Tuesday, October 25

Fig and Almond Cream Tart with Quince glaze

Drove by a huge fig tree and had to take some- they were perfectly ripe! I decided to make a tart because I have a delicious recipe for almond cream and some left over almond meal. The almonds and figs are a great match! It's so sweet that a bit of lemon juice does a lot of good by adding a bit of acid/tartness. The quince glaze was a good last minute decision. The other day my sister and I utilized her neighbors quince tree and made some jelly- turned out really nice. 
With a bit of planning, this tart was a nice bake. Aren't the colors beautiful?!

Tart Dough
From A little taste of France- thanks Jamie!

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
5 1/2 oz unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt

Sift flour and salt into a large bowl, rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2-3 tsp cold water, mix till it all comes together. Shape the dough in a disc, wrap in plastic and refridgerate for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to use, roll out the pastry into a circle on a lightly floured surface, fit to tart pan. Trim the edges by pinching off the dough. Before baking, let rest in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Almond Cream

3 oz butter, room temperature
3 oz granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 oz almond meal
1 oz flour
juice from half a lemon

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla a little at a time, beating with every addition. Stir in almond meal and flour.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Slice enough figs to cover the tart.
Spread the almond cream on the dough prepared in the tart tin. Bake for 25 minutes, the almond cream should have risen and be lightly golden. After the the first bake, take out the tart and quickly arrange the figs on the tart. I glazed it with homemade quince jelly- any jelly will do. Just dilute it with a bit of water and brush it onto the figs.
Bake again for another 15 minutes or until the edges of the dough are golden brown and enjoy!

Monday, October 17

Strawberry Blackberry Jam

Delicious and beautiful jam made from home-grown strawberries and blackberries! What I did was juice the blackberries to get all those pesky seeds out and used the whole strawberry giving it the texture and flavor of strawberry jam with a tart kick from the blackberries. I also used Pomona's Universal Pectin- it's the best! Basically you follow the guidelines of how much juice/fruit you have and you add tiny amounts of pectin to suit the jam. It allows you to decrease the amount of sugar added, leaving your jam tasting more like fruit instead of candy.

Thursday, October 13

Chicken of the Woods

Right before I took my first bite a little voice in the back of my head said "don't eat the mushrooms, they're poisonous!" It's funny how that has stuck with me since I was a kid. Getting over that was the hardest thing about cooking this foraged mushroom! 

All I did was chop it up, saute it in butter, steam it with a little water, add some breadcrumbs and cheese and ta da! It was really delicious- the texture was soft, not rubbery, tasted almost like scrambled eggs, plus anything with butter and cheese is bound to taste great! 

Tuesday, October 11

Latest Find

I love mushroom season- Yes, it's that time of year already! This fungi was found in the yard of my boyfriend's house. The coloring is beautiful and it's huge and still growing! Laetiporus sulphureus, Chicken of the Woods gets it's name for a reason, it takes like chicken. I am beyond excited to get my cook on with this guy! 

Monday, October 10

A bit of Dublin

Dublin Castle and St. Patricks Cathedral

Trinity College and O'Connell Bridge

St. Stephen's Green

Irish Museum of Modern Art

I'm back in California. I had an unforgettable time in Ireland- it was amazing! Met wonderful people, eat some of the best food I've had in my life (on the farm of course!), got to see beautiful places and learned lots! Traveling goes by way too fast, but hopefully I'll be back in Ireland soon.