Friday, July 17, 2009

Mirabelles for a rainy day

Clouds over Lecco

Temporary? or here for the rest of the day? I really couldn't tell at 7:30 this morning, but by 11am, the heavens parted to let the light shine through. Fortunately, just a tiny bit of hail, even if I had moved the more fragile potted plants under shelter. Whew! These days the local weather page is the first thing that I check each morning, almost to the point where it has become an obsession (and ultimately, worrisome overreaction). Case in point: yesterday we picked what mirabelle plums that seemed ripe enough, even if the color wasn't a dark yellow color like it should be. I was already sick to my stomach at the thought of the plums getting hit with more hail, so I told my husband, it's plum pickin' time! Heck, I knew that it wouldn't be more than a couple of handfuls. In theory it always sounds moderately acceptable when you tell yourself that fruit can ripen on the table, but I know that nothing beats tree-ripened fruit.

Mirabelle plum pickin'

Of course it was a milestone event because we were told that there would be a wait of 2-3 years before the tree was ready to bear fruit. We purchased this Mirabelle de Nancy plum tree in 2007 (at a nursery in Milan) after having discovered them in Alsace one summer. They are very sweet and juicy, in the shape and size of a cherry, and I've read somewhere that the flavor is similiar to greengages.

Homegrown mirabelle plums

Not supermarket perfect, but 100% organic nevertheless. The color is more chartreuse...probaby a few days shy from obtaining the deep yellow like we had seen in France. We tasted a few and they were so delicious even with a hint of tartness. The rest were pitted, quartered, and baked in a short pastry crust with sugar. With softly whipped cream they were simply sublime!

Mirabelle tarts

Yesterdays high: 29°C / 84°F
Today's average: 25°C / 77°F

6 comments:

  1. What a fine pleasure. Eating those plums from your garden! I want, need a garden!

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  2. You sure know how to make my mouth water. I love plums and would love to taste that variety. Your pastry looks wonderful.

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  3. Amber, Gail - my only other hands on experience with plums were the ones that grew wild in the mountains of Kokee on Kauai. Smallish, dark sweet gems, I knew that when I had a home of my own, I would just have to put a plum tree in the yard!

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  4. Perfecto! Those look fantastic. Supermarket produce only looks good. It tastes like nothing.

    My fruit trees are only a year old and I'm surprised to see 5 peaches and 2 apples. Not much; but you gotta start somewhere.

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  5. Maybelline - amen to that, even if whenever there's a gorgeous display of fruit or vegs, I find it so irresistible to pass up. It took every ounce of willpower yesterday when I saw the most perfect round zucchini at the supermarket. Now I'll be looking forward to the ones in my garden even more!

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  6. Complimenti, on both fruit and tarts. They look gorgeous!

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