Slipping into Pumpkin Time

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This newsletter was sent to subscribers on September 25.  I’ll be sending out a new newsletter very soon.  If you want to subscribe, enter your email at the bottom of the homepage in the space that says “Get Everyday Dorie Monthly”.  The Blueberry-Buttermilk Cake (banner picture)  from Everyday Dorie was made and photographed by @rainydaybites 


… and somehow we are now in the countdown from September to October, from the surprise of seeing a few brown leaves to having the crunch of them underfoot each day.  Soon it will be root vegetables and sweaters.  Soon.  But not today …
Today, I’m in Paris, where the sun is so strong in my window that I’m writing in sunglasses.  Strollers have tied their sweaters around their waists and, of course, the café terraces are full.  But then, they’re almost always full … it’s Paris!
Before I flew here, I finished writing a story about my mother, which was published in the September 22 issue of the New York Times Magazine.  My mother died ten years ago and, while I think of her every day, writing the story felt like a long visit with her.  It was wonderful to think back to how remarkable she was.  As you’ll find out when you read the piece, my mother was many things, but a cook wasn’t one of them.  And yet, just recently, I remembered that my mom did make something in the kitchen: baked apples, the simplest dessert.  Of course I wish she could see the story, but she doesn’t have to be here for me to know precisely what her reaction would be: She’d laugh herself silly that a recipe of hers (of all things!) was in her favorite newspaper.  I’m glad you’re going to “meet” my mom. (Photo by Sarah Anne Ward for New York Times Magazine)

I almost didn’t have time to unpack my bags before I turned up for a champagne lunch at le Saint Sebastien hosted by Antoine (winemaker) and Anne Malassagne, the brother and sister who own and run the small, independent champagne house, AR Lenoble.  It was my long-time friend, Christian Holthausen, the director of exports and communications for AR Lenoble, who invited me, knowing how much I love Lenoble and the food at le Saint Sebastien. 

The stand out for me was a pintade – a guinea hen – that was finished with a light glaze (more a jus, really) made with marrow instead of butter.  My pictures didn’t do a whit of justice to the food or the wine, so I suggest you click over to see what Vanessa Besnard and Morgan Abbou, my lunchmates, posted.  Here they are, getting the best light for the food and Champagne we all loved. 

I’m still dreaming about the cheese we had with a 1979 AR Lenoble Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs.  That’s not something most of us can do, but it did make me think about something I can do – I can serve cheese and champagne … and I will!

The stars of the markets these days are plums – purple Italian prune plums that are called questches; small green plums known as reine claude; and the tiny-as-cherries, sweet-as-honey yellow-green plums known as mirabelles.  I’ve been making classic frangipane tarts with the plums and as well as this tart, which had a ricotta base.

I didn’t have a real recipe for the filling, but it went something like:

1 cup (250 grams) ricotta
1 large egg
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon melted butter

Mix all the ingredients together, spread it smoothly in a sweet tart shell (I prebaked mine), top with plums (or other fruit – it would be good with grapes or berries) and bake at 325 degrees F for about 50 minutes, or until the ricotta filling is puffed around all the fruit and a tester comes out clean.

We had this dessert – which would be so easy to make at home – at Juveniles

While the chef used mirabelles, you could use any kind of plums or even apples or pears.  The fruit is sauteed and spooned over rounds of French toast – I love how the French serve French toast/pain perdu as dessert – and then finished with cream.

The other sweet that’s all over Paris these days is cookies!  Cookies with a lot going on on top.  Here’s one from La Grande Epicerie

And here are some of the most beautiful pastries you’ll find in Paris.  They’re from des Gateaux et du Pain/Claire Damon

I hope that some of you are cooking and baking along with the two cook-the-book clubs this month Chowhound and @rainydaybites  They’re both working on Everyday Dorie and it’s not too late to jump in and get a taste of the fun.  Here are few quick looks at what people have been up to: 
@shewhoeats made the Tomato Tart with Mustard and Ricotta

@lady_daga15 made the Gingered Turkey Meatball Soup

Finally, if the last of the blueberries are turning up in your market, think about making the Blueberry-Buttermilk Bundt Cake from Everyday Dorie – @rainydaybites did

Or, if squash is pushing tomatoes off center stage at your farm stand, it might be time to make the first of the season’s Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good.  This is not a great picture – I wanted to get it to the table and so didn’t fuss – but here’s a potimarron (in America, it’s a kuri squash) stuffed with a mixture of ground pork, sausage, onions, herbs, raisins, almonds and some leftover cooked quinoa.  If I could go back and change the name of the recipe, I might call it Any Kind of Squash Stuffed with Anything Good.

Here’s the real one and the recipe, which is from Around My French Table.

If you want a see more of Paris (and soon Copenhagen and Stockholm – we’re headed there next week), follow me on Instagram.  And keep in touch – I love hearing from you.
Sending sweet wishes – xoxo Dorie  
All pictures from Everyday Dorie are by Ellen Silverman