Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rhubarb Mango and Passion fruit Brioche Galette

Brioche Galette Mango Rhubarb Passion Fruit (34)

Here in the Northern Hemisphere we are celebrating the arrival of spring. Temperatures are rising and there is a general air of “Happy” around everyone. When it comes to food spring really is my favorite season. It even gives autumn a good run for all its variety. Probably because after bleak and somber winters, there is so much freshness around at this time of year that it is hard not to cave into the abundance and variety available at the markets.

We had some pretty high temperatures last week. Soaring up to 20C in mid-March is not very common but it did give the earth and the trees a big bloom. The weekend was a rainy one, which will result in green hills, wildflowers and a good kick-start for the farmers and their crops. The markets and the grocery stores have already started to stock up on some of my favorite spring produce.

“Eat seasonally!” is the loud cry from all of us food conscious folk! While a few years ago I was very conscious about buying organic produce only, it has over the years, given way to produce that is available locally, regionally – yes of course, but now my food choices are impacted by the sustainability of the food I buy.

Over the past years I have often found myself asking:

“When did buying food and produce become this complicated?”

Brioche Galette Mango Rhubarb Passion Fruit (41)

Take Braeburn apples for example: they are in season from around October to April so right now you are sure to find them in abundance in your stores and if you live in a region where these are grown you’ll also have the benefit of sourcing them regionally like I do. The region of Germany I live in is quite fertile and we have a lot of apples. What I see however is that I can get my Braeburn apples, almost all year long. How can that be? Well after a little research I found out that farmers actually store large amounts of the apples in storage houses for up to eight months and the apples we are getting might not be those “fresh-off-the-tree” apples from this season but the ones that have been stored over the past several months. They are still fresh and taste absolutely perfect but it is not the picture we have in our heads of seasonal eating and of apples being plucked straight off the tree and into the market.

I just finished reading Jay Rayner’s “A Greedy Man in a Hungry World” and I still have to digest a lot of what he discusses, however I was quite engrossed to read that in the UK the same practice is applied by apple farmers there. This book has given me a lot to think about and as I take in all the aspects and topics he dives into, it will develop my perspective further on what I have always thought I was doing good with the food choices I make. I did not always agree with him but he presents well-balanced arguments and lays out facts for the reader to deduce for themselves and has certainly given me food for thought.

In our changing and growing world Rayner presents several controversial topics in the book, such as the positive side of genetically modified foods, the advantages of big agriculture, eating less meat, thinking on a wider scale due to the growing world population, and that sometimes it is more sustainable to get certain food items from far away countries because their natural environment allows them to grow better than in our own and trying to produce them here would mean leaving a much larger carbon footprint than having it shipped from that far away country. Rayner also unmistakably comments that “being obsessive about seasonality and perving over top-quality ingredients” is not as important nor is it the same as supporting sustainable agriculture.

Brioche Galette Mango Rhubarb Passion Fruit (42)

Getting back to the topic of seasonality, I am not a radical food guerilla and although I carefully watch what is in season, I will also buy certain produce that is not – like the Braeburn apples in September. Produce like asparagus, rhubarb or strawberries that would not be sustainable to grow in any other season but in its own would not be put into my shopping cart for my home kitchen. Sustainability is the bigger picture and seasonality often means the pure excitement and joy of seeing the slender long green stems of the first green asparagus or the long stubby ruby red stalks of new rhubarb in the stores. Maybe Rayner will be rolling his eyes at my “perving” over these items but I will allow my occasional obsession and surrender to seasonal spring produce.

In my last post I discussed the food trends of 2014 and asked my friends and readers on Twitter and Facebook for their suggestions. Many mentioned grow-your own (Rayner dedicates a whole chapter for this) and seasonality as trends for this year. So this week I connected with my Facebook and Twitter friends again and asked them what their top 3 seasonal springs produce / food is. Here is what they said:

First a massive thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts actively and profoundly. I am trying to live up to my word for this year “Connect” through several channels and am thoroughly enjoying myself reaching out and interacting with my friends on various topics.

Obviously asparagus, fava beans, rhubarb and ramps are the most popular produce in spring for many. Do not forget the mighty cauliflower and the top trendy food 2014, which will be at its best in April. For those who are keen on eating more seasonally EatSeasonably has a great interactive calendar, which will guide you through the year on what produce is at its best.

Over the next few months there is a lot of great produce coming our way – from apricots, asparagus to morel mushrooms and ramps and from raspberries to blueberries and cherries there will be plenty to choose from. The talented Ren Behan runs a monthly seasonal food blog event called “Simple and in Season” and inspires us to use any ingredient in season and create a recipe with it.

I did not always like rhubarb. It was an acquired taste for me but as I started to cook and experiment with it in my kitchen I realized how versatile it is and the power it had to highlight sweet and savory dishes alike.

