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Barbara Redmond

Lynn, I love your Accidental French Tart posting. I collect tart recipes and wanted to share my most elegant and savory tart recipe with you and your readers. Once you've tried it, let me know what you think. Barbara Redmond, A Woman's Paris(TM).

Three-Mushroom Tart (Gourmet/April 1996)

For filling:
1/2 cup minced shallots (about 2 large)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound fresh white mushrooms, minced (preferably in a food processor)
1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps minced (preferably in a food processor)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (I use the rich Villa Manodori -acento Balsamico di Modena)
1/4 cup cream Sherry
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, beaten lightly

Half of a 17.1/4-ounce package frozen puff pastry sheets (1 pastry sheet), thawed.
NOTE: I always make my own pastry by hand-literally-finger tips! Most home bakers have their favorite recipe for a classic French Pâte Brisée.

For topping:
3 medium fresh white mushrooms
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
a 3-ounce package fresh enoki-dake mushrooms (or Aux Délices des Bois)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (for best results it must be freshly squeezed)

Make filling:
In a 10- to -12-inch heavy skillet cook shallots in butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add minced white and shiitake mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste and cook mixture over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add vinegar and Sherry and boil until all liquid is evaporated. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool. Whisk in cream, egg, and salt and pepper to taste. Filling may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.

On a lightly floured surface roll out pastry into a 16- by 10-inch rectangle and fit it into a 13.3/4 by 4-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim. (Alternatively, use a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable fluted rim.) Roll a rolling pin over pastry to trim it flush with top of rim. Very lightly prick bottom of shell with a fork and spread filling evenly in shell.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. with a baking sheet set on lowest rack.

Make topping:
Thinly slice white mushrooms. Holding a knife at a 45 degree angle, thinly slice shiitakes. Trim enoki-dake mushrooms to 2-inch lengths and arrange each type of mushroom decoratively on filling, overlapping them. Brush mushrooms gently with lemon juice.
NOTE: I only use a rectangular tart pan. I overlap the sliced white mushrooms along one outside vertical edge of the pan and overlap the sliced shiitaki along the opposite outside vertical edge and in between these two rows I cascade the little enoki-dake so that their little heads, when placed in their row top to bottom, cover and hide their little stems.

Bake tart on heated baking sheet in oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until filling is set and pastry in golden. Transfer tart in pan to a rack and cool to warm or room temperature. Remove rim before serving.

Serves 4 to 6 as a first course or 8 as an hors d'oeuvre.

I have served so many fabulous wines and champagnes with this tart, but would love suggestions on the best match from you and your readers.

All the best. If you need more tart recipes...!

Barbara Redmond

elizabeth foree

I need a persimmon recipe (or 2) that I can make easily in my vacation house near Bandol. The chateau has huge trees that are ripening in Sept. when I'm there.
TIA Elizabeth

Lynn McBride

From Claude:
I have read your recent post about french dressing recipe . Your husband is right talking of recipe #1 as I know one that could be called #2 and that I use for most of my salads. This is then how I prepare it. Basically it's globally the same but with some significant differences. First, I use cut slices of shallot plus tiny slices of gherkins or pickles as you say in the US and mix them together Then, I pour some olive oil or walnut oil and vinaigne de framboise (easily found in any store in France), I stir the pickles and shallots together with the oil / vinegar mixture At this stage, I add a spoon or two of moutarde de Dijon and some poivre du moulin (you know, the one with the grinder so you can grind the amount you want) with some sel de Noirmoutier ou Guermantes (That salt has a grainy structure and "stronger" that the common type: Sel de table, so be careful when you use it) I use no sugar because of vinaigre de framboise that is slightly sugared by itself Just before serving, I may add some parsley leaves finely cut depending on your filling, it's just fine if you use tomato and potato slices in your salad and that's it I think it's worth trying this and you tell your husband he can call it #2 french dressing Every quantity of ingredients depend on how big your salad is but like we say in France, c'est au pif que l'on pratique (you may ask your friend for an accurate translation), that means when it feels good to you, you just stop adding things...

