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Fall 2As I write this, I am looking out my window and checking out the trees in all their splendor. Beautiful. This makes me think about fall and desserts and gardens.

A couple of months ago, a local area Garden Club invited me to do a program that included bringing to the table a presentation of local in-season garden foods with a tasting menu to showcase. It took me until a couple of days before the program for this farm-to-table menu to capture my imagination. I was glad that I took the time to look over hundreds of recipes and created a menu that worked very nicely with a group of women who cherish the earth.

swiss-chard-5-168123-mMy Menu: Kale, Swiss Chard, Beet Salad, with Golden Raisins and a Lemon Olive Oil Dressing and a Pear and Walnut Tart with a Hint of a Ginger Crumb Topping.

PearsI was able to gather up a nice selection of chard, kale and candy cane beets from my friend who has a garden that he grows on some borrowed land at a local winery. Perchance, some of the earth from the grape vines made its way into my sweet chard.

Today’s post will center around the Pear and Walnut Tart. It was one of the best shortbread crusts I have made to date. When it comes to recipes, I do not like to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes, I like to make it better with easily accessible ingredients. Often, I will adapt a recipe to what I have in the pantry. I see the recipe finished in my head and then I play around with how the tastes work together.

retro-kitchen-scene-1217717-mI am not a chef nor close to it, but there are some foods and spices that for me do not blend so well. This should come to little or no surprise to some of you, if you have followed this blog. For example, I do not like flavored coffee that has amaretto, almond or hazelnut flavoring in it. Nor, do I like spices like fennel, or anise, so I tend to stay away from those ingredients and/or find substitutions equally or better. The recipe that I am using from 2010’s Saveur magazine called for amaretti cookies, an almond flour based cookie. I made a gentle shift to ginger cookies. But if you like it, go ahead and use it. This is not a formula. This is a recipe and you can make it however you like.

IMG_0198The garden women loved it with my substitution and I think you will too. I have attached the link to the recipe (see end of blog) and I hope you will take some time to make it. In closing, I wanted to share with you some things to enjoy this Autumn: falling leaves; rolling in the hay; kneading bread; sipping a glass of wine on the back porch; hugging; taking long naps; drinking hot cocoa; and this fall pear dessert. Enjoy!

Garden Club Gathering

Garden Club Gathering

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Pear-and-Walnut-Tart

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