Fruit compotes

I talk a lot about process here. Enjoying the journey. Being

in the moment. All that good stuff. 

I do because it’s not an automatic for me. I have to keep
reminding myself, to keep practicing it. 

It’s sometimes a struggle. To enjoy the journey for journey’s sake, no matter the outcome.

Pablo is really into puzzles these days. He can really focus
on them and he seems to enjoy figuring them out. In order to nurture his
patience, his perseverance, I try to be as hands off as possible. The other
day, I watched him struggle a bit putting some pieces together, getting some pieces
wrong, some pieces right. He was really profoundly in the moment, enjoying this
process, with no concept of success or failure, just pure journey. It took him
a while to get it done, but he did. I said, ‘Well done’, myself feeling some accomplishment
for him. But within 5 seconds, he took it apart, put it away and moved on to something else. 

At first, I was
a bit surprised. If it were me, I would have taken a moment to contemplate what
I’d done. 

A couple of weeks later, thinking back on this, I realized this was
the epitome of journey for journey’s sake. He did not do the puzzle with any
particular destination or goal in mind. Doing for doing, not for having done. He did it because he enjoyed the process, so
the result was completely irrelevant to him.

Could I relearn this? Bake a bread just for the sake of baking,
no matter how good or bad it tastes when done? (Probably the only way to make good bread, ironically.)

I suppose it is only human to be somewhat goal-oriented, but
society seems to put so much emphasis on goal, success, trophies, results. All
meaningless without a struggle. Without an interesting journey.

Pablo somehow knows this balance. He knows when he does
something for a specific goal, and he knows when he wants to do something for its very process. Wise little guy he
is. I learn from him every day.

I read this poem today. It hit me like an arrow in the
bull’s eye. An excerpt from “Spring” by Jim Harrison (whole poem here) (bold emphasis is mine):

Something new in the air today, perhaps the struggle of the bud to become a leaf.
Nearly two weeks late it invaded the air but then what is two weeks to life herself?
On a cool night there is a break from the struggle of becoming.
I suppose that’s why we sleep.
In a childhood story they spoke of the land of enchantment.
“We crawl to it, we short-lived mammals, not realizing that we are already there.” […]
Of late I see waking as another chance at spring.

Maybe that’s why spring feels so kindred to me this year. “The struggle of becoming”. The beauty and truth of that phrase moves me. Because I am learning what my 2 year old already knows: the struggle of becoming is what makes life worth living.





In celebration of spring, we had a backyard picnic for our goûter yesterday. Sit in the grass, smell the jasmine, have some tea and homemade fruit compotes. 












Finally sharing these terribly simple compote recipes, as some of you requested. 


Wishing you and yours a lovely Easter and spring season.

 

 

 

Fruit compotes



Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes


Age for babies: 4-6 months (individual fruit compotes first)


Note: I decided to share three flavors here: apple-mint, pear-blueberry, apple-mixed berries, all fruits that are available and seasonal at the moment. Many variations will soon be possible with summer stone fruits (I had blogged about a raw peach compote last summer). Obviously, this is a very flexible recipe, you can have more or less fruit, mix and match pretty much any fruit of your liking, add cinnamon, honey, lemon zest, thyme, basil, whatever you like. I use a blender as mine does a smoother puree than my food processor.


For apple-mint & apple-berries(Yields about 1 cup each)


3 apples peeled, cut up
5 sprigs of mint, leaves only
1 cup frozen mixed berries


Steam the apples and mint leaves (mint on one side only) for about 20 minutes, until apple is tender.
Steam (separately) the frozen berries for about 7 minutes. 


Puree half the apples + mint in a blender with 1/4 cup of cooking juices (add a couple of tbsp if compote is too thick).


Puree the other half of the apples + berries with 3-4 tbsp of cooking juices (adjust to obtain desired consistency).


Let cool, and eat at room temperature or chilled.