Lynn McBride

From Sue Manning: Thanks to Kristin for your blog. Loved the Raspberry Pie, yum! will make the curry when married daughter & family arrive from Lille in July. We'll again be off to Pawley's Island for a wk.Son-in-law loves shrimp & grits. Merci por photos & receipes! Here's one my French relations adore! FRESH BERRIES WITH ORANGE CREAM 1 pint strawberries (French strawberries are amazing!) 1 Tablespoon sugar 1/2 cup sugar 2 tsp grated orange rind 1/2 cup orange juice 1 cup heavy cream Wash & hull berrries, cutting in half or leaving whole.Combine with 1 Tbsp.sugar in small bowl. Combine the 1/2 cup sugar, rind, juice, in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring only until sugar dissolves. Simmer 10 min. without stirring. Cool completely. Whip cream. Gently fold in orange syrup.Serve over berries. Variations: substitute fresh blueberries or raspberries, and instead of orange, use lemon juice in the same quantities

Mary Flowers

To Elizabeth: I have a persimmon tree, too and have collected quite a few recipes. Which type of persimmons are your - the type that are only edible after they are soft or the type that are good even when firm? I will post recipes a bit later, but will start w/ the ones that are suitable for your persimmons if you let me know.


Mary Flowers

Okay, I won't wait for an answer about the persimmons -- Here is a recipe for

Persimmon Jam

5 C. persimmons
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 pkg. Fruit Jell Pectin (I use Ball brand)
4 C. sugar

Prepare canning jars and keep in canning kettle of simmering water until needed. Scald all utensils and canning lids and rings.

Peel persimmons and remove seeds (if any exist). If firm, chop into medium pieces. Put pulp and lemon juice in a large non-reactive kettle. Gradually stir in pectin, breaking up lumps. Puree using an immersion blender. This makes the mixture a little foamy, but it eliminates the annoying strings that can make the finished product really difficult to eat neatly. Bring mixture back to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add the full amount of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to full, rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Skim foam from top if necessary. Remove from heat and fill jars leaving 1/4” head space. Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Cool jars and test for seal. Reprocess or refrigerate any jars that do not seal.

Makes 3 - 4 pints

Mary Flowers

Here's another persimmon recipe:

Persimmon Bread (or muffins)

2 C.unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. firmly packed brown sugar OR 1 C minus 2 T. white sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
1 C. persimmon puree
1/2 C. vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter loaf pan or muffin tins. Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and spices in a bowl. Add nuts (if used) and stir to combine. Puree persimmon pulp in blender. Add eggs and whirl until blended and foamy. Add oil and brown sugar. Whirl until well blended. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and mix quickly. Do not overmix. Spoon into greased pan or muffin tins. Batter starts to rise as soon as wet and dry ingredients are combined. The muffins don’t rise much more in baking, so tins can be filled quite full. Makes about 1 loaf or 18 medium muffins or 12 medium muffins and 12 mini-muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes for mini-muffins, 20 - 25 minutes for medium muffins or 45-60 minutes for loaf - until a straw comes out clean. Remove from pan or tins and cool on rack.

Lynn McBride

This comment appeared on my guest blog at Thank you, Gai for a one of the most entertaining recipes I've read!--Lynn

