September 22, 2005

marriage of late-summer and early-autumn beauties

Autumn is my most favorite season of all, and summer, the least. So it is a sign of relief when it starts getting a little less hot and humid at the end of August, although we do have summer-like days even in September. And it happens to be the time when we get busy stuffing ourselves with fruits of both summer and autumn, and this is one of such things that I made at the end of last month.

Got fresh late-summer and early-autumn fruits from local greengrocer's: a small and firm, tart yellow-fleshed plum; a large and plump, ivory-fleshed plum; a small but juicy, fragrant nectarine; a large and sweet, glamorous yellow peach; a soft and fragile fig, and; a handsome bunch of grapes (I don't know about other places, but grapes are definitely autumn fruits here in Japan).

Halved a good croissant, lightly buttered each cut side, and on top of the bottom half, laid a bed of sliced fruits, placed small dice of cultured butter, scattered over cassonade (French brown sugar, so to speak) and a pinch of sea salt, and finished with a dash of mixed spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, peppers, cardamom, those clans). And popped the boat in the oven and baked until the sugar caramelized and the edges of fruits got nicely browned. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Seriously, this was one of the most delectable things I have ever made - well, it didn't owe me but a magic of the fresh fruits combined with simple seasonings and good bread. This is a small deviation from a recipe that I tried and loved last summer, one for roasted fruits salad found in Trish Deseine's book mes petits plats preferes (2002, Marabout). I thought of a mixture of juicy fruits cooking with sugar, butter, and salt, giving out a juice which gets absorbed in a buttery croissant - and the mere idea almost seemed good enough. And the real thing was even better, I tell you.

I loved the original recipe, but I am really happy with the results of my little experiment... I think I can call this a roasted fruit galette, perhaps? I will definitely try this one again - technically, I should be able to make this with any combination of fruits, ones of summer or winter, but somehow, this one always comes back to my mind in the late summer... so I will probably wait till next year. Or should I?


Anonymous said...

try adding cheese on top. one which melts nicely and has a bit of smoky salty taste. nothing aged a lot. 

Posted by kayenne

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this blog! I'm trying this right now. Cheers! 

Posted by Giselle

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic idea. Beats boring old ham, cheese and avocado any day!

Cultured butter is wonderful isn't it? I could eat it out of the tub. I love how you add a pinch of salt as well. 

Posted by Augustusgloop

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this recipe!... your pictures are always so beautiful and I love your creativity... 

Posted by sylvie

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing your food adventures!  

Posted by

Anonymous said...

This looks glorious. I love it when a bunch of lovely ingredients combined like this turn into something more delicious than you would have imagined. Can't wait to try it! 

Posted by Luisa

Anonymous said...

Sensational! I can feel the sunshine radiating from your (beautiful, as always) pictures. I will have to remember to come back to this post when the air gets chilly. 

Posted by Rachael

Anonymous said...

Hi, I stumbled upon your blog and loved the way you make cuisines seemed like poetry. I hope you don't mind but I've linked up your blog to mine. 

Posted by Red

Anonymous said...

mmm it all looks so delicious 

Posted by Catesa

Anonymous said...

The photos are gorgeous, and I can only imagine how delicious it must have tasted! Thanks for posting up the recipe, I'll definitely try it out once I can find fruit as nice as the ones you had. :) 

Posted by Jme

Anonymous said...

Wow, this sounds delicious, and looks nice and simple to make. Must try it as a week-night after-work type pudding.  

Posted by Anna

Anonymous said...

Hi Chita:

This is Patric from VegTomato.
I am leanring photograph.
May I ask what kind of digital camera you are using now?
How to take a beautiful photo like you did? 

Posted by Patric

Anonymous said...

Hi, thank you all for the comments!

Augustusgloop - The recipe uses salted butter in the first place, but all I got was unsalted one... so I just added sea salt! The slight saltiness really is the key for this recipe I think.

Patric - good to hear from you again! (I did a column in your website once, remember?)
I am using Nikon CoolPix2500, a three-year-old digital camera which takes funny snapshots and I have started trying a new one. How I took the pictures - I just did, sort of, I  would love to be able to take more beautiful ones! 

Posted by chika

Anonymous said...

Hi Chika,
Incidentally, your Peach Croissant reminded me of another recipe which has a strikingly close resemblance. If you like pear, perhaps you could try this. Butter each half of the croissant, and the surface of the top one. Then, spread chocolate evenly on the bottom half. The chocolate spread which I had when I was a kid was Nutella Chocolate-Hazelnut spread. Layer the sliced pear on top of the bottom half. You may scatter diced butter, sugar and spices as you did, but I did not, as the chocolate spread was sweet and flavourful enough to satisfy the stomach of hungry kids. Baked for 20-25 minutes or until the crust turn golden at 150-200 C. The Pear Croissant is good as it is, but you may pair it with ice cream, though I have never tried it (may be I should). It was one of the most memorable breakfast menu from childhood. We had also tried other variants with banana and other types of bread but pear and croissant seems best, and with banana came as a close second. All these, we got inspiration from the Nutella bottle, but you can tell that we were not very creative.

Posted by Kelken