Hi there! I hope that you had a fun and relaxing holiday weekend. I spent mine in New Jersey with good friends, mostly in the pool, always in a state of food-satisfaction. In addition to making a 4th of July feast, we also made a surprise pre-wedding cake for M. and J. (Now married! Love.)cake and frosting.) The Swiss buttercream frosting had egg whites folded in, so it was light and shiny; because we filled the cake with raspberry jam, we tinted the leftover frosting yellow and piped it on. Such fun!
And that was just the warm-up act! Our dinner feast was beautiful to look at - so many different colors and textures (captured imperfectly with my camera, which doesn't do very well in limited light).
|A's festive baked brie with fig preserves.|
|M.'s guacamole and beet-chevre spread. So pretty!|
|Fixings for Moscow Mules by M., the cocktail master. (Or mistress?)|
|C. and J. made incredible salads. This one: wild rice, cherries, chevre, and basil.|
|Golden beet and carrot slaw.|
|Non-mayonnaise potato salad.|
|Tangy butterbeans and red peppers.|
|About to be devoured, along with J.'s most excellent burger.|
My contribution was dessert: a blueberry lemon chiffon tart from the Tartine cookbook. I love this book - it's gorgeous and inventive, and everything I've made has turned out wonderfully. I made only a few tweaks: I subbed in the Orangette tart crust (so reliable that it's basically the only crust I'll use!) and simplified a few steps. It's not a flashy dessert, but it's light and rich at the same time, not too sweet, and a great way to showcase fresh berries. The tart doesn't use all of the lemon cream; like lemon curd, it would be delicious on baked goods, I think.
Blueberry Lemon Chiffon Tart
adapted from Tartine
Baked and cooled 9" tart shell [see here]
1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
3 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
2/3 c. sugar
1 c. unsalted butter, cool
3/4 c. heavy cream
1 1/2 pints blueberries, washed and dried
1. In a double-boiler, combine lemon juice, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, and salt; whisk constantly for 10-12 mins., until the mixture is very thick and pale yellow. Remove top half of double boiler and let mixture cool slightly, stirring occasionally.
2. Cut butter into 1-tbsp. pieces. When the cream has cooled slightly, pour it into a blender or a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With the blender/mixer running, add the butter 1 piece at a time, blending until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Unlike lemon curd, the cream will be very pale yellow and opaque. Measure out 1 c. for the tart filling and set the rest aside.
3. Whip the 3/4 c. cream until it holds medium peaks. Fold together with 1 c. of the lemon cream.
4. Spoon the filling into the tart shell and smooth the top with a spatula. Top with blueberries - I piled them high, but you could also do a single layer.
5. Chill until filling is firm, about 2 hours. Serve cool.