F for medium rare, or 135°F for medium, 40 to 50 minutes.  I recommend a digital oven thermometer so you can plug it in and walk away. There is enough going on at Christmas without having to worry about whether you are over cooking the roast or not.
  5. When the roast has reached temperature, allow to rest uncovered on a carving board for 10 minutes. Slice very thinly. (Make sure all the other ingredients are prepped before you start! Don’t let the meat  get cold)

Horseradish Cream

  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • several tablespoons prepared horseradish, newly opened
Whisk horseradish into crème fraîche to taste. Refrigerate or serve immediately.

16 good quality sandwich rolls

  1. Preheat the oven to 200.
  2. Wrap rolls tightly in foil and warm in the oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Slice in half for sandwiches.

To assemble:

  1. Spread the warm rolls with unsalted French butter on both sides.
  2. After the meat has rested for at least 10 minutes, slice it as thinly as you can with your sharpest carving knife. I have one called Schinkenmesser (it means ham slicer) and it is nicely flexible and carves beautifully.
  3. Pile many slices onto each sandwich – you will have to judge how much. I would say at least 10 slices per sandwich for the grown-ups.
  4. On top of the meat spread 2 or 3 tablespoons of the caramelized onions. And on top of that, 2 or 3 tablespoons of horseradish cream.
  5. Serve with about 1/2 a cup of steaming jus in a small ramekin on the side.

These sandwiches are excessive in every way. Even so, people will eat seconds. It is quite possible that dessert will get the short shrift.

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A Perfect Day for Gazpacho

I am on vacation. If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I usually take the summers off. This is never intentional. Summer should be the best time of year for writing about food and as I spend a good part of the summer in California, I have tons to write about. So, today I am up at 6:00, the sun just burning through the early morning fog. Everyone is still asleep so I can sort through photos, tap away on the keyboard, sip a large bowl of cafe au lait and write in peace! Through the open window, I think I hear an owl. When I look up, the valley is barely visible through the twisted branches of the live oaks outside. It is cool up here in the front bedroom with the breeze blowing through the open windows. Nothing like how hot it will be by noon. In a couple of hours, I’ll drive down the road to the farm in San Martin so we can have gazpacho for lunch. There, the tomatoes almost burst in the heat, the cucumbers staked under their their wide green leaves are crisp and cool, and the air is spicy with garlic.

There are two ways to make gazpacho. You can hand chop the vegetables or you can puree them in a blender. Hand chopping vegetables into precise smithereens seems like a waste of time on a blisteringly hot day, when the tomatoes are perfect for gazpacho. On hot days, you shouldn’t have to work too hard just to make a little lunch. This is why you have a blender.

Gazpacho - serves 10

  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 (2-inch) piece baguette or if you don’t have any on hand (I didn’t) 1 slice of any kind of sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • 15 very ripe medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 medium English cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika (smoked paprika has gone so mainstream they even sell it at Trader Joe’s!)
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. In a blender, soak bread in tomato juice for 15 minutes.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, salt, and smoked paprika. Blend again until smooth.
  4. With motor running, slowly add the vinegar, then the olive oil.
  5. If you have the patience, chill for 4 hours, then serve. I had a bowl right away with an ice cube in it, and then another bowl 4 hours later.
The Garnish
  • 1/2 cucumber, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. In medium bowl, toss together all ingredients.
  2. Ladle gazpacho into bowls.
  3. Spoon chopped vegetable mixture into middle of each bowl, dividing evenly among bowls. Serve immediately.

Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 2 days.

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Eggs: Lime Saffron Aioli, Champagne Sabayon and Duck Eggs. Not all at once, obviously.

Here are some true things about me and eggs.

  1. I had to eat an egg in some form every single day before school when I was growing up.
  2. We were a mayonnaise eating family, we made our own, and, we kept it on the counter for a week. (If there was any left. Often there wasn’t.) I could make mayonnaise by the time I was 10. In a blender. Mayonnaise is a raw egg based sauce – in case you aren’t familiar with how you make it.
  3. Deviled eggs are a particular weakness of mine and my sister’s. My uncle makes loads of them for the annual Christmas party and we park ourselves right by the tray and shamelessly pop them in our mouths until they are gone. You make deviled eggs with mayonnaise.
  4. One of the best desserts I ever had was at a little bistro in the Village in New York.  I can’t remember what was for dinner at all, but the warm sabayon with fresh tiny wild berries was like…I really hate to write stuff like angel’s nectar but there really is no other way to describe that ethereal nearly white cloud of beaten eggs and champagne. Of course I had to figure out how to make it at home.
  5. I find duck eggs to be delicious but a little bit freaky. They’re so huge.

