Layers of lemon syrup-soaked lady fingers, silky smooth mascarpone cream, and perfectly-ripe summer strawberries. It may not be a traditional tiramisu, but it just might become your new favorite. Edible flowers optional but oh so pretty.
Vanilla custard tart made from homemade pastry cream and an easy graham cracker crust, topped with fresh summer berries. Perfect for summer parties!
If there’s one challenge to keeping chickens – there aren’t, of course, there are dozens: keeping the dog out of the chicken pellets and poop, keeping the chickens out of the vegetable patch and flower border; keeping Bernie Sanders, our runty salmon favarolle, from being bullied by the other, bigger, chickens – but if there were only one challenge, it would be: what the hell do we do with all these eggs?
With seven hens, even giving them away to our friends and neighbors, we’re never shy of around six dozen eggs on the counter at any one moment, with five or six being added to the stock every day. Yes, there are worse problems to have, and most of the solutions are pretty delicious.
These blueberry crumb bars with oats and almonds are a perfect bake sale recipe and our favorite way to use up summer blueberries.
A few years ago while we still lived in Brooklyn, Matt and I belonged to a CSA. If you’re not familiar with it, CSA stands for ‘community supported agriculture’. The gist of it is that you pay in advance for a ‘share’ of what the farm produces.
It helps the farmers because they get money in advance so they can better finance their year, and the customer gets a weekly (or bi-weekly) supply of the freshest, just-off-the-farm produce.
Of course, by investing in the farm’s potential, you also share some of the risks. If there’s a flood, or a blight, or a generally low yield of crop that season, you might not get as many tomatoes as you’d like and you just have to channel your inner hippie and roll with it, man. What’s more likely though, is that you’ll end up with way more of a certain fruit or vegetable than you know what to do with. And that’s when you have to get creative.
There was one week during our CSA that we received more blueberries than I had ever seen in my life outside of a grocery store. It was a huge box of them. We had them on yogurt and on cereal. I made blueberry syrup. Matt made a crumble. And still we had more. And then I made Blueberry Oat Bars with the rest and kicked myself for not making them sooner because they were the best thing ever. They’re not so sweet that you’d feel guilty having one for breakfast but they have that crunchy, nutty topping that is such a treat.
So you’ve made a batch of delicious Rhubarb-Lemon Curd. Well done, sir or lady! Now I suppose you want to know what you can do with it (other than devour it slathered on toast or Pound Cake, or, let’s be honest, from a spoon straight out of the jar). [Matt says: “What’s wrong with that?” Actually, he has a spoonful of rhubarb curd in his mouth at this very moment, so it’s more like “Mwro rong wiwa?”]
These are all perfectly respectable options but if you really want to step it up a notch, you could use it as a filling in a tiny little tart, slather it with whipped vanilla-flecked mascarpone cream and top it with beautiful, local, peak-season berries.
To me, these beauties just scream “Summer!” as well as “July 4th!” and also, “Eat me quick, before anyone knows you made me!” (also, “Our deep orange egg yolks turned the curd into an unfortunate beige hue, so whipped cream and berries are a perfect and delicious disguise”). Very long-winded tarts, these.
Creamy pudding-like rhubarb lemon curd makes a great filling for desserts or as a sweet spread on toast. Believe us, it’s a lot tastier than it looks!
Oh hello, I didn’t see you there. Sorry, I was just recording some crowd noises. Now, where was I? Oh, yes, rhubarb. Lovely vegetable, er, fruit, er, whatever it is (it’s a vegetable).
We’re not yet growing rhubarb ourselves, but enough of our local farms seem to be doing so now that it’s relatively cheap and abundant. When we lived in the city, buying rhubarb always seemed to be an “either/or” proposition: we could either buy rhubarb, or we could pay our rent. We really had to have a plan for it ahead of time. That’s not the case now, and we’ll gladly buy it when it looks good, and then figure out what to do with it afterwards.
Our first batch this summer went into a crumble (eaten too fast to blog). The next batch became cocktails. Now we’re on to batch number three. We’ve already got a great recipe for lemony lemon curd, and one day Emily walked into the kitchen, eyed the pile of rhubarb, and said, “What do you think of making rhubarb lemon curd? Is that even a thing?”
It sounded pretty good, and with a little research we discovered that yes, it was a thing, but the various recipes floating around the internet seemed deficient in one way or another. Many were extremely complicated, requiring a double-boiler and an excessive number of steps. Others were insufficiently rhubarby, and if there’s one thing I require from a rhubarb recipe, it’s that it at least has the decency to taste of rhubarb. So we decided to nerd-up our own version (translation: simplify and improve flavor).