I’m referring to stoned fruits, of course: those token fruits of summer. Juicy, sweet, ripe peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, and apricots.
Now that summer has started and these fruits abound, I’m in heaven. Seriously. There is nothing better on a summer morning than some plain Greek yogurt with a sliced up white peach.
Summer is a fruit lover’s dream. Go to your local farmer’s market and take a look around: you’re sure to find some amazing fruits, right along with the towering piles of garlic scapes and swiss chard. The other weekend, I picked up some beautiful red and green gooseberries and long, slender stalks of rhubarb, which I combined into an olive/pumpkin seed oil-polenta crumble. It was divine… In fact, it was gone too quickly for me to photograph (ugh), but I’ll share the recipe anyways. It’s a keeper, for those times when you might have some gooseberries and rhubarb lying around… Actually, it might be worth seeking out these seemingly esoteric ingredients. Inquire around your local market, I’m sure you can get your greedy paws hands on some.
As for the tart(s) that are in the photos, they were quick almond-plum-nectarine tarts that I whipped up for a dinner guest. Slightly sweet chantilly topped them off for a perfectly light summer dessert. I was lucky that I took photos of them that very night, because the next morning not a crumb was left.
Other than the aforementioned stone fruits, I’m looking forward to a summer bounty of beets, kale, tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, spicy carrots, an overwhelming amount of zucchini, melons, peppers, and squash. I’m always somewhat surprised when I’m reminded of how bountiful the region where I live really is; I’m always reminded to be thankful. What are you looking forward to in your CSA baskets, grocery shopping carts, or gardens this summer?
Gooseberry, Rhubarb, and Polenta Crumble
1 1/2 cups red and green gooseberries
6 small stalks of rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch long pieces
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/4 cup stone-ground polenta
1/4 cup cornmeal
pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup+ oil (I used pumpkin seed and olive oil, and ended up needing just a splash more)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the gooseberries and rhubarb with 1/3 cup turbinado sugar in an oven-proof dish. Put them in the oven while you prepare the crumble. Mix the flour, salt, sugar, and cornmeals in a bowl. While stirring, add in the oil until the mixture comes together and has a texture like wettish sand. Pull the fruit out of the oven and top with the crumble. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling at the sides and the crumble is slightly crisp.
Nectarine and Plum Almond Tart
Bits and pieces from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking
1 recipe tart dough
4 ripe nectarines
3 ripe plums
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup blanched, ground almonds
2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
splash vanilla extract
tiny splash almond extract
Press your tart dough into your pan , prick with a fork, line with buttered foil, shiny side down, and freeze. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake tart dough for 15 minutes. Pulse the butter and sugar in a food processor until the mixture is smooth. Add the almonds, flour, and cornstarch and process, then add the egg. Add the extracts and process for just 15 seconds. Refrigerate. Slice up your plums and nectarines into thin slices. Remove the foil from the shells, pour in the almond cream, and arrange the slices as you desire. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the almond cream has puffed up and become golden brown. Let cool in pan, then remove to serve. Serve with fresh chantilly if desired (whip cream with a touch of confectioner’s sugar until soft peaks form).