We had some friends over for dinner this past weekend giving me the perfect excuse to bake.  I opened my Nancy Silverton book and began my search for the tastiest treat.  I am on a mission to complete my challenge and entertaining is a great way for me to plow through the book.
My friend, Stephanie, doesn’t really like chocolate. Can’t imagine anyone not really liking chocolate, I can’t live without it.  No, really, I CAN NOT live without it.  If I was deserted on a desert island and I was granted one provision, it would have to be chocolate!  Stephanie is one of my dearest friends and I wanted to give her something she would absolutely love.
Couldn’t decide between two yummy looking recipes. That week I had picked up some blueberries at the local farmers market.  So, when I found Everyone’s Mother’s Berry Cobbler (pg. 99), I had to make it.  I even had just enough buttermilk in the fridge for the recipe.  It is so satisfying using up perishable ingredients.  I love, love, love that feeling!
The title of the recipe is deceiving.  This is not any “Mother’s Berry Cobbler”. Nancy may have recalled something this delicious from her mother’s nightly repertoire, however,  I can not recall my mother or anyone of my friends mother’s cobblers tasting this heavenly. Firstly , you have to take a whole vanilla bean, scrape out the seed and put the seeds and the pod in a pan with 1/2 stick of butter. You have to make a brown butter, which inevitably makes anything taste better.  After discarding the pod, you pour the brown butter in the baking dish and cover with the batter. Then layer with a fruit of your choice.   I am going to make this very recipe, all summer long, using a variety of fresh, seasonal fruits.  Yum, Yum!
The second recipe that caught my eye were the Lemon Picnic Tarts (pg. 262).  I also love a really tart, lemony dessert.  Although I had already picked out a “fruit” type dessert I was compelled to make these as well. These were super easy and delicious.  The dough was really easy to work with and rolled out so well.  When baked, the crust was light and flaky and the filling had the perfect amount of zest in it.  Not too tart and not too sweet.  It wasn’t runny (like some lemon custard type desserts can be) and the whole tart held together when you bit into it.
I have leftover dough in my freezer.  My cousins are coming for dinner this weekend and I may have to make another version of these tarts.  However, will have to make some sort of chocolaty goodness to go along with them!
p.s.  both of these recipes are best eaten the day they are baked.  Happy baking!