Cher Kristin,
Like your friends Lynn and Ron, I too am a dedicated fan of Tarte Tartin. I cannot remember the first encounter, but it was un coup de foudre. I have been on a search for the perfect recipe ever since that first mouthful. I have been practising in earnest. Nicole’s recipe will be next in my test kitchen. I may not have mastered the taste, but I have totally mastered the technique! This is how I like to describe it to friends who are yet to be initiated.
Plump apple quarters are arranged fan like in the base of a pan. This pan must have a metal handle for reasons apparent shortly. You add enough sugar (I like to use half brown) to rot the teeth of the entire population of a small French village, like Lourmarin, put in a good supply of creamy dairy butter that would otherwise spread la panne of that same population for a week; and let it caramelise. You will have already made a luscious pastry (I prefer short although I’ve seen recipes that use flaky, probably more French) and it’s now resting in the frigo. Here comes the tricky part. You’ll have made this spectacularly impressive dessert because you have guests coming for dinner. By the time it’s ready to go into the oven, you’ve had quelques vins. The trick is to stay capable of rolling out the pastry – flopping it over the apple concoction, getting it in the oven (hence the need for metal handle) and remembering to start the timer. Then comes the blood alcohol test that’s better, yet more inconvenient than the one the one used by the gendarmes. You must now get this creation onto the serving plate. The pan that is holding your pièce de résistance must be upended and you must remove pan with tart in tact. You get the picture. If you can do this, you can operate heavy machinery. Now you’ve really earned that next glass of Pinot Noir as well as the adoration of your dinner guests.
Gai Reid

Patricia Flournoy

More about Salad Dressing...I make my Vinaigrette just about the same...but for Articokes, in addition to shallots & herbs, carnichones or gerkins & mustard I add a few capers chopped and one hard-boiled egg chopped finely! It always gets rave reviews... ... BUT One of our sons loves Kraft
French Dressing and nothing else!
Loved the mushroom tart recipe.. I am trying not to read the recipes for "sweets" and lose a few pounds. It really is not working!!!

elizabeth foree

Thank you Mary,
I can use the persimmon bread recipe. The vacation house is very simple in the kitchen. They are the large japanese type that need to ripen and fall from the tree.
Do you have a compote recipe?

Lynn McBride

From Lynn: Hi Y'all,
Barbara Redmond of A Woman's Paris ( emailed me a a couple of oh so elegant ideas for nibbles to serve with drinks this summer:
Minneapolis was very hot last evening so instead of cooking and serving something a bit rich and heavy before dinner I chose brown-sugar smoked trout from our neighbouring state of Wisconsin and Medjool dates I stuffed with Roquefort to accompany champagne.

I used to brine and smoke my own trout but I no longer live where I can have a smoker on my balcony. When I serve the smoked trout I lay a small piece on one side of a plain round cracker and drizzle a tiny spoonful of crème fraiche over an edge of the trout and dollop the rest on the remaining cracker. I top the dollop of crème with a single locally grown raspberry. On a white linen napkin placed on a silver tray, the colourful appearance of these little morsels placed all in a row is dazzling! My Parisian guests loved the local touch.

Lynn McBride

From Lynn: Claude sent me a great email which tells how he prepares “a complete and light meal matching the beautiful weather we now have over France”. Enjoy, and thanks Claude!
"First, as an appetizer, arrange thin slices of magret de canard, cherry tomatoes, some slices of sot-l'y-laisse (chicken oyster) and gésier de canard plus chunks of melon in between and leaves of the brand of salad you like in the middle and around your plate (I used lamb's salad) and that's it
Now the mixed salad . You may use various brands of salad like I did with dressing #2 as previously described in this blog but of course it's purely optional, you may use the kind of dressing you like most
For this salad, I added foies de volaille confits (chicken lever confit) with some cerneaux de noix (walnut halves) and some slices of already boiled potatoes
Dessert of course was a tarte Tatin served with vanilla ice-cream and the wine was a chilled rosé de Bordeaux. Rosé de Provence is also great or a light Vouvray rouge
Magrets confits, sot-l'y laisse (roughly translated as “only the fool would leave it”), foies de volaille (chicken lever) and gésiers de canard ( duck gizzard) confits are easily found in any mall or convenience store in France.
Magrets confits are sold in thin slices and ready to be served. They other products are to be cooked in a pan, you can use them hot directly in your salad or wait until they are cold to easily cut them into slices
Trick: Don't throw away the melted fat in your pan, instead recover it in a can. After a while, it will harden and you will be very happy to use it for your next “pommes sautées” for example. Its taste exactly is what is needed for your "pommes de terre à la poële". "

Jeanie Partington

Hello, I saw the request for persimmon recipes. I am an avid user of So, I went there and did a search for persimmon recipes. It came up with 29. Here is the link to click on. I hope that this will be helpful for you.


