From the Kitchen: Apple & Prune Crisp

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This is our perfect fall dessert. It’s not too sweet, but is dense with the flavors of harvest fruit. This has the best parts of a tart and a crisp, using our wonderful shortbread dough and walnut crisp topping.

You can have the crisps ready to pop in the oven as you are sitting down to dinner, and by the time you’re ready for a dessert they will be nice and warm and ready for a scoop of gelato.


Apple & Prune Crisp
Serves 6

For the crust

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolk, salt, and vanilla. Mix to incorporate. Add the flour to the mixture and mix just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out 4½-inch thick tart shells. Bake the shells until lightly browned, about 8 to 11 minutes. Set aside.

For the filling

  • 2 cups dried prunes, chopped
  • 1 cup verjus blanc
  • 6 Gala or Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Grind the walnuts with 3 tablespoons of sugar in a food processor and set aside. In a food processor or a mixer, mix the remaining sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and flour and process until well combined. Add the butter and mix until the mixture clumps, about 1½ to 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg yolks to the butter mixture and process for another 40 seconds.

For the crisp topping

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons walnuts
  • ²⁄³ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ²⁄³ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, thinly sliced
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Gelato, for serving (optional)

In a small pot over low heat, add the prunes and the verjus. Bring the prunes to a simmer, remove the pan from the heat, and let the prunes steep for 10 to 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the apples and lemon juice. In a separate small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Add the dry mixture to the apples and toss until coated. Pour the prune and sugar mixture into the apples and toss again.

Fill the tart shells generously with the fruit mixture (it will shrink down as it bakes). In a bowl, crumble together the crisp topping with the walnut and sugar mixture. Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit filling and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the topping is golden and crunchy.

To serve

Add a scoop of your favorite gelato and serve while still warm.

Food for though

You will have some leftover crisp topping, spread it on a baking sheet and bake of 325°F until crisp and brown about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool and save as an ice cream or yogurt topping.

Seasonal Eats: Fall Edition

With the changing seasons comes a slight chill in the air, and a need for warm comfort food. Make these fall recipes and you are guaranteed warm satisfaction.

Today, a few ideas on seasonal foods – that will warm up your house and gather your family around the dining room table for a comforting meal.

So, hit your local farmers’ market and enjoy apples, winter squash, and mushrooms in these warming autumn recipes!


Apples

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September and October are when apples really start to ripen and you can enjoy these sweet beauties raw or baked. Not only will these meals leave you feeling happy and fulfilled but the aromas from the apples will leave your house smelling amazing.

Inspiration for around the web~

Sondra and John’s recipe for Sautéed Pork Chop, Onion-Apple Ragoût, Mustard Jus

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Salted Caramel Apple Galette by sallysbakingaddiction.com


Winter Squash

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As the days grow shorter and the temperatures dip, it’s time to bring home winter squash. Even though they’re harvested in the fall, they’re called winter squash because their hard thick skins protect them during the winter. Don’t be intimidated by their size or shape, they are very easy to work with and taste amazing.

Inspiration for around the web~

Sondra and John’s recipe for Butternut squash soup

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Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter by bonappetit.com


Mushrooms

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Baskets of earthy mushrooms such as Porcini and Chanterelles are stunning in soups and alongside braised meat dishes that you begin to see when autumn is in full swing.

Inspiration for around the web~

Sondra and John’s recipe for pork shoulder roulade, wild mushrooms

roulade

Mushroom Tart by marthstewart.com


We hope you’re enjoying the wet and blustery fall days in Sonoma County.

Happy eating!

5 things to do on Date Night in Sonoma

Whether it is your first date or your usual weekend on the town, it’s always nice to have a few new suggestions for an amusing and enjoyable night out. Sonoma County offers some of the best options for fun things to do, because this area is incredibly rich with entertainment, amazing views, and delicious restaurants.


Hiking

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Going for a hike in Sonoma County is a great way to get to know your special someone better, while also taking some of the pressure off, because you will be distracted by how beautiful Sonoma County is.