For pear-blueberry:
(Yields about 1 1/2 cup)


2 medium pears, peeled, cut up
1 cup of fresh blueberries


Steam the pears and blueberries for about 10-12 minutes, until pear is tender.
Puree in a blender with 2-3 tbsp of cooking juices (adjust to obtain desired consistency)


Let cool, and eat at room temperature or chilled.


I usually keep enough for the next day, and freeze the rest for later use. (They can be thawed in water bath or microwave).

Fruit Tart Recipe

And we get to another month of world on a plate. For those of you that missed the first two rounds, World on a Plate is a monthly blogging event at which bloggers from around the world get together and share a typical recipe from their home country. Today, we are sharing fruit dessert to celebrate summer.

I am so curious to see what delicious concoctions my fellow bloggers will propose! What fruit will they use? Is it going to be cake? Sppon desserts? Fruit salad? Well Anna is going to tell us about Australia, Biren about Malaysia, Ewa about Sweden, Katerina about Greece, Katherine about the US, Hyosun about Korea, Raymund about the Philippines, Suchi about Northerm India and Vijitha about Southern India and as usual I am telling you about Italy.

When I started thinking about what to make, two things popped in my head: fruit salad and fruit tart. Turns out fruit tart is BF’s favorite dessert, so I went with tart.

Fruit tart makes its appearance at birthday parties and other festivities especially in spring and summer and it is a favorite among kids and adults. It looks great and it tastes even better!

Fruit tart is a great dessert that manages to be rich, refreshing and simple at the same time. The pastry cream makes it rich, the fruit makes it refreshing and the simplicity of ingredients and preparation make it easy to make. Plus it looks great! Bring one of this dessert to the table and you will be hailed as a great chef!

Don’t forget to check out what everyone else did at the bottom of the post!

#WorldOnAPlate: Fruit Tart

Ingredients

    • Crust
    • 10 oz. flour
    • 4 oz. butter
    • 3.5 oz. sugar
    • 2 egg yolks
    • pinch salt
    • vanilla extract and/or lemon peel (optional)

Pastry cream

    • 3 egg yolks
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 tbsp corn starch
    • vanilla extract
    • 2 oz. sugar

Topping

  • seasonal fruit
  • 1 packet gelatin
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

    1. Crust
    1. Using a food processor cut the butter into the flout. It takes about 30 seconds and you should get a mixture of rather fine flour crumbs.
    2. Pour the mixture on a table or in a big bowl and make a well. In the well add the sugar, the yolks, the salt and the flavorings.
    3. Mix well and start kneading until the dough comes together in a smooth mass.
    4. If the dough is to dry, add a bit of the egg whites. If it is too sticky add a bit of flour.
    5. Make a disk, wrap it in saran wrap and place in the fridge to cool down for about 20 minutes.
    6. Roll out the dough and place in a buttered oven dish.
    7. Using a fork puncture the crust so that it does not rise while cooking.
    8. Cook for about 20 minutes in a 375F oven covering the borders with aluminum foil if they become too dark.
    9. Let it cool down.

Pastry cream

    1. Warm up the milk with the vanilla extract until simmering. Turn off the heat and let cool down slightly.
    2. Whip the yolks with the sugar until they become pale yellow and double in size.
    3. Slowly add about 1/3 of the milk straining it so that the skin that forms on top of the milk does not get in the egg mixture.
    4. Mix well and add the corn starch and mix again.
    5. Pour the mixture in a pot with the rest of the milk and put on a low fire. Stir the mixture until it thickens up (should become a lemon curd like consistency).
    6. Immediately transfer to a cool container and cover with plastic wrap so that it does not form a skin.

Topping

    1. Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/5 of the water, mix and let rest for about 5 minutes.
    2. Add the rest of the water and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix well. If the gelatine is not completely dissolved microwave for some extra time in 5 sec increments.
    3. Let the gelatin come to room temperature.

Assemble

  1. Pour the cool pastry cream over the cool crust and smooth it out.
  2. Layer some fruit on top of the cake making it as artistic as you can.
  3. Brush the gelatin over the fruit.
  4. Put the cake in the fridge and let the gelatin solidify.
  5. If needed after 10 minutes add a second layer of gelatin.