Every new year, I aim to take some time to slow down, venture out in the city on my own, buy myself a delicious meal, grab a window seat, and journal on the new year to come and reflect on the year past. It’s something I look forward to every year- it’s the perfect opportunity to breathe before the new year takes off at high speed.
A lot happened in my world in 2015- way more than I could ever imagine and it’s been a year that’s far surpassed what I thought possible. Only the year before did I begin this journey of starting a food blog and now that I’m now in the midst of full time blogging and photography hours, stepping further and further into realms of turning around and teaching others how it is, this thing I do… well it’s all just surreal. But, only when I take a moment to sit down and think on it all.
It’s true, life goes quickly. Years come and go, resolutions heighten at years end and tend to fizzle by spring. But in slowing down, even for an evening out on my own, well it’s in these moments that we start to see the bigger picture ; looking at life as a whole. In this, refreshing comes, thankfulness is realized, and I find my heart is full of emotion, so grateful for the countless blessings in my life and those around me. It’s in these moments where even though life is hard and things come our way that are unexpected and challenging, we realize how truly blessed we are.
So there’s my reflective New Year’s writing for you.. just some thoughts here on this rainy Portland afternoon!
I am excited to announce tickets released for my Scratch Sessions!
These smaller cooking-based workshops are local here in Portland and are called the Scratch Sessions. The first one is happening in just a few short weeks on Saturday, February 13th and is on how to make the perfect stock and bone broth .
These workshops are ongoing throughout the year, covering various topics and are co hosted by myself & Eva Kosmas Flores, held at Eva’s home in Portland. Each class is offered at an affordable rate, happens on Saturdays for 4 hours and includes a long table lunch alongside cooking sessions, tasting, all sorts of take home goodies and more! You can see more on these Scratch Sessions our website at this link, and if you want to stay in the know for these upcoming events, make sure to subscribe here for future notifications.
So this recipe for Bergamot Mascarpone Hazelnut Tart with Red Wine & Pomegranate Poached Pears is really a special one to me. Why? It’s the first shoot I did for a publication- thus being my first recipe in print. I shot it last January ( crazy right?) and it’s now finally making it to my blog! I’m really excited actually- somehow, even though I shot this only weeks after I picked up my first camera and a few short months since starting to style, I still am in love with it. The imagery I find moving, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have! You can find this recipe in print in Volume 2 of Provencial Magazine, along with a corresponding recipe on Process.
A huge thank you to my sweet friend Christy for modeling for me in these shots!
Bergamot Mascarpone Hazelnut Tart with Red Wine & Pomegranate Poached Pears
2c. Organic heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
2-3t. Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 bags Bergamot or earl grey tea (full leaf, high quality)
In medium saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium heat with tea bags while stirring until the cream begins to simmer or has reached approximately 190 degrees. While continuing to stir, slowly add fresh squeezed lemon. *Make sure to stir continually throughout this entire process as it will thicken very quickly.
Once cream thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, continue to stir on low heat for 3-4 minutes, ensuring that the tea is infusing properly and the cream keeps it’s consistency. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature for 30-45 minutes.
Depending on the thickness of your cream once it cools, you may need to strain it with a cheesecloth. If so, place a strainer lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth over an empty bowl. Add the cream and allow it to drip any moisture out. Once it is dry, remove the cheesecloth carefully and place cheese in an airtight container and store in refrigerator. Use within one week.
Hazelnut Cardamom Crust
1 ½ c. Hazelnuts, raw
½ t. Cardamom
¼ t. Sea salt
2 Medjool dates, pitted
¼ c. Coconut oil
3 t. Honey
Lightly grease an 8” tart pan with a re moveable bottom and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processer, combine the first 4 ingredients and pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. In a small bowl, melt coconut oil in microwave. Add honey and stir to combine. Slowly pour into food processor to coat mixture, pulsing as you pour. The mixture should start to stick together. Once this consistency is reached (it won’t take but a few seconds), place in tart pan, pressing in and up the sides. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let cool for 30 minutes.
Red Wine & Pomegranate Poached Pears
Makes 6 pears
2 c. Merlot
1 c. Pomegranate Juice
1 c. Water
1/2 c. Honey
Peels from 1 orange
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 t. Cloves
6 Bosc pears, firm and unripe
In large pot, combine all ingredients except for pears and begin to heat on medium heat. Meanwhile, peel pears, leaving them whole with stems intact. Add to poaching liquid and simmer for 20-35 minutes with the lid on the pot until soft when knife is inserted gently. Remove pears and set aside to cool. Continue to simmer poaching liquid without a lid, reducing until it starts to thicken, for another 30 minutes. *This is an excellent reduction that can be used on top of the tart or for future use on things like ice cream, French toast, and beyond.
Once pears cool, slice and set aside. *Please note that you’ll only need 2-3 pears for this 8” tart. The remaining pears are excellent to have for breakfast or dessert!
For the assembly of the tart, once all 3 ingredients have cooled, spread mascarpone and top with sliced pears. Serve within 1 day if possible, storing in the refrigerator in an airtight container.