Monday, 31 August 2009

Peach, Plum and Redcurrant Breakfast Bread

A yeasted open tart for the changing seasons. Everything locally grown and picked except the peaches (the weather just isn't that good). The dough enriched with ground almonds, the plums, red currants and peaches drizzled in home-made red currant jelly. Baked in the oven in the morning, and then scattered with fresh red currants and a little sugar. A warm slice of this with coffee, or cold with a little creme fraiche, makes a wonderful breakfast.

For the bread dough:

400g strong white flour
70g ground almonds
325ml warm water
1/2tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
20g fresh yeast

About 1 kilo of fruit: I used a mixture of plums, peaches and red currants
1 tbsp red currant jelly

Mix the fresh yeast with the water and sugar and leave somewhere warm for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to wake up while you measure out the flour and almonds. Put the flour, almonds, salt and yeast mixture into a bread maker on the dough setting. Once the dough is made slice the peaches and plums into slices and mix with the red currant jelly. Roll the dough out into an oval and spread the fruit in the middle, skin side down. Heat the oven to 200 oc and leave the dough to rise again on top of the oven and away from any draughts. After 30 minutes, and when it is slightly risen, put the dough in the oven and bake until dark golden brown. There will be a little juice seeping out into the dough and the fruit will be beginning to catch on top, going a dark caramel. Take out of the oven, scatter over the remaining red currants and dust with icing sugar.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Nothing is as perfect as the fruits of your own labour, and this little salad was the work of months. Some heavy digging to clear the ground, weeding and watering galore, and then a gap of months where we crossed our fingers and hoped. We planted these little tomatoes as tiny stalks in France in March, and then had to abandon them for the grind of daily life. How wonderful then that this neglect still bore fruit.

We planted poire jaune (yellow pear), tiger striped and moneymaker and baby plum tomatoes.

And the sun and occasional rain seemed to suit them...

The striped tiger tomatoes were probably our favourite: sharp and sweet all at the same time

And with produce this good cooking isn't needed: all these wanted was a little salt, pepper, olive oil and basil.