Picnic

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While exploring Sonoma County make a day trip out of it and plan a romantic picnic. Enjoy your picnic on the beautiful grassy areas in the Sonoma Plaza Park. Then explore Downtown Sonoma  and visit all the darling stores and wine tasting shops, to continue this fun day trip.  Fig caters offers amazing box lunches, if you don’t want to pack your own picnic.


Quarry Hill Botanical Garden

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Quarryhill Botanical Garden, in Glen Ellen is a beautiful Asian Woodland Garden. The flowers, waterfalls, and ponds provide the perfect space to have a relaxing and romantic date. If you find that you are hungry after meandering through the gardens, stop by the fig cafe and continue your amazing date!


Live Performing Arts

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Forget going to the movies, instead go out and experience live performances. Come to our Murder Mystery @ Suite D on Saturday October 29th. Enjoy amazing food and wine, while also solving a murder together. It will take entertainment to the next level, and it will keep you interacting with each other!


Tree House

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Why would you want to spend the night in a hotel when you could have a romantic overnight date in one of these stunning tree houses in the beautiful Sonoma Valley? It will be a night you to remember for years to come.


Sometimes it’s fun to mix up date night and go out and explore. Now get out there and plan your next date, we hope it’s a remarkable one!

 

 

Wine Wednesday: Stolpman 2014 Syrah, Ballard Canyon

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As you may know, since the very beginning the girl & the fig has boasted an exclusively Rhône-alone” wine list.

We’ve always loved that featuring unique Rhône wines gives us an opportunity to begin a conversation with our guests, perhaps introduce them to something new, as well as to present talented and innovative producers we believe in.


In honor of “Wine Wednesday,” a little about one of our beloved Rhône producers –

This week: Stolpman 2014 Syrah, Ballard Canyon

About the winemaker: Sashi Moorman

In 1996, Sashi moved to Ojai, California to work a five-year apprenticeship with Adam Tolmach at The Ojai Vineyard.  In 2001, Sashi joined Stolpman Vineyards, integrating the winemaking and vineyard direction under one program.  Today, Sashi continues his work at Stolpman Vineyards, his largest winemaking project. Sashi also makes his own label, Piedrasassi, and is a partner with Rajat Parr in Domaine de la Cote.

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Tasting Notes:

The dark density of the wine compliments the bright fruit profile bursting with tangerine and fresh red fruit. While the 2014 Estate Syrah certainly reflects the warmth of the vintage, the wine still shows a lively tartness that indicates a long life ahead of it.

Pairings:

At the girl & the fig we’d recommend pairing Stolpman 2014 Syrah, with polenta cake (peperonata, broccolini, fried garlic & chili oil), Sonoma mountain beef burger (grilled onions, house-made pickles, frites), soft cheeses.

At home try it with filet mignon with herb compound butter, whipped potatoes, and string beans.

Cheers!


(Thirsty? Book your next reservation at the girl & the fig!)

 

from the kitchen: dill pickles

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Ingredients:

  • 18-20 pickling cucumbers, scrubbed
  • 4 quarts filtered water
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoons chili flakes
  • 1 Tbs. whole peppercorns
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 large bunch of dill, preferably going to seed, washed
  • 3 one-quart pickling jars (wide mouth), sterilized

 

Directions:

In a large pot bring one quart water to a boil and add salt.  Stir slowly until salt has completely dissolved.  Remove pot from heat and add the remaining water.

Pack cucumbers vertically in jars and evenly distribute garlic, spices, bay leaves and dill among the three jars.

Fill jars with salt brine so that cucumbers are completely covered.  Cover jars with cheesecloth (secure with rubber band) and place in a cool, dark place to ferment.

After three days, taste one!  Pickles can ferment anywhere from three to 6 days, and will continue to become more sour during this time.

Allow them to age to your taste, then lid jars and refrigerate.