I have been thinking about eggs a lot this weekend, as you might have guessed. Earlier this year, I wrote about Mary Alice and the amazing eggs she gets from Tender and  Nugget, her urban chickens. Well, on Friday morning she dropped by with a gorgeous basket of those eggs, a dozen, unwashed, just for me. And then, you’ll never believe this, my excellent neighbor Susan, went to the farmer’s market on Sunday and brought me half a dozen duck eggs.

Is there no end to my good fortune?!

This is what we made:

Sunday Night:

Lime and saffron aioli for grilled halibut with parsley, orange and shallot salad

Lemon Tart

Monday Night:

Poached duck eggs on toast with prosciutto, grilled asparagus, truffle oil butter and kosher sea salt (and yes I think the salt is important enough to mention)

Champagne Sabayon with Strawberries, Blueberries and Figs

I dream of dinners completed in half an hour and both the fish and the poached egg on toast fit the bill. And aren’t they so pretty? I’ve made the halibut before. I’ve made the poached egg before too. Poaching a duck egg is the same as a chicken egg – so that’s easy. Varying the halibut recipe is just adding a few ingredients to the mayonnaise recipe.

Lime Saffron Aioli

all ingredients should be at room temperature

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp lime juice and the rind of the lime, removed with a rasp
  • 1/8 tsp kosher sea salt
  • 1 tsp hot water
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 small clove of garlic, grated
  • 3/4 cup mild oil, like canola

 

  1. Put the tsp of hot water in a tiny bowl with the saffron and leave to steep and cool. It’s such a small amount of water it will take no time.
  2. Whisk the egg yolk with the lime juice, salt, water and saffron and garlic until loose.
  3. Put the canola oil in a liquid measuring cup and as you whisk fiercely, drip the oil in very slowly, paying careful attention that it is completely incorporated before adding more. As the oil is incorporated, the mayonnaise should thicken into a silky looking sauce.
  4. As it thickens you can add the oil in a very thin stream, slightly faster than a drip.
  5. When all the oil is incorporated, the sauce should be glossy and supple and hold its shape softly when you dab at it with a spoon (Hopefully, you’re tasting your masterpiece!) Add the lime zest and taste for seasoning.

The parsley and orange salad is a cinch. Just use all the leaves from an entire bunch of parsley, the sections from two oranges carefully cut between the membranes and some of those thinly sliced shallots macerated in champagne vinegar. Add a little extra virgin olive oil, the reserved orange juice and some sea salt and you’re done.

Champagne Sabayon

Be careful to use a very large bowl for the double boiler. I should have used my large Pyrex mixing bowl. The sabayon foams up a lot – more than quadrupling its volume.

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup champagne
  • 2 tbsp St. Germaine liqueur, optional
  1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in the top of a double boiler set over boiling water.
  2. When the eggs and sugar are foamy, add the champagne. Whisk constantly for 10 minutes or use your electric hand mixer. That’s what I do.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the St. Germaine.
  4. Serve warm in wide bowls with fresh beautifully ripe fruit.

I thought I would make this for the entire family for dessert but it turns out it tastes too “grown-up drink-ish” for kids. It didn’t matter. Martin and I piggishly ate almost the entire thing. I guess if I’m going to describe this as “angel’s nectar” I can say it was “heaven”.

I wonder what a deviled duck egg would taste like?! If I try one over the next few days I’ll let you know. I have three more.

 

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Winter Couscous + Winter Cocktail

I have a new cookbook.

Actually I’ve had it for a few months now, but with Christmas and everything, I forgot about it for awhile. Until the past few weeks, I never tried a single recipe. That didn’t prevent me from having a very good feeling about it. (Or from giving it as a Christmas present several times.) It’s called Plenty.

Anyway. I’ve been playing around with it a lot. Usually, if I get five recipes  from a single cookbook, I feel like I’ve done really well. With Plenty, I’m going to challenge myself to cook every recipe. The writing and the photographs are so inspiring! On Monday I tried the Winter Couscous and I’ll definitely be making that again – maybe even tomorrow.

It’s sort of funny – how much I like this book because I have no instinct become a vegetarian, and this is a book all about vegetables. I simply couldn’t give up meat as I love to cook with it and I would miss the flavor too much if I stopped eating it altogether. However, after reading Plenty, I could actually see how I might make an entirely plant (ok, plant plus butter and cheese!) based diet work. As soon as I started flipping through this book without a speck of speck, a shred of pork, a breast of quail, a leg of duck, I wanted to try everything. I’m not even going to skip the eggplant section. And I nearly always think eggplant is creepy.

