Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer is Making Us Fruity

The second most frequent question we get asked (right behind the gluten-free one) is if we make any of our tarts with fruit fillings. There are a lot of great pastry chefs (some who occasionally produce fruit turnovers and bake pies), so invariably my response has been “no”. 

This year, as the strawberries started arriving in small spurts and local chefs started talking, tweeting and posting about great local berry desserts on their menus. Panacotta! Sorbets! Pie (with and without rhubarb)! Perhaps it was a reaction to long gray winter we just had, which made me wonder, why couldn’t we do a savory strawberry one?

I had some initial ideas, from dishes I had made and seen in the past, and we rolled it around the kitchen for a few days tossing in and out options. A savory strawberry tart might be strange enough that we didn’t want to alienate people from trying them by making them possibly too weird (yes, yes, Portland likes to be weird but there are limits). So we narrowed it down to three recipes ideas, and had a bake-off.

There are certainly worse ways to spend part of an afternoon than taste testing our ideas, but at the end of the day we unanimously agreed that the Strawberry Basil Goat Cheese was the clear winner for this berry.

Our goal for the summer is to try out a few different fruit flavors. See what kind of interesting savory concoction we think will fly. Not go crazy and jump on every berry or stone fruit arrival and take it from there.

We’re only going to sell them at the farmer’s markets this season. So try one (and then hunt Nat down for another one at a farmer’s market later in the week as some fantastically supportive customer did). Let us know what you think. We’re already tossing around ideas about what our next savory fruit will be…

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