The best part of Spring in Gascony, is the explosion of fresh fruit vegetables that happens. One minute all blossoms and promise, the next a red pink and green confetti of flavor. Fresh fava beans and first petits pois cozy up in a lardon enriched buttery sauce. Tender artichauts and wild leeks sautéed together slowly produce a perfect spring starter. The first fresh herbs- chives, tarragon, mint run rampant across fields of young freshly churned butter and I remember that compound butters are a French classic I’ve forgotten to pass forward.
However the most darling of all spring marriages is the sweet and tart celebration of strawberries and rhubarb. From the local clay thick fields of the Garonne River Valley come some of the best strawberries in the world. I buy them from the farm by the flat, once or twice a week. We eat them like little pigs. And I begin to make towering cakes, drunken parfaits, golden gratins as if this sweet season will never end.
This morning, I’ll revisit that rhubarb strawberry crumble for a quick weekend breakfast and celebrate yet another glorious Spring in Gascony at Camont!
Summer Cobble: Strawberry Rhubarb Blueberry
Just read this description through and see if you can cook without a ‘real recipe’. It’s called narrative recipe writing. Like when your Mom or favorite aunty tells you how to make something. Picture it in your mind and give it a whirl. Even a mistake will taste delicious!
Turn your oven on- 200’C or 415’F .Take a deep dish you can bake in and rub the inside with a thick layer of butter. Use your fingers. Then wash some rhubarb- about 5-6 stalks and chop into strawberry size pieces, and put into the dish. Sprinkle a cup of sugar over the rhubarb. Measure a large spoon full of cornstarch over the sugar. Now mix it all together.
Take a full box- about 500 grams or a pound of ripe strawberries, remove the stems, cut in half or quarters, and cover over the rhubarb. sprinkle some more sugar- a large handful will work. I had some blueberries left over so I tossed them on top, too.
Now make a simple drop biscuit batter. I used 2 cups of flour, about several tablespoons of butter, a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of baking powder. Mix the dry ingredients together and then add a cup of crème fraiche (buttermilk will work), one egg, and a splash of milk as needed. Mix well. Drop by spoon over the surface of the berries. Now pop in the hot oven for about 30 minutes. The juices should start to thicken; the biscuits will be golden brown. Let cool if you can or eat it hot with some cream so you don’t burn your tongue. Happy weekend!
These are some of my other favorite strawberry recipes from the archives at Camont: