Saturday, September 3, 2016
Just in Time: Honey Lime Peach Tart
Every time I look at the calendar I have to blink a few times. Is it really September already? Summer certainly gets a speeding ticket. It seems like yesterday when I was putting the finishing touches on the cookbook edits and summer was waiting in the wings. Today I'm wearing socks and on my third cup of tea. Fall is in the air, but I'm not too keen to rush into the sweaters and scarves and pumpkin pie just yet. There are 6 months of that to come. For me, it's still ice cream and all of the seasonal fruit that I love so much. Peaches, nectarines, Concord grapes, strawberries. I can't even look at a pumpkin as long as these are still around! I wait all winter for summer to come, so you better believe I'll hold on as long as I can. But, I'm no fool. The smell of fall is wafting around, and the first golden leaves are falling. I do like these end of summer days, and can certainly feel a transition happening. Most of our lives are spent in transition. The sweet passing moments between the moments; the rhythmic flows between the words. Let's love the transitions like they're destinations. Let's put all the worries and stress aside and just appreciate how nicely the sun goes down. And how tasty that ice cream is. And how good it feels to have the hand of someone you love holding your own.
Speaking of being in transit, I got back from Montreal a week ago, and oh my stars, I had such a good time. My handsome farmer was my companion, and we pretty much ate all the things and saw all the things. I share photos and stories at the end of the post, so there's more about our trip there. But, the best part of traveling with a new love is finding out how compatible you are together. And, we are highly compatible. We enjoy the same things. Except flying. Dixon loves flying and I'm the one clinching my hands in prayer and breathing deeply so I don't barf. He's taking photos out the window and I'm wishing I had written my will before I got on the plane. He's snoring soundly and I'm counting the minutes until I touch down on terra firma. But apart from the flying, we're on the same page. Art galleries, long walks, cafés, carbs. We had a really great time together, and after 6 whole days of being together, we didn't get sick of each other, which is a good sign. You really get to know someone when you're hurtling through the air in a flying metal machine. Or when you're getting a little hangry and he holds your hand a little tighter. Or when you're having a picnic in the rain and he holds the umbrella over you so you don't get wet. There's no one better than him, and all of those wishes I made on summer stars have (finally) come true.
One of my favourite adventures in Montreal was visiting Jean Talon Market. If you ever go to Montreal, you must stop there. It's a gorgeous market, with stalls bursting of beautiful fruit and vegetables. I couldn't get over how affordable the produce was. Here in Saskatoon, on average we pay about 3 times as much as Montrealers do for their produce. It's easy to see why I wanted to stuff it all in my carry-on, but instead I just opted for gorgeous Niagara peaches and Quebec heirloom tomatoes. I figure they would travel okay, as long as we didn't get too bumped around. I was pretty much right, though the peaches did get a few bruises. That's okay, as it just means I get to bake with them! Sliced and tossed with honey and lime juice, they are so tasty on a tart made with puff pastry. I like to keep a box of puff in my freezer for tart emergencies, especially if I don't have time to make pastry. The peaches get jammy and taste like summer. The flecks of fresh thyme add a nice herbal note and the whole thing is perfection with vanilla ice cream. This recipe is just in time for the late season peaches and I can't think of a better thing to eat as the summer ends. It's been good. It's been glorious. I hope you can say the same.
Don't let the summer stars fade without making a single wish.
Honey Lime Peach Tart
1/2 450g pkg puff pastry
4-5 ripe peaches, sliced
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 large egg beaten with 2 tsp water
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the sheet of puff pastry on the baking sheet. You want it to be approximately 12-inches square. Use a sharp knife and score the edges of the puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch border, being sure not to cut all the way through. Use a fork to poke holes allover the pastry inside the score lines. In a large bowl, toss the sliced peaches with the lime juice and honey. Lay them on the pastry so they are overlapping, but be sure to leave the 1-inch border empty. Scatter the fresh thyme leaves on top of the peaches. Brush the border of the pastry with the egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the peaches are soft and the pastry is golden. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Serve the tart warm with ice cream. Makes 4 servings.
And now some photos from our trip!
Our hotel for the first 2 nights was in beautiful Old Montreal. Our room was the second set of windows over the arch and was as big as my house!
Notre Dame Basilica was just around the corner from our hotel and was something to behold at night. I'll never forget the sights and sounds of this majestic square.
Around every corner there are shops with tasty pastries and coffees. I managed to snap one photo of this latté before it slipped out of my hands and I spilled most of it on the cobblestones. Ooops!
Felix and Norton cookies were a regular part of my diet when I went to university in Montreal over 20 years ago. Imagine my joy when we stumbled upon a food truck hocking their cookies while touring around the Old Port. The white chocolate macadamia cookie was always my favourite and did not disappoint.
Olive and Gourmado always has a lengthy line-up, but this Old Montreal café is worth it. This salad had it all: prime summer produce, creamy ricotta, fruity olive oil and chewy fried bread. Oh, and pine nuts. I adore pine nuts!
Speaking of line-ups, Schwartz's Deli is famous for their smoked meat and their line-ups, but again, the wait is so worth it. There's nothing on this earth that compares to their juicy, meaty sandwiches, poutine, pickles and cherry cola. Oh! And apparently Celine Dion paid a visit to this spot just mere hours after we were there. Guess she heard we were in town!
Jean Talon Market had the most gorgeous fruit and vegetables. 3 pints of these tomatoes could be had for just $5. Oh my stars! I'm so glad I took some home with me. They were so sweet and so delicious.
Just about the prettiest radishes I ever did see.
We gathered some goods and had a picnic in Parc Mont-Royal because that was one of the things I most wanted to do while in Montreal. Never mind that it was drizzling, we still laid out the table cloth and sat on bags so our bums wouldn't get wet. They still did, but it was worth it. In the end the sun did come out, and this was a picnic I'll never forget. Also, I ate rabbit for the first time and I liked it!
Mont-Royal is a fixture in this city, and I love how the mist was just clearing as we got there. The cross on the top left is barely visible, but I love how it is peaking through. The Cartier monument is a glorious thing to behold - we spent a great deal of time checking it out. It's almost 100 years old, and is 100 feet high. Just glorious.
And I saved the best for last. All the hearts here.
For more photos of more food, check out my Instagram feed. Special thanks to Tourism Montreal for taking such good care of us. Merci! Merci! Merci