French Recipe Favourites

Nutmeg has learned a few things about technology in the last couple months including:

  • It is a brilliant idea to keep back-up files
  • Software version updates can cause problems
  • The benefits of saving documents to a cloud

Luckily, there are a few loyal readers including CardaMOM, who prints everything.  Nutmeg has rebuilt the recipe database on this blog over the last few weeks, and she has been able to recover 99% of the recipes.  The new format is much better for printing.  Rather than make you search back through old posts for the French recipes, some of them are captured below (click the links) and enjoy!

market-chevreBoth Ginger and Nutmeg love cooking, although not necessarily together (read: stubborn, Virgo, first children).  Ginger loves to experiment and uses multiple dishes in the process.  Nutmeg generally has a pretty defined plan and does not enjoy a lot of external input.  So the best solution is to allow each “chef” take their turn.  Nutmeg spent most of last summer baking and cooking, while in Canmore.  Ginger certainly played a significant part, by strutting his barbecue mastery.

After arrival in Aix en Provence and settling into the rental home, they took stock of the kitchen.  The good news, it was a decent size for both a chef and sous-chef to work side by side.  The bad news, the appliances were not quite of the quality that Ginger and Nutmeg are used to. The barbecue was terrifying, the stove top runs on a propane tank, and the oven looked like an “Easy Bake” from a garage sale. In their new summer home, in Eygalières, there are no excuses! The kitchen is fully equipped, and the barbecue works perfectly. In both places, Ginger and Nutmeg have had the benefits of fresh local food, the time to revisit some old classics, and to experiment with some new ones.

Here, are some of the successes:

  • Pot au Feu – easy winter stew
  • Daube Provençal – local version of beef Bourguignon
  • Tarte aux Tomates – easy and impressive for a lunch or brunch
  • Lentils a la Saison – easy and good for you
  • Coq au Vin Blanc – a twist on an old recipe
  • Tarte Tatin aux Poires  – Nutmeg has always wanted to attempt this recipe.  She was given a proper French recipe and strict instructions that you need a tatin pan if you want to create a real one.  She was extremely pleased with the result, given the limitations of the oven (such as a temperature gauge).  See the photos and recipe below.

Fresh pears:

Pears in SeasonTatin pan:

Tarte Tartin PanIngredients:

Tarte Tartin Pan IngredientsThe final product:

Tarte Tatin aux Poires

Tarte Tatin aux Poires (Pear Tarte Tatin)
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
This is an elegant and impressive dish. It is not difficult to make. It can be quite sweet, depending on the sweetness of the pears. Another classic variation on this is with apples. You can make this dessert without a tatin pan, but the benefit of the pan is the removable handle for use stovetop and then the oven. Serve with creme fraîche or ice cream.
  • 6 Firm, Large Pears
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Pie Pan Pastry Dough (buy a prepared variety to save time)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Peel the pears, cut in half (lengthwise) and core them
  3. Place the pears in a large bowl and toss in lemon juice, then set-aside
  4. Place the sugar in a Tatin pan (or 10-inch skillet), over low heat
  5. When the sugar begins to melt, begin stirring until all the sugar is melted and starts to turn a pale golden colour
  6. Remove the pan from the heat
  7. Arrange the pear slices in the pan, closely together with the narrow ends in the centre, cut side facing up
  8. Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter over the pears
  9. Place the pan back on the stove at medium heat
  10. Cook until the sugar turns a deep caramel colour and the pear juices are almost evaporated (about 15-20 minutes)
  11. Cover the pears in the pastry dough and bake for 25-30 minutes until the crust is brown
  12. Allow to cool for 10 minutes
  13. Run a sharp knife around the outside edge of the dish to loosen the edges
  14. Place a large plate over the skillet and quickly invert the tart
  15. Allow to cool slightly and serve



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