We have been following Beatrice Peltre’s work and her blog La Tartine Gourmande for quite some time. Her photography and anecdotes are lovely. We were thrilled to attend Bea’s cooking demo of apple and pear verrines with millet crumble and vanilla custard.
Previously, we attended the Scallops Cookbook Demo at Trident Booksellers and Cafe and found both demos informative, fun and a wonderful way to hear from authors and their readers.
Like her blog, Bea is very warm, very elegant and very French. I deeply enjoyed Bea’s anecdotes and humor to smooth over the small technical hiccups in the presentation such as the burner not turning on. Fortunately, the Trident staff were ready in hand to help.
Beatrice mentioned for 6 years, there was a verrine trend in France and verrines were served as a savory amuse bouche or as a dessert. As she stewed apples and pears, prepped the vanilla-flavored creme anglaise and millet crumble, Bea also offered some fun ideas and practical suggestions. She mentioned that she sautees apples for her morning porridge and uses lemon juice to prevent oxidation of apple and pears.
Additionally, she suggested alternatives for leftover ingredients. For the leftover millet crumbles, she said she lives to use the crumbles on top of yogurt. Also, since the creme anglaise uses egg yolks, the whites are great to make financiers.
Bea provided some food stylist tips to ensure her meals have a visual element . 1) She prefers organic apples which have a lovely color and skin. “The nicest looking apples are best.” 2) Bea prefers pistachios from Iran or Sicily because of their deeper green color. Although they taste the same, the varieties from those regions are more colorful and visual. 3) Beatrice also mentioned that she loves the blue hue of Pete and Gerry‘s heirloom eggs (we do as well).
The verrine itself had nice textural contrast. The multi layers of luscious custard, crunchy millet, bright green pistachio and soft fruit went well together. We would definitely serve this dessert for at home entertaining.
Beatrice’s new cookbook, La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life is filled with stunning photos filled with color, reflective of the author’s style. She did mentioned the book took a long time to create because she was pregnant with her daughter Lulu.
Bea joked that if she had a choice, her book would be laden with just soups, tarts and chocolate. However, she wanted the book to reflect what she eats on a normal basis and dishes for various occasions.
Bea gave some good advice. Even if we are short of time to get the best quality ingredients. I like that mantra. She gave an example of a thirty minute recipe for zucchini carbonara. She sautes garlic, cumin, zucchini, eggs, cheese, a bit of cream, shrimp and white wine. Simple, quick, yet still very elegant.
Although we have been quite spoiled with the warm winter, the snow and bitter cold that evening was still difficult to digest. So I ordered and enjoyed a warming pot of sencha green tea for $3.50. The Japanese tea had a delicate richness and hints of sweetness.
I tried the Deluxe grilled cheese with melted provolone cheese, tomato, avocado, bacon on grilled challah bread and french fries for $10.50. The buttery challah was soft and toasted and I really enjoyed the flavor of the provolone and acidity of the tomato. If I ordered this again, I would not order the sandwich with avocado and bacon, because it was too much. Both add ins overpowered the other flavors. I thought the french fries were just ok, they were not crispy and under salted.