It’s a bit of a cliché to say that I fell in love with food in France, but it’s true. Not because I’m such a huge fan of traditional French food, which can be a bit heavy for my tastes, but because it’s from living here that I’ve learned to appreciate just how good simple recipes with fresh ingredients can be. I’ve come to enjoy foods that I didn’t think I liked before (whether because of the preparation method or just from a lack of familiarity), and I’ve encountered new ones to which I had never been exposed.
One of those foods is the mirabelle plum. Now, maybe there are mirabelles in the U.S., but being from the peach state we didn’t go in much for plums when I was growing up. These little sweet beauties are delicious, though, and at the moment they are ripe for the picking here (or picking up off the ground, as they’re falling off the trees). We have a family friend with several mirabelle trees in his garden, and he generously shared a big crate of them with us last night.
So, now I have to figure out what to do with them all. I don’t really have enough to make jam, plus it’s just too darn hot. I think we’ll keep the prettiest ones for eating and with the rest I’m going to make a tart. Here’s a recipe that’s simple, natural, and exemplifies what I love best about French cooking.
recipe from http://www.bonjourlafrance.com
Ingredients (for 6 people)
- 250 g pâte brisée
- 500 g mirabelles
- 50 g fresh cream
- 25 g flour
- 50 g sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 large pat of butter
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Butter a pie or a tart mold and line it with pâte brisée. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Wash the mirabelles. Cut them in half and stone them. Lay the fruit halves decoratively on the pastry.
- In a bowl beat the eggs and the flour. Add sugar and fresh cream.
- Pour the batter over the pastry and spread it evenly over the surface.
- Put in the oven for 35 minutes and check regularly to see when it’s baked.
(To be fair, that’s not actually my tart. My cooking photos never turn out that pretty, but you get the idea.)
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