Friday, January 28, 2011

Surviving Winter and a Simple Frozen Fruit Tartlet

Evergreen in our Garden totally bent over by heavy snow!
I have to admit that whenever I look at this picture, I am struck by the metaphor it provides for all of us in Philly over the past couple of weeks.  The snow, the sleet, the ice, and the cold have been unrelenting - our spirits are flagging, our sense of humor is lessening and we are wondering if there will ever be an end!

The good news is, yes, there will be an end - we call that end, "SPRING"!  It's the gift that Mother Nature gives us as a reward for living in a 4 season environment and if you are reading this Blog you are most probably a person who loves those changing seasons.  This is the challenging part to that love, folks!  Let's not wish away our lives . . . let's enjoy!  I am going to keep at this, because frankly, I think we have only just begun to experience this winter, so we might as well start rolling with the punches - or percipitation.  If you prepared your garden, pots, or balcony well, this kind of weather is probably good for your growing season.  See there's a positive!  Shoveling is very good cardio exercise if you are reasonably healthy; the way your joints and back feel after lifting loads of wet snow is giving you a preview of how you would feel if an 18 wheeler hit you - so you'll be reminded to be careful around 18 wheelers!  And, come on, the Food!!!  The Food - comforting, rich, hot, and lots of it - well, folks,  it IS our reward.

So the other night, I was sort of moaning to my significantly better half that I was thinking about fresh fruit and berries when she reminded me that we had "put up" - in this case frozen - many bags of New Jersey finest Blueberries!  And this simple, tasty, fabulous little gem was born (remember, any berries or fruit that you have canned or frozen will work):

Il Moya Quick Blueberry Tartlet

Make a pie crust, or use a frozen or prepared one - make it easy on yourself!
Roll the crust out in the shape of your favorite shallow tart pan - in our case, I love the rectangular pan
Shape the rolled out dough into your preferred tart pan
"Dock" the dough - make a few holes all over it with a fork - and sprinkle it with a bit of sugar
Take your previously frozen and now defrosted Blueberries (about 2 cups) and mix them with sugar to taste and a teaspoon of arrow root (to thicken them a bit as they cook)
I did this last step right in the bag that the berries had been in in the freezer - they defrosted and there was just enough water in there to work in the sugar and the arrow root

Pour the Blueberry mixture into the tart pan, onto the dough you prepared

You can get creative like I did with some of the left over dough and do a little lattice, but it's not necessary

Sprinkle the top with a bit of cinammon
Put it into a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes
Let it cool.  When it's cool, sprinkle on some confectioner's sugar, if you have it
Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, creme fraiche OR nothing at all!
Delicious and it WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY because not only is it incredibly tasty, it is an experience of Summer in the middle of a very demanding Winter.

Lastly, I don't about the rest of you gardeners out there, but with many of the seed and garden catalogs in hand, I am having a great time reading, fantasizing, and planning while the snow falls. 

My Recommended Catalogs (so far):

Burpee (of course, they are local and let's face it, they are good!)
Seed Savers Exchange (an orgy of heirloom seeds and transplants and many, many species that can be grown in pots and containers!)
RHShumways (wonderful, beautiful and educational)
Gardeners Supply Company (not a lot of seeds and transplants, but one of the things that they offer is an online "Garden Planner"; If you go to their site, just put "Garden Planner" in the search - it's fun and you can print it and/or save it - nice)

There are more catalogs, as well as websites, and I will report on them as I work my way through them.

Who has their garden planned?  Who has their edible garden planned?

Hang in there folks!  Let's face it, at least it hasn't been boring!


1 comment:

  1. What a pep talk! Thanks.
    Plotting the edible garden this weekend- have the seeds and varieties picked out, now I need to decide how much room I need. Backwards, I know.