At Least We're Still Eating

Though there's still between six and 12 inches of snow on the ground in most spots and we're nowhere near ready to plant any spring crops outdoors, we still have plenty of last year's harvest stores to enjoy for dinner. To wit:

Along with filet or perch we had garlic green beans and sweet corn fritters. Despite not having a great green bean harvest last summer, we still had enough frozen beans to last through this long winter. We also still have a good deal of garlic, though some of it is beginning to sprout, which gives it kind of a greenish flavor. 

The corn fritters were made possible by some frozen corn from our bumper crop of sweet corn this summer. These are basically pancakes with corn in them, but fried in a half inch of oil. Kirk made them from a recipe in The Good Housekeeping All-American Cookbook, but there's a very similar recipe here. Just use regular salt and skip the sugar if you use fresh or frozen sweet corn from a farm--that's plenty sweet enough. 

We also found three pears that (full disclosure) we totally forgot about in the crisper drawer of the fridge. You have to chill pears for a few weeks and then let them ripen at room temperature. We got the chilling part down, but then forgot to get them out to ripen.

That meant that the pears weren't exactly prize specimens any more. Two were quite hard; the other was pretty soft (though still intact). Kirk decided to bake them.

There weren't enough for a full galette, so Kirk decided to bake them into a custard tart. He stresses that this was one big experiment, but I thought it was pretty good. The pear flavor was nice and bright, and their texture was fine. Here's how he made it (adjusted to include a few things learned in said experiment).

Start with an ordinary, homemade pie crust in a shallow tart pan. Blind bake it for 15-20 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 1 tsp. cornstarch, 1/4 tsp. vanilla and 1/8 tsp. almond extract. Mix well, until eggs are well beaten, and set aside.

Peel, core, and thinly slice pears. Spread evenly on bottom of the pre-baked pastry shell and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Pour the custard over the pears.

Bake at 400 degree for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 15 minutes or until custard is set. Cool thoroughly before serving; refrigerate any leftovers.


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