7.16.2014

Pastis


In my quest to familiarize myself with as many French apéritifs as possible, I felt compelled to order pastis on this hot summer day. The verdict: delicious!

Pastis is normally diluted with water before drinking. Thus, a pitcher of cool spring water was provided, so I could blend it according to my preference - five parts water to one part pastis recommended. Although consumed throughout France, pastis is generally associated with southeastern regions of the country, particularly the city of Marseille, where it is nicknamed pastaga.

Pastis is probably one of the most popular beverages in France where 130 million liters are sold each year, which is more than 2 liters per person.



7.11.2014

Fruit Tart - Fête de la Framboise



On July 11th of each year, the tiny village of Concèze, France holds a Fête de la Framboise (Raspberry Festival). More than 6,000 people go along to meet producers, sample dishes such as peach melba or duck cooked in raspberry vinegar, and witness the creation of a giant raspberry tart.

Why not celebrate in spirit with your own raspberry tart? The recipe is much easier than you might think. 

Crust:

2 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of softened butter
6 T. sugar

Pulse ingredients in a food processor to mix. Use your hands to spread ingredients into a tart pan and bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Let crust cool. 

Filling:

2  8 oz. packages of cream cheese softened
2/3 cup of sugar
1/2 t. of vanilla  

Mix ingredients with a hand mixer and spread onto the cooled crust. Top with a mix of berries and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Glaze: 

If glazing strawberries, raspberries or any other red fruit you can make a red currant glaze. For other fruits, apricot glaze is a good option. 

Gently whisk 1/2 cup of red currant jelly (or apricot jelly), thinned with a small amount of water, over medium heat until melted.  Let cool slightly and then lightly glaze the fruit using a pastry brush. Note: only lightly coat the fruit with the glaze so that it does not look jelly-like when dry.

Bon appétit!