Another thing. This Ottolenghi – he’s not so chef-y in his cooking. Complicated techniques are not what you’ll find in his book. This is food with a wild riff-y flamboyance, full of vim and a middle eastern accent, but no craziness. It sort of reminds me of this roommate of mine from college, Craig, who used to cook for us on weekends. Many late Friday nights found him in our shared kitchen, heaps of ingredients on the cutting board, a glass of wine by the stove, music playing. More and more people would show up and he’d just add a little of this or that to the sauté pan. When we finally sat down to eat, it was often unpredictable and always delicious. We loved those evenings, the fun of Craig’s happy confidence in the kitchen. There’s something about the loose and playful style of cooking in Plenty, fearlessly combining flavors of far reaching origins, that reminds me of Craig cooking. Ottolenghi’s recipes are those of a gleeful, passionate chef, devoted to color and flavor. In Plenty, I found my favorite ingredients in dazzling and unexpected combinations. I’m just wild for this book.

I made the Winter Couscous on Monday night after we got back from skiing. You might think, judging from the longish list of ingredients, that this was an odd choice, after a rough drive down the mountain through a blizzard. The recipe did require a perhaps too extensive run to the grocery store when we were all wiped out. (Thanks Martin! It was worth it though…right?!)  But the vivid colors! The aroma! The deliciousness! I totally think it was worth it. If I were you, I’d make it on a relaxed Sunday the first time. You’ll see how simple it is and make it again right away.

Winter Couscous

from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi

  • 2 carrots – peeled and cut into 3/4″ dice
  • 2 parsnips - peeled and cut into 3/4″ dice
  • 8 shallots – peeled
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp hot papricka
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 10 ounces butternut squash - peeled and cut into 3/4″ dice
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots – roughly chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup couscous
  • a large pinch of saffron
  • 1 cup boiling vegetable stock (I used Better Than Bouillon. I don’t think this is the occasion for making stock from scratch, unless of course you have some hanging around.)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp harissa (You could buy some, or you could make it yourself! I wrote about it here. It’s worth the effort.)
  • 1 preserved lemon, inner flesh removed and discarded, peel finely chopped
  • 2 cups destemmed whole cilantro leaves, washed
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. In a large roasting pan, put the carrots, parsnips, shallots, cinnamon sticks, star anise, bay leaves, 4 tbsp olive oil, 3/4 tsp salt, ginger, turmeric, paprika, and chile flakes. Toss well.
  3. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the squash and toss. Return to the oven for 35 minutes.
  5. Add the apricots, chickpeas and 1 1/2 cups of water. Cook for 10 more minutes.
  6. In a large Pyrex or other heatproof bowl, combine the couscous with 1 tbsp olive oil, the saffron, and 1/2 tsp salt. Pour the boiling stock over the couscous, stir, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the 1 tbsp butter to the couscous and fluff until the butter is melted and incorporated. Cover with the plastic wrap again and leave near the stove to keep warm.
  8. To finish, mound the couscous on a large platter. Stir the harissa and preserved lemon into the vegetables. (Or, if you have sensitive children, serve the spicy harissa in a pretty bowl with a little spoon at the table, to be mixed in to taste.) Taste the vegetable mixture for salt and adjust if necessary. Spoon the vegetables and any juices onto the couscous. Strew cilantro leaves over the top and carry this gorgeous, fragrant mess right out to the table. Leave the whole spices in – they are so beautiful on the platter.
While you’re cooking, get somebody to make you one of these:
Ginger Cocktail
from the Art of the Bar by Jeff Hollinger and Rob Schwartz (by far the best book of cocktails I’ve seen)
  • 8-12 mint leaves
  • 1/2 ounce ginger syrup (see recipe below – you’ll need to make this in advance)
  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • ginger ale
  1. Put the mint leaves in a tall glass, pour in the syrup and muddle until you can really smell the mint.
  2. Fill up the glass with ice and pour in the gin and lime juice. 
  3. Top up with ginger ale.
  4. Gently stir to combine.
  5. Garnish with a slice of lime.
Ginger Syrup
2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 1/2 cups of water
1 cup sugar
Combine the ingredients in a small heavy saucepan and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Cool completely. Strain. Keeps for two weeks in the refrigerator.

 

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Just in time for August: Peach Custard Tart

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that making this tart is a snap or anything. It’s not. Pate Sucrée is a pain and I’m never sure if I’ve got it right. That being said, even when the pastry comes out funny looking, it never seems to make a difference – the custard holds everything together beautifully. And to miss out on this Peach Tart at the height of the peach season in a state known for their “Holy Sh-t” peaches, well, that would just be wrong. So pull up your socks and get to work. This one is absolutely worth it.

In this tart, the peaches crisp up under a delicate cloak of sugar and underneath are smooth and sweetly-tart. If you make the tart the day you plan to eat it (you must – this is not a dessert to make ahead of time) the custard will be so softly, almost breathtakingly set, and still you’ll be able to make beautiful neat slices. The creamy filling is on the verge of cascading over the crisp crust, just barely holding together, voluptuous and satiny. I scented the custard with St. Germaine, that elderflower liqueur I’m always going on about. The elderflower only enhanced the perfume of the peach, there was no alcoholic tang – nothing aggressive or distracting. This tart shouldn’t have a grown-up edge. The peach is the star here and the ripe fruit flavor sings.

