Sunday, October 10, 2010

Simple Is Yummier

I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I can certainly appreciate a nice dessert.
But for me, "nice" means not too gloppy, too sugary, too fatty.
Dessert making is art, no doubt about it. Shatteringly flaky crusts, dribbling rivers of syrup and butter, and all those flavor tweaks. Vanilla. Cinnamon. Like that.
Try as I might, though, it's just not for me.
I know, there's also inelegant dessert making: poor-quality chocolate, too much orange zest, stale nuts. Not talking about that (and not eating it, either).
The upshot, I guess, is that I don't make desserts using recipes. I'll fake a little compote of cherries, almonds, yogurt. Naive, and yum.
Today I faked a little "crostini" of green gage prunes, dried from our plum tree, with a smear of Nicasio Valley Cheese Company soft cow's milk Foggy Morning, smooshed over slices of sweet baguette.
You got your fruit, your dairy, your bakery.
No butter, no powdered sugar, no piping bag.
With a simple, pure, honest combination of ingredients like this, you are tasting real flavors. The prunes are excruciatingly good (but I wouldn't stop you from buying a different kind). The cheese is ethereal, with just the right hint of salt to tickle the sweet, chocolatey prunes. The baguette was basically there to hold it up, but it made for nice chewing.
I wish this wonderful, sane dessert for you.
Oh, hell, I should confess. I ate this dessert for lunch.


Greg said...

Great idea. I was looking at a jar of fig jam earlier with a similar plan.My skinflint side held me back. Silly me.

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: Fig sounds nice. Even better for a skinflint is free prunes. Want some next year?

Greg said...

Hell yes!

Robert said...

I agree: you don't need to trash the kitchen with 400 pots and pans just to make a tasty dessert. I love the simplicity. I often do a very similar thing w a slice of toasted baguette, good cream cheese, and a very basic blackberry or strawberry jam. the cream and fruit combo is perfect.

kudzu said...

Amazing that green plums turned that sophisticated shade. I totally agree with "sweet" crostini as desserts. Isn't the Nicasio Valley cheese lovely?

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: They will be ready in September. Will we still be friends? :)

Robert: Thank you. Your version is lovely. Mine, no added sugar, but sometimes you have no choice.

Kudzu: We dried them on the patio table. It was astonishing to watch them turn almost black.
That cheese is da bomb. And I appreciate your unsweet tooth.

Zoomie said...

I often serve cheese and fruit for dinner party desserts - with a tiny bite of chocolate with the coffee. Perfect.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Yum. (sometimes I have chocolate cake for breakfast)

Hungry Dog said...

Sounds perfect. And there's no reason you shouldn't eat this for lunch. Protein, carbs, fruit--yeah.

namastenancy said...

When I want complex, I go to one of the great bakeries here in SF. When I'm feeling really decadent, I buy something at BiRite Grocery; their salted caramel ice cream with one of their chocolate cakes. Divine! And I don't have to clean a pot, just my plate. But when I do something for myself, (and I don't often because I don't want to see the waistline expand), I do like you did - but you did it better. I am addicted to Fig Jam so I will be adding this version to my recipe file.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: I sometimes don't even offer cheese after supper. But always fruit. Or ice cream!

Mouse: What a good idea. I'm putting chocolate cake in the house for just that purpose.

Dog: And fantasy, the fourth food group. Best part was the prunes were homegrown, sigh!

Nancy: It's hard to get me to eat dessert, so this was a wonderful way to gulp down some tree fruit.

Heather said...

I'm gearing up to make fig and onion jam. Not quite dessert, but still.

cookiecrumb said...

Heather: This is still prune, but fig is so allowed.
Check this out:

Lannae said...

This is just a great idea for a sweet treat, but not too sweet. I am thinking about how I can make something similar with local cheese and fruit ingredients here in Mid-TN.

cookiecrumb said...

Lannae: I don't see why fresh fruit wouldn't work. Can you imagine a pear slice? Heaven.

Anonymous said...

I got a fig cutting from a friend. It's in a glass of water trying really hard to grow roots so I can put it in a little pot and then a bigger one and then transplant it outside to the warmest spot we got and mulch and shelter it and then have it die in the winter anyway.

And plums get bugs out here. Guess I'll have some bread and cheese.

cookiecrumb said...

Peter: So where y'at on yard fruit? Blueberries? Anything'll do. Good luck.