OK, technically it was at the market Saturday but semantics schmantics, I say. I was busy this weekend and this is the first chance I’ve had to update on my finds that were too fabulous not to share. I think it’s well established that I dig a good farmer’s market and this weekend was fantastic! The weather here in Chicago was finally … decent. Nothing like summer appearing for the first time in JULY. Good god this is trying my patience.
The farm stands are bursting with the good stuff now so it’s not just all lettuce and onions and more lettuce. Most importantly, the summer fruits made their first real appearance this weekend. There have been reported sightings and a few sneak peeks in prior weeks but, in my opinion, this weekend was the real deal. Raspberries (3 kinds!), blueberries, currants, cherries (3 kinds!), apricots, early peaches, plums. Well hello my lovelies. What to do, what to do!
Due to a teaching commitment in the way far ‘burbs later in the morning, I was at the Chicago Green City Market in Lincoln Park early and didn’t linger. I was on a mission … find fruit for a tart class I was teaching for some friends the next day. I had an idea of what I wanted but no firm plan beyond a sour cherry tart. That one was a specific request and why we were doing this months after talking about it – sour cherries typically pop up in mid-late July and I was really hoping this was the week they decided to show. The rest of the menu would depend on what I found which is frankly the best way to cook/bake if you’re comfortable winging it. Hard to do much planning when you’re not sure what you’re making but the best things typically come out of these forays.
So here’s how it shook out:
– lovely small apricots from Klug Farms would be great in a free form crostada. I was thinking peaches but it’s a bit early for those and the apricots were a welcome find.
– Fat red raspberries from Seedling. Damn that Farmer Pete has some great stuff and these raspberries were delicious. Will be great on the ganache tartlets.
– Sour cherries! Again, Pete comes through and again, I buy too many. They are my very very favorite and this was first week for these babies. Move fast; they make a quick appearance and are gone in a few weeks. My suggestion – buy a case, spend half a day pitting, freeze solid on sheetpans (do it yourself IQF) and then transfer to ziplocs. Sour cherry lattice tart it is. Thank god.
– Sweet lush blueberries. Pete again! Don’t tell anyone but I ate half the container in the car. Fabulous and will be great in the baked custard tart though I’ll have to edit the recipe because I now had half as many as I started with. Whoops.
– and the unexpected find of the day – black raspberries from Klug Farm. Oh yes! Deep, dark and absolutely delicious. Will be GREAT with dark chocolate so into the basket to add to the ganache tarts.
All in all, another banner day.