Last summer, I made a version with nectarines which I thought at the time was the pinnacle of all summer stone fruit desserts- I would never have believed there was a better way. And now this. Sigh. The world is a beautiful place. Full of surprises.

Pate Sucrée

Even though the pastry looks pocked and unevenly browned, this has never posed any noticeable problem

I have to credit In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley for this recipe – and SO many others. A truly excellent dessert resource. I never use anything else. Definitely this book is in my top three favorite cookbooks. And that includes all of them. Not just dessert!

Get all the ingredients measured out and in the freezer before you begin. You might even put the tart pan in there too.

  • (1) 11″loose bottom fluted tart pan
  • 1 7/8 c. all purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled for 10 minutes in the freezer
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten, reserving one of the whites (you might need one more yolk but don’t crack it yet)

Dried beans make great pie weights

  1. In the food processor, whirl the flour, salt and confectioners’ sugar for a few seconds with the steel blade.
  2. Toss the cold butter evenly over the top and pulse until the largest pieces of butter are about a 1/4″. Don’t over process.
  3. Add the lightly beaten egg yolks, and pulse 2 or 3 more times. The mixture should look slightly moist and if you squeeze it, it should hold together in a clump. If it seems very dry and isn’t holding together, add one more lightly beaten egg yolk to the dough, pulsing briefly to distribute. (I had to add one last time – don’t let this make you feel like a failure.)
  4. Dump the dough into the tart pan and with lightly floured fingers press the dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pan. You will have extra dough. The top of the dough ought to line up with the top edge of the pan and it should be no less than 1/4″ thick. The dough will shrink slightly as it bakes.
  5. Wrap the tart pan in plastic wrap and freeze for an hour, or let it rest in the refrigerator for 3-24 hours. Do not skip this crucial step. The dough needs to be chilled and well rested before it goes in the oven.
  6. Set the oven to 375.
  7. Prick the bottom of the tart shell about 20 times with the tines of a fork. I press my fingers against the dough when I pull the fork out or it crumbles.
  8. Line the bottom of the tart pan with parchment. Unintentionally, I bought silicone coated parchment last time, and I am glad. You can use regular old parchment or foil, but there is a danger of it sticking to the pastry when you remove it part way through the baking process. Top the parchment or foil with pie weights if you have them or do what I do: keep a stash of dried beans for the purpose.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges of the pastry are becoming golden and the pastry bottom is looking cooked and a little dry.
  10. Carefully remove the parchment or foil and weights, and bake for another 10 minutes, until lightly browned all over.
  11. Set the oven to 325.
  12. Cool tart pastry on a rack for 15 minutes.
  13. Brush the tart with the reserved beaten egg white and bake for 3-5 minutes – just until the pastry looks dry.

Peach Custard Tart

  • (1) Pate Sucrée tart crust
  • 3-4 ripe peaches
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 2 tbsp for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour (not a typo – you need very little flour here)
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla + 2 tbsp St. Germaine (or you could just use the seeds from one vanilla bean or barring that, 2 tsp regular old vanilla – this tart will be amazing no matter what)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325
  2. Wash and dry the peaches and peel them with a swivel vegetable peeler – the serrated ones for soft fruits work very very well! Halve the peaches by cutting all the way around, using the little natural seam as your guide. Gently twist the two sides to pull them apart and remove the stone in the center. Cut each half into 8 wedges. Arrange the sliced fruit in concentric circles around the tart crust, starting at the outer edge. Be prudent and don’t over fill. Leave room for the custard!
  3. Set tart pan on a rimmed cookie sheet. This will make it easier to put into the oven without spilling.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. Slowly add the 1/2 cup of sugar, whisking as you go. Sift the flour over the eggs and sugar, and whisk again until very smooth. Add the cream and whisk some more – as you can see, smoothness is the idea here. Stir in the vanilla and St. Germaine or whatever flavoring you have chosen. Pour the custard over the peaches in the tart shell. Sprinkle evenly with the 2 tbsp of sugar.
  5. Bake the tart for 35-45 minutes, or until the custard in the middle is barely set – test by lightly touching the center with your finger. Place the tart pan on a wire rack on the counter until cool – at least 2 1/2 hours.
  6. Don’t count on having any leftovers for breakfast. You’re sure to be disappointed!

This Peach Tart was so delicious, I was sort of devastated when it was gone so quickly. Then I thought about it for a minute. I will just make another next weekend. Life, and peach season, is too short not to.

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