Like so many above, I too love a traditional Tarte Tatin and recently ran into a variation that I originally thought was bizarre but soon retired that opinion because it is just soooo good - Tomato Tarte Tatin (from the August bon appétit). My husband and I made it three days in a row this past weekend when we had house quests, "due to popular demand". It's so easy and delicious. WE even photographed one and put it on Open Window. Enjoy!!

Toato Tarte Tatin

1 3/4 pounds plum tomatoes (8 large)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3 ounce package), thawed, corners cut off to make a very rough 9-10 inch round
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Bring large saucepan of water to a boil.
Cut shallow X in bottom of each tomato. Add 4 tomatoes to boiling water. Blanch tomatoes just until skins at X begin to peel back, 15-30 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer blanched tomatoes to bowl of ice water to cool quickly. Repeat with remaining tomatoes.
Peel tomatos, cut our cores, halve lengthwise, and remove seeds.
Spread butter over bottom of 9 1/2 inch diameter, 2-3 inch deep over-proof skillet (preferably cast iron).
Sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar over butter.
Arrange tomato halves, rounded side down and close together, in concentric circles in skillet to fill completely.
Place skillet over medium heat. Cook until sugar and butter are reduced to thickly bubbling, deep amber syrup (about 1/4 inch deep in bottom ot skillet), moving tomatoes occasionally to prevent burning, about 25 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
Immediately drizzle teaspoon of vanilla over tomatoes.
Top with pastry round. Using knife, tuck in edges of pastry. Cut 2-3 small slits in pastry.
Place skillet in oven and bake tart until pastry is deep golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Cool tart in skillet 10 minutes. Cut around sides of skillet to loosen pastry.
Place large platter over skillet. Using oven mitts as aid, hold skillet and platter firmly together and invert, allowing tart to settle onto platter. Carefully lift off skillet. Rearrange any tomato halves that may have become dislodged.
Serve tart warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream if you like.

Martin Withington

I’d eaten Pig’s Cheek (Joue de Porc) several times in France and I’d loved it – really beautiful tender little pieces of pork – so I decided to try to hunt down a recipe. All the ones I found on the web were off putting since they invariably seemed to involve curing the cheeks in brine for several days.
Then I happened to strike up a conversation with a professional chef whom I’d met whilst ski-ing who told me to forget about all the curing business and just to braise them slowly for a long, long time. So I did and my sternest culinary critic (my wife) pronounced them good. So here’s what to do....
For two people, you’ll need two pig’s cheeks, a couple of shallots, garlic (how much is up to you but I put in four of five cloves), some sage, some thyme, salt, pepper, a tiny sprinkling of dried red chilli flakes, olive oil, about a third of a pint of dry white wine and an equal quantity of vegetable stock.
Finely chop the shallots and the garlic and sauté them gently in olive oil in a heavy bottomed casserole dish until soft but not browned. Add the stock, most of the wine, the seasonings and herbs and bring to a slow simmer.
Meanwhile, cut the pig’s cheeks into walnut sized pieces, and fry them gently in olive oil in a frying pan. When they are nicely browned, transfer them to the casserole dish, deglaze the frying pan with the remainder of the wine and then add all the juices to the casserole. Cover and cook very slowly for four to five hours in the oven, checking occasionally to make sure things aren’t drying out and adding more liquid if necessary. When the meat is really tender, render down the sauce if it’s too runny and serve.
If you’re a bit impatient or just short of time, one and a half to two hours in a pressure cooker if you have one will produce the same results.
French friends may be amused to know that my English butcher refuses to take any money for the pig’s cheeks. Apparently he either puts them into the sausage meat or throws them away!