Brioche Galette Mango Rhubarb Passion Fruit (37)

This brioche galette is a secret pleasure of mine. I love brioche dough – the buttery, sweetness is sinful. The recipe for the brioche base comes form Ottolenghi - The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi - it always works. Here I have given it a bit of a remake and used it as the base for my galette, which is slathered in a creamy vanilla scented mascarpone cream and finally topped with poached rhubarb, mangoes and spoonfuls of tangy and sweet passion fruit. Enjoy it with strong coffee as a delicious end to a meal, or a special treat for breakfast. It also makes a great surprise at the Easter coffee table.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Rhubarb Mango and Passion fruit Brioche Galette

Printable version of recipe here

Brioche Galette Mango Rhubarb Passion Fruit (38)

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes + 24 hours proofing time for the brioche dough
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
For the brioche dough
From Ottolenghi - The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

  • 190g white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon active dried yeast
  • ½ teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg for brushing
  • 75g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • extra butter, melted for brushing
For the filling
  • 110g mascarpone
  • 110g quark
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 ripe mango, cubed
  • 120g rhubarb, poached (see recipe below)
  • 2 passion fruit
  • 20g pistachios chopped
  • some milk for brushing

Method:

  1. Make the brioche dough by placing the yeast and lukewarm water in the bowl of a free-standing machine, which is fitted with a dough hook. Mix the yeast and water with your finger until the yeast has dissolved. Add all the ingredients for the brioche dough except the butter and start mixing very slowly until all the flour is incorporated. Work the dough on low speed for about 3 to 4 minutes. The dough is very sticky and it will start becoming smooth but still stick to the sides of the bowl.
  2. Once the dough has reached this stage scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then increase the speed to medium-high and gradually start adding the cold diced butter in portions. Make sure that the butter is more or less incorporated into the dough after each addition.
  3. When all the butter has been incorporated keep working the dough until it becomes shiny and has no lumps of butter. At this point the dough should come off the sides of the bowl easily. This process takes about 10 minutes. During this process do stop the machine once or twice to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl. Lightly grease a clean bowl and place the dough in it, covering it with a lid or plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature for about 1 hour then transfer to the fridge and leave to proof overnight.
  5. In the meantime poach the rhubarb using the instructions and recipe below in the notes section. Make the cream by mixing the mascarpone, quark, vanilla and sugar together into a smooth cream.
  6. After the dough has been in the fridge overnight, transfer it to a counter lightly dusted with flour. With a rolling pin roll it out into an oval form about 2cm thick. Transfer it to a baking tray lightly dusted with flour or lined with some baking paper. Brush the rim with some water, then fold the edge to form the border about 1cm thick. Prick the center of the dough with a fork. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 170C. Brush the edges of the brioche dough with milk. Spread the mascarpone-quark cream in the center of the brioche then the mangoes, rhubarb and the pistachios. Brush the tops lightly with some of the melted butter. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Using a palette knife lift the base to make sure it is evenly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool slightly.
  8. While the brioche tastes great when cool, it has a certain lusciousness when eaten slightly warm. Just before you serve scoop out the inside of the passion fruit and drizzle over the brioche galette.
Notes
Poached rhubarb is something I often make in big batches when they are in season. The recipe uses about 450g of rhubarb. Use about 120-150g for the galette recipe, saving the rest in an air-tight container. Spoon over vanilla ice-cream, honey panna cottas, vanilla custard, pear and rhubarb sponge pudding or in a strawberry rhubarb tiramisu. The ideas are unlimited.
The rhubarb is roasted for 15 minutes but if you are using it for the galette take some of it out after 10 minutes as it will cook in the oven with the galette.
450g rhubarb
110g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Trim the leaves from the rhubarb and wash the stems, then slice them. Arrange in a roasting tin just big enough to take them in a single layer. Dredge with the sugar and cover with a lid or foil.
Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven. (Very thick stems may need another five or ten minutes). The rhubarb will still have a slight crunch to them.
Leave until cool, still covered, by which time the rhubarb will be perfectly soft.


Verdict

Brioche Galette Mango Rhubarb Passion Fruit (38)

This delightful dessert probably best highlights my own nature and thoughts towards food and buying food in our current world. The rhubarb: very much regionally grown and in season, the mango and passion fruit produced by sustainable Fair Trade farms from across the seas. Making the right food choices is not difficult really … I just hope what seems right today will still be so tomorrow.

Venice Workshop Update

Nino FrancoWe have been looking forward to sharing some exciting news for all the participants joining us at the Venice Food Photography and Styling Workshop in May. Together with Nino Franco Prosecco we are holding an awesome photography competition exclusively for our Venice workshop participants.

During the workshop weekend we will be holding a special assignment which will allow the participants time to create and take a specific image for this competition ... the prize?
A spectacular weekend for two nights at the luxury Villa Barberina in the heart of the Nino Franco Prosecco walled vineyard in the town center of Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy. The jury consisting of the Franco family and independent judge, well-known wine blogger and photographer Andrew Barrow will select the winning entry. Details and submission guidelines for this competition can be found here.
We have only 2 slots left for this workshop. Interesting in joining us? You can register and read about what we'll cover on the Venice Workshop page

Helsinki Workshop

HelsinkiBadge2014-SIDEBAR

I have teamed up with talented photographer Simone Van Den Berg for this unique workshop in Helsinki, Finland.

