It seems not so long ago we’ve been overwhelmed by a wave of heat, beyond generous some might say, but suddenly mornings became crisp and autumn is truly upon us, or at least here in the Swiss mountain embrace.
With the last bits of summer I was busy rushing between Switzerland and Provence, putting together a little video (something else I love doing), for my latest cookbook L’Art de la Table: Taste of the Mediterranean.
I am so happy to finally be able to share a sneak peek into something, I have put all my heart in creating over the past year. Each chapter and page is meant not only to inspire you to get in the kitchen and start cooking, but also to take you on a journey towards the Mediterranean, and for a while get lost in the world I’ve come to love so much.
L’Art de la Table is fairly big and fairly fat as cookbooks come, spreading through 288 pages, but to save a few trees one page got left out and those were the acknowledgements to those without whom this book would have never came to be.
My husband and greatest critic who endured endless tasting of every dish and always kept advocating for improvements deserves a very special mention as all my loved ones without whose support (and voluntary eating) it would have been impossible to achieve.
I have to say a very big thanks to my publisher, Dutch based Aerial Media Company who shared my vision for perfection and attention to detail, that made this book the way it is; also to my editors Anda Schippers and Danny Guinan who have contributed so much to perfecting each page.
Last but not least, this cookbook would never have happened without all of you, folks, who have been with me since culinary adventures started and spiralled into a life driving force.
To celebrate the launch I made these little Limoncello figs tarts, because while figs are still in season, it would be a shame not to use them to the fullest. I must also admit that Limoncello sabayon has become sort of a recent favourite and I have been searching for any excuse to make it and add it to desserts. It does work rather wonderfully with walnut and rosemary crust and fresh figs and any other berries too.
- ⅓ cup / 45 g crushed walnuts
- 2 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 heaped tbsp chopped rosemary
- 1 cup minus 2 tbsp/ 170g whole wheat flour
- 90 g/ 6 tbsp butter
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 egg
- 4 egg yolks
- ¼ cup/ 50g sugar
- 1 lemon zest
- ⅓ cup / 80 ml Limoncello
- ¼ cup / 60 ml lemon juice
- ⅓ cup / 80 cold cream
- 10-15 fresh figs
- In a food processor, blend walnuts with sugar till completely grounded. Add chopped rosemary, salt and flour and pulse a few more times till well combined.
- Add butter and blend till it resembles bread crumbs, about 5-10 seconds, finally add the egg and continue to blend till it comes together. Press into a ball, wrap into cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 356F/180C.
- Roll out the dough with a bit of flour and press evenly into six tartlet tins (about 4 inches wide). Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before baking. Prick the bottom of the tart, line with baking paper top with baking weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and baking paper and bake for about another 10 minutes till the pastry is golden brown. Let it cool completely before filling.
- While the pastry is cooling make the filling. Combine Limoncello and lemon juice. Heat a pot with a bit of water. In a heatproof bowl beat the eggs with sugar and zest till well mixed, then place over boiling water and continue to beat till it thickens up a little for a few minutes, pour in Limonecello and lemon juice and beat continuously till it thickens up again. It needs about 8-10 minutes of cooking in total. Remove from the pot and continue to stir till the bowl cools down.
- Beat the cream till stiff peaks and fold into cooled sabayon.
- Fill each pastry case with sabayon and top with fresh fig slices. These tarts are best served fresh but can be made a few hours in advance.
I just found out that the release of my book in North America will be sooner than expected, it’s coming out on the 21st September! Interested in getting my book? Go Amazon.co.uk for European delivery and here for Amazon.com to pre-order in US!