Nectarine custard cake
This post is a part of the Two for Tuesday blog-hop.
Have I ever told you guys about my neighborhood in Los Angeles? I think it’s the best neighbourhood there is. The Farmer’s Market is a five-minute walk away. The Beverly Centre is two. It sits there and looms over me like a centinel of evil, tempting me to go and buy things. Luckily, indoor malls (well, malls in general) freak me out so it’s not actually as dangerous as it sounds. The Hollywood market is a ten minute drive away. There are canyons that serve as a small, albeit insufficient, wildlife fix when I cannot bear to tackle traffic heading towards the real wilderness. And our neighbourhood is full of little cafes and shops that are really fun to wander around. However, I go to school near the beach. 8 miles away. A commute that takes me, on average, an hour and ten minutes each way. Last thursday, a car had broken down on Wilshire Boulevard, causing a back up that caused my commute of eight miles to take me 2 hours. I was shaking by the time I got home.
Why am I complaining about my commute? Well you see, when I’m sitting in my car, frustrated and stressed out, to stop myself from stressing out too much, I think about dinner. Because food is not stressful. Because after a long stressful day of learning Pinyin names for herbs and sticking needles in people, and then sitting in traffic surrounded by *ahem* very nice people who all want to get home before you and don’t care if they have to cut you up, flip you off, or yell at you to do so *ahem* all I want to do is come home, throw my sweats on, and cook something delicious. So Thursday, as it would happen, had me thinking about a recipe for a Far Breton that I came across in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours. Not that I’ve ever had one. When I was in Brittany we ate bread and cheese and sheep’s milk. And I played on the beach and found a really pretty shell, that my dad’s friend’s daughter then stole and pretended to find herself, and even though I knew about it I couldn’t very well accuse her of it when I had just seen her find it. (I’m obviously over it now, twenty years later…). I had never even heard of a far, which is why, when I saw something that looked custardy and delicious, I figured that I could play around with it a bit, since I hadn’t actually met it before. Prunes soaked in armagnac? How about fresh peaches soaked in brandy instead! I tried to keep the spirit of what it was I wanted: a custardy cake, and make it something delicious. So I spent my drive on Thursday thinking about ratios and spices. About adding eggs, and cardamom, and cinnamon, and soaking flour in raw milk. Of course I don’t have an original to compare it to, but I happen to really like how it turned out. It’s not sweet– it’s like a savoury custard cake that is delicious for breakfast or for afternoon tea.