We chose this location because our focus was to be on light - natural and artificial. As the Nordic countries have plenty of natural light during their long summer days but those shorter winter days provide hardly any light - taking photos under such circumstances can become challenging. If you are keen to overcome these challenges then this workshop is for you. Registrations are currently running and we have participants coming not only from Finland but from Norway, Sweden and Dubai. Details, programme and to register please see the Helsinki Workshop page.




You might like these seasonal spring recipes from What's for lunch, Honey?:

Apricot and Pistachio Frangipane Tart (0053) by Meeta K. Wolff AsparagusChickenCesar-WM-0059 Creamy Cauliflower Soup (0094) by Meeta K. Wolff
Apricot and Pistachio Frangipane Tart  Asparagus Chicken Caesar Salad with Honey Pecan Nuts Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan Cauliflower Crumbs


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2013 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

19 comments :

  1. It looks amazing, I already feel all that sweetness and tartness in my head!
    I'm forcing my rhubarb plant this year for the first time- I'm really curious how it will turn out!

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    1. Wish you all the best with the Rhubarb Marta. Forced Rhubarb often has an intensive flavor. I do not have much of a green finger really and usually grow tomatoes and herbs so I am keen to hear or read about other people's gardens. The galette is not too sweet or too tart ... it balances the flavors well. xo

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  2. So inspring Meeta! The galette looks luscious! What an inspiring idea!

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    1. Thank you Anushruti. I love brioche dough so I always look fro ideas of presenting or creating new recipes with it.

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  3. A beautiful brioched tart. That topping is simply fabulous.

    Spring is such a wonderful season! Seeing nature awaken makes me happy and boosts my mood.

    Like you, I only buy seasonal and regional (organic or not) produces - of course, unless they cannot be produced in Geneva or Switzerland (exotic fruits, etc...).

    Thanks for the mention.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Thank you for your feedback and thoughts Rosa. I think it is getting more and more important to look out for sustainability in the products we buy and a good balance of growing your own, local/regional etc.

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  4. When I was a little girl, my dad found a rhubarb plant in our back yard. We'd never seen one before (we'd only recently moved to the suburbs from New York City), and we assumed it was a weed. My dad cut it down, only to watch it grow again and again. One of my favorite Spring memories.

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    1. Actually that is such an awesome memory to have. What happened with the plan? Did you realize it was rhubarb? Having lived in the Middle East we never grew anything but now over the past few years I am working on that ... first came herbs and then tomatoes and squash ... every year I try a little more. But I do not have much of a green thumb LOL!

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  5. Interesting thoughts Meeta and I am sure gonna check out that book too. I do try and buy seasonally as well but I get confused sometimes by the simple fact that certain things are available year round. It almost makes you forget when their proper season is supposed to be. As for rhubarb, that is one of the few items that I have never seen anywhere outside of the season, which I guess is a good thing. I haven't seen it here yet unfortunately as it is definitely my number one spring delight. Now this galette of yours makes me want to have rhubarb straight away! Looks delicious!

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    1. I think you will enjoy the book and yes I totally get you that due to the fact that some things are available all year round one tends to forget the seasons they are supposed to be in. I know you will like this galette!

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  6. I must say, as a brazilian, I LOVE the combination of mango and passion fruit, but I can´t wait to try it with rhubarb! I have 4 rhubarb plants in the garden and sometimes I really don´t know what to do with so many rhubarb. It is lovely to find a recipe with it, so I have one more option to go!

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    1. Oh I wish I had access to all that rhubarb I'd make you great rhubarb delights! LOL! Yes give this galette a try it will make you dance the samba ... at least I hope it will. I have quite a few rhubarb recipes on the blog. Have a look at the recipe index ... I can recommend the Strawberry Rhubarb Tiramisu ;)

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  7. I looks amazing Meeta. Would love a bite of that ( after my detox maybe).

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    1. Isn't this galette perfect for your detox? ;o) Do treat yourself to the galette after the detox. Thank you for the comment!

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  8. Last year I planted a Rhubarb bush in my yard. There still is snow in the ground. I am curious to see how the plant looks this year. Any substitute for eggs in the recipe?

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    1. I hope it will be a bountiful harvest for you. Rhubarb is truly a divine ingredient! Not sure about the egg substitute but I know you can buy some Vegan egg substitute in carton at the stores. Maybe that would work here!

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  9. Such a wonderful post, Meeta, so interesting and the recipe is wonderful. I'm half way through Jay Rayner's book - it is an interesting read. Thank you for linking up to Simple and in Season - you were the winner for March! I'll email you so you can chose your book prize xx

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    1. Thank you Ren! Yes I found the book very interesting ... it just evoked a different train of thought in me. And I won? Seriously? I had to go back and check the guidelines as it slipped my mind that it was a competition. LOL! I hardly every win but this is so cool! Thanks to your kids for picking the brioche!

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  10. The way you described Jay Rayner’s “A greedy man in a Hungry World” has pique my interest especially where you say he lays down objective perspectives on the food we eat and the values we get out of them. I feel like I should get me a copy.

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta