Belated Birthday Dessert
Time most definitely does fly when you're having birthday fun...and then catching up on a bunch of work projects (keep your eyes on bonappetit.com in the next few weeks!). My birthday was just a few days ago, but I've been thinking about this dessert ever since I made it weeks ago. It may not be the traditional cake, but stick a candle in it, and I'm a happy gal, even if a year older. Here's the last installment in the Rue Issue 6 recipe series. And it's a darn tasty one! A perfectly light and healthy dish to finish off hot summer nights.
Summer Plums :: with Honeyed-Rosewater Yogurt & Pistachios
Serves :: 4
2 lbs plums (about 6), pitted and sliced
½ cup sugar
½ cup slightly sweet white wine
5 oz 2% Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey, extra for drizzling
1 tablespoon rosewater
¼ cup pistachios, ground or crushed
*dried rose petals for serving if available *Dried rose petals can be found online at Kalustyans,com.
Combine plums, sugar and wine in a medium bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
Mix yogurt, honey and rosewater together. For serving, divide plums onto four small plates and top with a generous dollop of yogurt. Drizzle a bit of extra honey over top. Sprinkle crushed pistachios over top and garnish with dried rose petals.
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Brandied Plum Tart :: Something Sweet for Fall
Goodness gracious I don't know where my weeks go sometimes. It's been far too long since I've blogged, so I thought it was only appropriate to begin a bunch of updates with something sweet -- it being the recent Jewish New Year and official turn of season after all. I got on a dessert fix a few weeks back and was dying to try out some new creations just as the last of late summer/early fall's damson plums hit the farmers market (and after reading a very enticing plum crostata recipe by Melissa Clark in the NY Times. Fruit-centric desserts are generally my favorites as they balance out something indulgent with something fresh and light. The crust featured here is my absolute stand-by for tarts, pies and crostatas...an adaptation of Karen DeMasco's almond sable recipe from her award-winning cookbook, The Craft of Baking. And the best thing is that the recipe makes two full crusts, so you can stick one in the freezer and have it ready to go when needed. It'll hold up about a month or so.
Stayed for more posts this week, including plum desserts part deux (as pictured) and an excerpt from my interview with Joel Salatin, the famed farmer of Polyface Farms talking about his new book, Folks, This Ain't Normal.
Brandied Plum Tart :: with a Hint of Rosemary
Serves :: makes 4 tartlets or 1 tart
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks chilled unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
*extra egg yolk and sanding sugar to brush over crust before baking
about 4 cups of pitted and halved damson or Italian plums
1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk flours and salt together in a mixing bowl.
Cream butter and sugar together until smooth in a mixer using a paddle attachment. Mix in the egg and then the egg yolk. Slowly add the flour mixture, about half the quantity at one time. Mix on a medium-high speed until dough forms.
Place dough on a floured surface and shape into two equal balls or discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour if not overnight. Freeze one or both if desired for up to a month.
Take one disc and either divide into 4 mini-tarts or 1 regular tart and use a rolling pin to shape into an even circle, about 1/2 inch thick.
Mix plums, cornstarch, sugar, vanilla and rosemary together. Place filling onto center of crust(s) leaving an inch or two on the outer edges. Fold edges over fruit to give a rustic look.
Simmer brandy and sugar over low-medium heat until reduced by nearly half. Drizzle glaze lightly over plums.
Brush crust with extra egg yolk and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown (tartlets may take less time).
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Fall Desserts Part Deux :: White Chocolate Mousse with Lavender & Roasted Plums
Sweet seconds...here's the follow up to last week's post on a couple of desserts for fall. Round I - brandied plum tart, perfect for a rustic fall dinner. And on to Round II - white chocolate mousse with lavender and roasted damson plums, adapted from a basic mousse recipe found In the recent issue of Donna Hay (the Aussie food mag that has photography and styling so drop dead gorgeous you want to make and eat everything).
If you're a white chocolate lover, you might die over these this little cups of richness, speckled with aromatic lavender and lightened up with fresh plums. Pudding, mousse, Italian budino...call it what you will, but creamy, smooth chocolate, it's definitely one of my all-time favorite indulgences. It's also clearly not the most health-friendly dessert given the cream, eggs, sugar and chocolate involved. But every so often for special occasions, it's a few spoonfuls of you wouldn't want to miss out on. Serve it up in chic mini vintage glasses, cocktail cups, teensy mason jars or ramekins and you'll never go wrong (and you'll still be able to button your jeans the next morning!).
White Chocolate Mousse :: with Lavender and Roasted Plums
Serves :: 4 to 6
8 ounces of white chocolate
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup soft goat cheese or marscarpone
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender
2 cups pitted and sliced damson plums
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl overtop a saucepan of simmering water (aka a water bath to temper the chocolate). Stir chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
Whisk the egg whites in a mixing bowl by hand or with an electric beater until soft peaks form. Whisk in the sugar to form stiff, shiny peaks.
Add in 1/4 cup of the cream and egg yolks into the white chocolate mixture and mix well. Gently fold in the egg white mixture, half at a time. With remaining 3/4 cup of cream, goat cheese and lavender, beat until soft peaks form and gently fold into the mousse.
Spoon mousse lightly into 4 to 6 glasses, ramekins or mini mason jars (as pictured). Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
Toss sliced plums with vanilla and honey. Bake for about 20 minutes until soft on a sheet pan, stirring once or twice. Spoon about 1/4 cup of plums atop chilled mousse and serve.