Friday, August 13, 2010

Fruit Dazed

The market is bursting with color and vibrant with all the delightful fruits and vegetables here at the height of the season, as the produce stacks up and the shoppers become laden down. We've gotten enough cool weather to make even the most listless renew their interest to do more than just eat prosciutto crudo and melon or figs alternated with mozzarella and ox heart tomatoes(cuore di bui). Now people are beginning to cook a bit more, but there is still just so many fruits and vegetables to choose from, what's a girl to do.

Get to making stuff, time's awastin.....

So I have been peeling, slicing, dicing and baking; canning, freezing, gelato making and eating, eating and eating as much of this luscious fruit as I dare. 
Apricots, plums, the first of the pears, 
and berries of every variety.
Rose currants, blueberries, blackberries and red gooseberries
Did I say gelato making? I actually meant sorbetto. What a delight and revelation making fresh fruit sorbet of every persuasion has been this summer. The freezer is stuffed, we need some eaters!
Strawberry kirsch sorbetto

Before  and after...
Strawberry sorbet with a chorus of berries

And Peaches
to make a southern girl not even think about missing the peaches back home.

The little green ones are actually ripe and a local favorite variety, i persi d'le vigne, or the peaches of the vineyard. Who knows? it's a local dialect name. What I know is that for looking green and under ripe, they are quite tasty.

Huh?  Smashed peaches?
No, they are called Pesche Tabacchiere, or peach snuff boxes. Perhaps they are called this because they are small enough to fit in your hand and sweet enough to take away the sweet craving that hits frequently when we have these in the house. They have been around for a few years, but it took me awhile to get past my suspicion of their unusual shape and price to actually try them. The insistent urging of one of our market vendors finally had me giving in and now I almost regret it, as I can hardly resist them when I spot them in the market. They tend to be a bit pricier and most come from the south of Italy, but some of our local growers have started to have added them to the delectable array of peach varieties to tempt and treat us. Peach Blackberry amaretti crisp has been a favorite lately.

Then we get to the apricots and plums, yum...yes yum.

Ramasin and Claude Reine
We have the first of the local plums coming in, our Piemontese Ramasin, as a harbinger of all the colorful ones to follow before the end is nigh with the Santa Claras. Not ready for that just yet.
The greenish golden one on the right of the Ramasin are named after a queen of France. Silly me though they were named after the person who cultivated them and at one point even thought they were named after a before my time actor named Claude Rains. 
And what is summer with out tarts tarts and more fruit tarts. 
Sunny side up brioche apricot tarts
I just can't make enough of the variety of  tarts there are to make, individual, free form, galettes, pies and on and on..
Apricot Thyme Almond Tart

and  last but not least

Apricots in local moscato wine. 
Divine, just divine.
To finish off all those apricots after so many tarts and sorbets.
We will so enjoy this when these become a distant summer memory.

That's what I've been up to, what about you?
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