List of awesome things that happened this weekend:
dancing in the park with Justin, James and Katie
watching boys climb trees and Celtic crosses
running through the sprinklers after Shakespeare on the Green
going to the farmer's market with Dan
sipping lemonade on the curb while watching a zydeco band
baking and cooking all afternoon
sitting on the back porch
learning to lead climb
I barely woke up in time to make it to the farmer's market on Saturday. I hadn't planned on going, but it just felt right. Thankfully Dan agreed to go with me--it's much more fun with friends. We wandered around while I tried not to buy more vegetables than one person would be able to eat. This adorable French man was selling plums hardly larger than a grape for $3. I couldn't resist them or his accent. He threw in some chives and peppery parsley.
Dan had never tried plums--can you believe it! I love trying new things and especially introducing others to new things, but had I known it was his first I would have picked a different plum. These were more tart than usual and the skin was a touch bitter. The bitterness really came out in the tea cake I made later. Not enough to ruin things. In fact, I love the recipe for this batter. I dug through a dozen old issues of Gourmet to find the right one filed under rustic fruit desserts. The cake was really dense, almost crusty but not dry. I don't even know what to compare it to.
Stone Fruit Tea Cake: from Rustic Fruit Desserts
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped stone fruit
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and mix, one at a time. Add the vanilla, mix. Blend in the flour in two batches and mix until it is just combined. Lay out batter on a piece of plastic wrap and form into a gooey circle about 1/2 inch thick. Throw into the freezer for 30 minutes just so it's not so melty--you don't want or need it to get completely frozen.
Remove from fridge and preheat oven to 350. Divide the batter in half and press the larger half into a 9-inch fluted tart pan. Arrange the stone fruit on top of the batter. Then rip off bite-size chunks of batter from the other half and arrange on top of the stone fruit. Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and hard.