Suzanne Hurst


1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup heavy cream

Mix cream into flour. Roll out on floured board. Cut and bake at 400 'til brown.

Lynn McBride

From Patricia Flournoy:

Chicken Tangine

When we are in France I use my Tagine but in the states, I put it all in my crockpot for 2 hours on high and Look See…sometimes it takes 3 hours…In the Tagine about 40/60 minutes…we did 40 chicken thighs last week for 25 people…in four batches… Most times I add a little “heat” cayenne or some chilis…
Put thighs in casserole or dutch oven (tagine) layer carrots and onions on top add raisons apricots
Mix broth flour , tom paste, lemon juice ginger, cumin cinnamon S&P…and there you are…Always good…sometimes outstanding…
8 boneless chicken thighs cut in quarters
4 cloves garlic
2 large onions...(I use 1 pkg. frozen onions)
4 large carrots thinly sliced
1/2 cup each raisins, dried chopped apricots
2 C Chicken broth
2 T tomato paste
2 T lemon juice
2 T flour
1 l/2 t each cumin & ginger
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t black pepper
Salt to taste

2 cups couscous, cooked...toated for garnish...chopped mint

Suzanne Hurst

Sour Cream Biscuits (from Southern food)
2 C soft flour, like White Lily
1 t salt 2 1/2 t baking powder 1/4 t baking soda
3 T butter 2 T lard (or Crisco) Butter and shortening should be chilled and cut in small pieces
3/4 C sour cream 1/4 C milk

Preheat oven to 425. Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender. Make a well in the center and add the sour cream and milk. Mix with a wooden spoon or hands until mix begins to hold together. If too dry add a little more milk, 1 t at a time. When holding together but still somewhat crumbly, turn onto a floured surface. Knead gently 8-10 times. Pat into a circle 3/4 - 1 inch thick. Cut with a 2" cutter. Arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 min. 'til evenly browned.
Yield: 12-15 biscuits


I enjoy all the articles and recipes. Am sending a recipe. Recently joined Weight Watchers for a brief 'fix' before summer and we had to produce a recipe so this was mine! Cheers - Anthea


Tomate et tarte a l'oignon au gruyere

I discovered this wonderful delicacy at a French picque-nique hosted by the Alliance Francaise in Scottsdale.

Pie crust
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced, rings separated
Dijon mustard
3/4 cup Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Herbs de Provence

Place piecrust in pie tin and prick bottom. Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and spread Dijon mustard evenly over the bottom of the crust.
Place a layer of onions in the crust and top with a layer of tomatoes. Sprinkle with Herbs de Provence. Combine the two cheeses and toss with Herbs de Provence. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the top of the onions and tomatoes.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cheese is browned and melted.

martin Withington

I've just finished making my second batch of this and thought that some of you might like to share the recipe.

If you like dark chocolate and you make your own damson gin or sloe gin you might like this, especially as it's incredibly easy to make.

When you decant the liquor into bottles, drain the left over fruit, de-stone (this is really tedious so have some nice music or good conversation at hand) and chop into small pieces. Meanwhile, set some good qulaity dark eating chocolate to melt slowly. When the chocolate is melted, pour it into a flat based container. A flan dish lined with greaseproof parer works well. Pour in the melted chocolate to a depth of about half a centimetre. Sprinkle the chopped fruit onto the chocolate. You want a generous amount but in a single layer. Then pour over more melted chocolate until the fruit is just covered. Leave to cool in the fridge and then... enjoy!
If you've got a source of damsons (or sloes) and need a simple and easy to make recipe for Damson/Sloe Gin or Vodka, I'll happilly supply it.


I cannot find the cookie recipe that are Ron's favorites. Can you tell me which post they were on?

Coffee Beans

I did try this and it came really nice. Everyone loved it ! The taste was perfect.

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