I am absolutely besotted with Dorie Greenspan. Her blog reads like a dream. Upon seeing her post for stuffed sugar pumpkin, I knew I must make it immediately if not sooner.
I followed her recipe exactly only I added chopped parsley and chives from our garden. I would have loved to use Gruyere, my new pet cheese (I'm an amateur, I know), but I only had Grafton cheddar. It wasn't too much of a compromise.
It being Sunday, I was interested in an extended endeavor, so I thought I'd try out an idea I saw on one of my other favorite food blogs,
Last Night's Dinner. We had quite a few tomatoes that needed to be used up.
There was an incident while seasoning the polenta resulting in an overly paprika'd dish. It was okay, but the pie turned red as a result...and was a little too spicy because I'd added some chopped jalapeno (hey, we've got more of them than we know what to do with!).
The polenta pie
I had some beautiful swiss chard from the co-op, so we sauteed that up so our entire plate wasn't filled with orange. It's called "bright lights" and it lives up to its name:
Our colorful plate:
My lovely friends from Memphis, the Yarbro-Dills, sent me some excellent gifts, all arriving on my doorstep the very same day I received what may be my most favorite cookbook ever. It reads like a novel. I wish everyone I knew had a copy. I've always loved The Splendid Table gals, but I didn't know how much. I have an advanced tab system set up:
green tabs for those recipes I want to make immediately,
yellow tabs for dishes that look interesting, but can wait,
and red tabs for things I do not want to eat myself, but I'd like to make them for others (mostly egg-based dishes).
Either way, I thought it would be befitting to use the Yarbro-Dill sent apricot pistachio jam to make a super easy tart recipe from the aforementioned book.
Rustic Jam Shortbread Tart
- makes 4 to 6 servings -
Adapted from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift.
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup whole almonds
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Generous pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 6 chunks
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup jam (tart cherry or and wild blueberry are recommended, but I used a mix of apricot pistachio and raspberry preserves)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a 9-inch round silver-colored cake or tart pan. (If using a dark-colored pan, cut baking time by 5 minutes.)
2. With food processor running, drop in the lemon zest and almonds, and grind them fine. Stop the machine, scrape down sides, and add the flour, sugar, salt, butter, egg yolk, and almond extract. Pulse until they are blended and starting to come together in small clumps at the bottom of the processor. (They should look like clusters of peas.)
3. Turn the pastry dough into the pan. With your hands, pat it to evenly cover the bottom of the pan. Give the tart a standing rim by nudging the dough 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan. Don’t worry if it looks a little ragged.
4. Bake the crust in the center of the oven for 13 to 16 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center is starting to color. The rim will sink down a little, which is fine.
5. Remove the pan from the oven, and turn the heat up to 500°F. Carefully spread the jam over the tart, and immediately return it to the oven (don’t wait for the temperature to reach 500°F). Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the jam is bubbly.
6. Cool the tart on a rack, slice it into squares or wedges, and serve. Serve the tart warm—but not hot, because hot jam can burn.
As an added bonus, they sent this guy as well.