Plum + Ricotta Galette

Santa Rosa Plum Galette with house made licorice basil goats milk ricotta

This Galette was a fourth of July inspired pastry. Once again we had a tremendous amount of Santa Rosa Plums at Camp Joy just screaming to be used. Galettes are simple and surprising easy to prepare. The crust that hugs the ricotta and plum filling can be used in both sweet and savory galettes; tomatoes, peaches, spinach and cheese are all excellent choices! 

Plum + Ricotta Galette 

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Zest of half a lemon

8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup ricotta, yogurt or sour cream

3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Combine flour, salt, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add butter pieces and work into a coarse meal, so the butter turn into roughly the size of a pea. Add water to ricotta and knead into dough. Make a ball and wrap in plastic. Flatten into a disc. Chill for at least an hour. 

3-5 plums, sliced

1 sprig licorice basil, minced

Pinch of salt

1 cup ricotta

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On parchment paper roll out dough until about a 1/4 of an inch thick. Cut into pentagon shape. Lay ricotta in center and lay plums atop in a spiral pattern and sprinkle with basil. Gently fold dough around filling.

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

coarse sugar, for sprinkling

With a pastry brush, brush yolk mixture on outside of pastry and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool & enjoy!

Goats Milk Ricotta

4 cups goats milk

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3 tablespoons distilled vinegar, fresh lemon or lime juice

butter muslin

In a non reactive pot, simmer milk until 185 degrees. Remove from heat and add salt and vinegar. Strain through butter muslin for 10 minutes. 


Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble

Blackberry rhubarb crumble with date, almond, oat streusel + goats milk yogurt

Blackberry rhubarb crumble with date, almond, oat streusel + goats milk yogurt

Being on the west coast lends itself to being on top of the season back east. Though blackberries haven't hit the vines just yet, their blossoms are starting to kick off and preserves from last year help us remember whats in store this summer. We have some gorgeous rhubarb growing in the garden and other than just admiring its red stalks, it is also delicious. Rhubarb I find alludes most people as it seems stuck somewhere between celery and a strawberry. Rhubarb is a rhizome that can add wonderful texture and flavor to a dish, of course strawberry rhubarb is a classic combination, but it can also stand on its own. When using rhubarb you want to be sure to remove the leave, as they are poisonous, and be sure to wash off any sand or dirt left on the stalks. Rhubarb is very well behaved and simply disintegrates on high heat on the stove. If you don't have any preserves on hand and want to keep it seasonal you can nix the blackberries and just make this a rhubarb crumble. This crumble is also gluten free and once again no flavor is lost with some easy substitutes!

Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble


1 pint blackberry preserves

1 cup fresh rhubarb*

zest of one orange

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tsp cinnamon

In a medium sauce pan, combine all ingredients and simmer until rhubarb breaks down, about 10 minutes. Reduce until thick. Set aside.

*if using only rhubarb and no preserves, add 1/2 cup sugar


1 cup almonds

1/2 cup oats

10 dried medjool dates, pitted

1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor, combine almonds, oats and dates. Pulse until combined. Remove half mixture and in a 8x8 baking dish, press half of almond mixture on base to form a crust. Melt 4 tbsp butter and pour over mixture. Return other half of mixture to processor and pulse remaining butter until it forms small pea-like balls. Pour blackberry rhubarb mixture on top of crust and sprinkle remaining date mixture atop creating a streusel. Bake for 20 minutes or until streusel is golden. Enjoy with fresh yogurt, whipped cream or ice cream!

Strawberry Lavender Tarte Tatin with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream


I'm still strawberry obsessed. My cabinets are full of preserves, I am still drinking gin with strawberry shrub and on father's day I was asked to bring dessert. Strawberry preserves it is! Knowing my ma' always has puff pastry in the freezer, I knew I could whip this up lickety split. Like I have said in the past, pre made puff pastry is a great way to be fancy, without all the elbow grease. If you're like me and like a challenge every once in awhile by all means make your own puff pastry. It is one of those things you should make a lot of in one go and stock up on for future meals. For this recipe I simplified it by using preserves I had already made prior, but the fresh stuff will do just fine if you want to make it from scratch.  I love the lavender in these strawberry preserves, it offers a wonderful aromatic quality to the berries, that is delicious with the flakiness of the puff pastry and the sweetness of the berries that is mellowed by the whipped creamed. Now this recipe is for a crowd, simply half it for a smaller serving though its hard enough to share!


Strawberry Lavender Tarte Tatin 

Enough for 12 or more

2 10 x 15 sheets puff pastry, frozen or fresh

3 half pints Strawberry Lavender Preserves, recipe follows

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 2 18 x 13 (standard cookie tray) sheet trays and lay parchment paper atop. Set aside.

Take prepared puff pastry, frozen or fresh, and lay out 2 10 x 15 sheets. Cut each sheet into thirds and lay atop parchment paper. With a fork, gently pierce dough creating slight holes throughout each sheet. Crinkle edges of dough to ensure that preserves stay put while baking. Pour preserves atop and bake until crust is golden brown, around 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool and top with whipped cream. Enjoy!


Strawberry Lavender Preserves

Makes 6 half pints

5 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

3 1/2 cups granulated sugar 

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh lavender  


Wash & clean berries. Hull berries and slice in half. Cover with sugar and stir. 

If canning prepare sanitized 1/2 pint jars and a water bath for jars. 

When the juices are released from the fruit, pour into a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rapid boiling and add lemon and lavender, stirring often for around 10 minutes or until the juice begins to run thick. Remove from heat and funnel into sanitized jars or set aside. 


Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract  

1 vanilla bean


In a large bowl or mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Gently half vanilla bean and scrape seeds from inside. Beat in vanilla extract and bean inners until peaks form. If hand mixing, use extra cold bowl and whisk.

Feel free to add a tablespoon of confectioners sugar to your whipped cream. I prefer mine without, since I am normally enjoying it with something sinfully sweet=] 

Fun Fact

Did you know vanilla bean is actually from orchids of the genus Vanilla


Local Cranberry Popovers

I recently had the pleasure of journeying north to the great state of Maine. My hosts were laboring on their land preparing for the extraordinary winter and I had the delicious kitchen all to myself. Before migrating north I had discovered that cranberries are actually native to our hemisphere and grown on masses in vacationland. When I went into the nearby town of Belegrade I was not disappointed that they had the glowing gems, 2 pounds for a dollar! I scurried home and decided to make these simple cranberry popovers. Once again, the puff pastry made the process ridiculously painless, and would work with any or all fruit fillings if you don't have fresh cranberries on hand. Was a big hit and tastes like fall!
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