Where did the time go? I last remember eagerly awaiting summer and now it seems the sun is setting a bit earlier each night.
I’ve been buried under a pile of books, papers, forms and slide shows in an effort to ‘catch up’ or ‘get ahead’ or whatever absurd, defensive, “please tell me it’s not nine o’clock already” expression we use to justify missing the key, important moments of our lives.
A little sea side hamlet with beaches and cottages is where I should be. Rest and relaxation are needed - at minimum a few vacation days.
In an attempt to tune my mind and mood to simpler pleasures, I reach for the red fruits and begin to bake.
It’s quiet here. The sky is overcast for the first day in quite a long time.
I make cherry filled pastry and red currant financiers and sit down with a cup of tea.
Resolved: That it is desirable for me to be on vacation for at least two weeks.
Scratch that. It's unrealistic. Would be nice though.
How about one week? One I should be able to manage.
hmmm... What if I can only get a day?
I need your help.
If you had one day to celebrate summer in the most meaningful way possible, what would you do?
Where would you go?
Who would you spend it with?
What would you eat?
Tell me about your idea of the perfect summer day and I'll share some recipes with you. You'll get incredibly delicious snacks and I'll get some ideas for how to spend my day off. Sounds like a fair trade to me. Wouldn't you agree?
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James
Cherry Breakfast Pastry
1 recipe puff pastry, rolled into sheets (I recommend bakery bought or the recipe in the book Baking with Julia, written by Dorie Greenspan)
160 g (1 c) good quality cherry jam
1 egg mixed with 8 g (1 tbs) milk
10 cherries, washed, dried, halved and pitted
60 g (1/2 c) powdered sugar
50 g (1/4 c) water
10 g (2 tsp) organic corn syrup
Stir ingredients together. Heat in microwave for 15 seconds. Stir again. Repeat until you have a smooth consistency. If you like the icing to be thinner, gradually mix in additional water.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C)
Cut puff pastry into 6"X6" (13cm X 13 cm) squares. Place a heaping spoon full of cherry jam in the center and using a knife, spread the jam out slightly.
Cut each pastry square at the corners and fold over to create a pinwheel effect. Leave some space in the center to add cherries.
Brush with egg mixture.
Bake 10-15 minutes until puffed and golden. While pastry is hot, apply glaze using a spoon and a quick, back and forth motion. Place fresh, halved cherries in the center. Cool completely before eating.
Red Currant Financiers
125 g (1 1/2 c. less 1 tsp) almond flour, meal
125 g (1 c plus 1 1/2 tsp) confectioners sugar
75 g (1/2 c plus 1 tsp) flour
3 egg whites
100 g (7 tbs) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 g (1 tsp) vanilla extract
a handful of red currants, washed and dried (you can add as many or as few as you like)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C)
Combine flour, sugar and almond powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until combined. Add egg whites, vanilla and butter. Mix until combined. Gently fold in currants. Fill desired pans 1/3-1/2 full (mine were 2x3 in size). The less batter you add the less fluffy the cake will be. It will also take less time to cook so keep an eye on the cakes in the oven while they're baking.
Bake about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack before eating. Optional- dust with powdered sugar.