Fruit

Peach and Ginger Fruit Leather - The Messy Baker
What to Do with Less-Than-Perfect Peaches – Fruit Leather

[caption id="attachment_8131" align="alignnone" width="500"] You don't need a dehydrator to make fruit roll-ups, but if you're looking for an excuse to buy one, these will seal the deal.[/caption] What do you do when you have less-than-perfect peaches squatting on your counter, threatening to dissolve into a...

Blueberry-cornmeal-scone-side
Berry-Lime Cornmeal Shortcakes
By now, you've likely heard a lot about Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables written by Cheryl Sternman Rule and photographed by Paulette Phlipot.  You've likely seen some of its in-your-face photographs, read excerpts of the light-hearted writing, and possibly tried one of the delicious yet accessible recipes. If not, you've at least heard it's organized by colour, so the fruits and vegetables appear according to the rainbow, not course. But what you might not have heard is the story behind the book itself. Yes, Ripe is an unusual book, but not because of the obvious. Yes, the writing is crisp. Yes the photographs make you see food in a new way. Its sum is greater than the whole because of the unusual collaborative relationship between author and photographer. Look at the book's spine. It says "Rule & Phlipot." When I interviewed Cheryl, she explained how Ripe  came into being. And what happened before the writing and photography even began made all the difference to the outcome.
preserved-lemons-almost-done
Recipe: Preserved Lemons
Making preserved lemons - TheMessyBaker.com It's time to strike another item off my Culinary Bucket List. In an uncharacteristic display of patience, I tackled preserved lemons. They require endurance, not because they are hard to make, but because they take 4 weeks to cure. In the meantime, to scratch my immediate-gratification itch, I started a Tumblr — a place to stuff all those little items I can't clutter up the blog with. It'll be a home for stray thoughts, non-food shots (which don't necessarily translate to cats), and food shots that aren't good enough for Foodgawker but tell a story I want to share. I'm still figuring it out, but if you care to pop by I have added a link to the far right of the menu bar. Go on. Click it. I dare you. Anyway, I started researching preserved lemons
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Recipe: Plum Lavender Jam

Plums and nectarines

I always thought I had a pretty good childhood. Each winter, my father would make a skating rink in the back yard, which we and our friends would use for noisy hours on end. And when we came in bright pink and shivering, Mom defrosted us with mugs full of homemade hot chocolate. I had a grandmother who let me eat dessert first and an aunt who invited us to her cottage each summer for long weeks spent doing absolutely nothing in a way only a pre-Space-Invaders child could do. If there was one thing missing from my youth, it was a dog. I now know the missing element was actually an orchard.
Black Cherry Raspberry Galetter by The Messy Baker
Black Cherry and Raspberry Galette with Walnut Frangipane and Ginger
Black Cherry Raspberry Galetter by The Messy Baker Do you really need me to write out the instructions with a recipe title like that? Clearly I didn't name the dish with Twitter in mind. Instead, I created this for my parents' anniversary. When asked what he wanted for dessert, Dad requested a "red galette." After a bit of probing, I learned this was code for "use raspberries." When I asked what he wanted to go with the raspberries his response was blunt. "No peaches!" Turns out Dad likes his peaches in their natural state, not cooked. So much for the peach galette I made him when I thought he didn't like pavlova. Perhaps I should start issuing surveys before planning a menu for family events. So, with walnuts in the pantry and a batch of this season's black cherries in the freezer, I riffed on the ruby red rhubarb and raspberry galette my father liked so much. I even made an oil-based pastry so my newly dairy-free sister could enjoy dessert. It was a bit brittle and needed the support of a pie plate, but I got bonus points for the attempt. Despite springing a few leaks, the results were deemed Breakfast Worthy, which in our house, is the ultimate compliment.
Raspberry Pie about to go into the oven - TheMessyBaker.com
Raspberry Pie

Raspberry pie is risky business. Jam-style diehards want theirs sweet, sweet, sweet, while people like me long for a slice that will pucker the palate. After all, the ice cream's supposed to smooth things over. Right? If the filling isn't stressful enough, then there's the crust...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Recipe: Plum Frangipane Tart
Plum Frangipane Tart by The Messy Baker Little Jack Horner's got nothing on me. What's he got? A corner, a thumb and a nursery rhyme no one understands. Me? I've got fresh plums and frangipane. That's right. You heard me. Frangipane. I know. It sounds like a resort cocktail, but it's really just fancy food talk for a filling made with ground almonds. And plums and almonds go together like boozy fruit-based cocktails and tiny paper umbrellas --  or sneaky little boys and pies -- so this was combination seemed obvious. I had pastry left over from the annual Thanksgiving Concord Grape Pie -- enough to make a 6-inch tart. So, I got creative with the plums. Compared to the in-your-face-I'm-a-GRAPE pie, this one is subtle. But subtle's good. Good enough to stick your thumb in.
Chocolate-Pear-tart
Recipe: Pear and Chocolate Tart

When you do nothing to your pear tree but leave it be, you can expect trouble. And trouble came to my friend in the form of dozens and dozens and dozens of bug-free, blemishless, picture perfect pears. Her punishment? Driving some over to me. That'll...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Stone Fruit Galette
Stone Fruit Galette getting ready for the oven by The Messy Baker. This recipe is enough to make me eat my words. I don't like marzipan, I find Emeril Lagasse's TV persona annoying (his toothpaste commercials were the final straw for me) and I avoid pre-packaged items on principle. And yet, this recipe, which  became a favourite within two bites, calls for almond paste, boxed puff pastry and is adapted from the Bam Master himself. Like I said, I'm eating my words. And more galette than is good for me.
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Peach and Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

If you drop an upside-down cake on its head does it revert to plain old cake? Sadly, no. It just becomes yet another item to file under "Kitchen Disasters." The only advice I can give you, other than not to drop the final dish, is to...

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.

 

Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!