Oven-Roasted Plums

I made a statement recently on social media that plums were my favorite fruit. I guess I said the same thing about cherries, at some point, which I was reminded of. But I’ll confess that I may have also said the same thing about nectarines, figs, mangoes, and litchis at some point in my life. However plums really are my favorite fruit, and I’m happy…

I made a statement recently on social media that plums were my favorite fruit. I guess I said the same thing about cherries, at some point, which I was reminded of. But I’ll confess that I may have also said the same thing about nectarines, figs, mangoes, and litchis at some point in my life. However plums really are my favorite fruit, and I’m happy that they stick around from summer all the way through the beginning of fall.

There are a lot of plums out there. In Northern California we had big purple Santa Rosa plums, as well as an array of others with names like Elephant Heart and Angelino, as well as pluots, a hybrid of apricots and plums. While they don’t show up in Paris, there are green Reine Claudes (which are close to being at the top of my list for favorite varieties of plums), tiny golden Mirabelles, and sturdy Quetsches, which hold their shape relatively well during baking. And while they’re not as tart as U.S. varieties (most of the tartness of plums is in their skins), they are reliably good, and flavorful, when baked or oven-roasted, as I often prepare them.

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Texas Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler has become the most requested dessert around here this summer. I don’t think Romain had ever had a cobbler – I usually make crisps, which the French call crumbles. But I’ve been revisiting some cookbooks on my shelf that I hadn’t used for a while and pulled down The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather, who was the owner of several bakeries in Texas….

Peach Cobbler has become the most requested dessert around here this summer. I don’t think Romain had ever had a cobbler – I usually make crisps, which the French call crumbles. But I’ve been revisiting some cookbooks on my shelf that I hadn’t used for a while and pulled down The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather, who was the owner of several bakeries in Texas.

I met Rebecca when my first book, Room for Dessert, was coming out and I was slated to do a book tour that included Texas. I had never done a book tour and I had been in a very bad car accident and was worried about navigating and getting myself from place-to-place in an unfamiliar state, and doing baking demonstrations, which require a lot of planning and organization. I don’t know how we came to meet each other but Rebecca had a bakery in Texas and, being Texan, knew how to get around the massive state (someone told me the entire country of France could fit inside Texas), and she knew how to bake. So we became a team

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Quick Mincemeat recipe

The word Mincemeat doesn’t quite inspire the same rapture that it does in England, most likely due to the name. Meat isn’t something normally associated with dessert in many places (although I had an interesting chocolate and beef pastry in Sicily), but traditional mincemeat is indeed, a wonderful addition to holiday desserts. To make it, one must get suet from a butcher, which posed a…

The word Mincemeat doesn’t quite inspire the same rapture that it does in England, most likely due to the name. Meat isn’t something normally associated with dessert in many places (although I had an interesting chocolate and beef pastry in Sicily), but traditional mincemeat is indeed, a wonderful addition to holiday desserts. To make it, one must get suet from a butcher, which posed a challenge for me the first time I made it in France. When I mentioned I needed beef fat to make a dessert to a boucher in Paris, from the look on his face, he wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to make with it. Or, I guess I should say, he wasn’t exactly convinced I was in my right mind. (Which wouldn’t be the first time that happened to me here.)

Not everyone wants to make traditional mincemeat, which is a bit of a chore, but there’s another way to get the wonderful flavors of candied peel, spices, dried fruit, and brandy, in your desserts, and that’s to make quick mincemeat.

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Mixed Berry Shortcakes

It was definitely mercury in retrograde recently when I got a phone call at 8:20pm, while we were having dinner at home, from a restaurant I’d reserved a table at, asking if we were showing up for our 8pm reservation. I was sure I had reserved for the following night, but – nope – I erred and our reservation was for that evening. (Fortunately, the…

It was definitely mercury in retrograde recently when I got a phone call at 8:20pm, while we were having dinner at home, from a restaurant I’d reserved a table at, asking if we were showing up for our 8pm reservation. I was sure I had reserved for the following night, but – nope – I erred and our reservation was for that evening. (Fortunately, the restaurant has a steady walk-in crowd so the table didn’t sit empty. Still, I felt terrible.) We did go the next night, but that same day, I was typing this recipe up and my blogging platform asked me to log in again, which I dutifully did, and then it proceeded to erase the entire post, including the recipe.

With my head on the verge of imploding, I decided to go for a walk, then head back a little later and get back to rewriting everything up from scratch. A few people told me mercury was in retrograde, so, of course, the moment I returned, they started doing construction upstairs, so was subjected to the sounds of jackhammering while trying to fill in all the ingredients in the recipe plug-in I use, so the recipes are printable, and to make sure I got all the ingredients and so forth in the right place, and the conversions.

By the time evening rolled around, some other neighbors decided to have a party and their voices were so loud, they could be heard all the way down the block. (So much for les américains having the loudest voices in town anymore.) What made up for it were these Mixed Berry Shortcakes, which we had for dessert that night.

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