Tarte Aux Fruits Because I Miss France
After coming back from two weeks in Saintes, I’m ready to plan the next visit. No busy city streets and no lazy drivers. Everyone walking to where they need to go and shopping at the market for seasonal produce. Nothing was urgent and no chasing our tails.
One of the best things I learned about France is that there is no “organic” food. It’s naturally that way and the modified foods are labeled.
Um, hello? Isn’t that the way it should be?? Where we were, there was an abundance of seasonal items and nothing out of season. The market stands and most of the stores were owner operated so they were actually happy to help us! We made friends and got presents from the vendors when they found out we were from the United States.
It was weird not to see any of my favorite. Not an apple in sight! That comes later this month. I’ve been kinda mopey about being back, although I love being here and I am happy with what we have made for ourselves here. I just wish I could spend time equally.
I was absolutely thrilled to visit one of our local farms yesterday and discover that it is completely organic and year round stocked with seasonal goodies. And they have a weekly CSA program too. I love having fresh, seasonal and natural food so close to home. This will likely take the place of the weekly baskets.
We bought flats of berries and ate a generous amount. I miss my parents blueberry bushes and raspberry bushes! I never thought I would appreciate them as much as I do when I actually pay for berries now. But since we indulged, I had to find a way to use them.
My French needs work so I decided to dive into this puppy and find a recipe using my beloved framboises. I’m so happy this tart turned out so well!
The recipe was for six smaller tartes but I used a larger pan to make one. There was no recipe or instructions to use a pastry cream, but all the French tartes I’ve ever seen have had a cream in between the crust and the fruit…
I’m all for winging it and just following my heart, but when it comes to traditional recipes I like to strengthen my ability to follow directions and achieve the desired result. After all, I do want to learn how to be a patissiere chef. And if I used the term incorrectly I apologize. No harm done.
Finding that the traditional tartes do usually have a cream, I made the commitment to create this beautiful creation you see below. Smooth, rich cream on the first try. Nice. This made such a perfect tarte! I almost drove the rest of this darn thing to my other half at work so I wouldn’t eat the entire thing myself! (I’m kind of on a health kick and berries are good for me…)
So I sat here alone at home and ate one piece of this exciting tarte. And it made me think of what we left behind. A market with all the shopping you could imagine with friendly merchants and pretty accessories. All surrounded by beautiful stone buildings and churches that look breathtaking in a lightening storm!
Speaking of lightening, I took a video that I fully intend to share with you. You should probably connect with me on YouTube so you don’t miss it. One night there was a lightening storm that lasted at least two hours straight. This wasn’t intermittent thunder and lightening either. It was constant. My nervousness wore off quickly and it turned to agitation as I tried to sleep with the constant flash of lightening and rumbling crash of thunder.
And do you see all that bread?! Mind you, that was only one stand. There were several. One had bread that was all baked by wood fire.
There was not a gluten free product in sight either. Since our meals were from scratch (at home or at a restaurant) the only thing that had gluten was the bread and sauces thickened with flour. So there were no gluten free products and no food allergies that I heard of. A very different place!
But we all learned that language can be a detail. If we are not fluent with someone that we want to speak with, we can find a way. It puts a smile on my face to see what food can do to bring people together that wouldn’t usually be able to communicate. But more on that later. I wanted to show you my tarte as promised. I hope you have a most excellent start to your week! Try something new before the weekend.
Take a minute and join my event on Facebook so you can cheer me on during the Hunger Strike 2013! You don’t have to strike but you will want to see how I am doing and why I am doing it. Head on over and join! See you there!