This is the time of year we love our BBQ’s and Picnics. Here are a few tips we use at Tennessee Gardens and Michelle’s to create special summer events.
Always have plenty of refreshing non-alcoholic beverages on hand so that people stay hydrated. We serve Ice Tea, Lemonade and Water at every event. Here are a few ideas you can use to infuse some color and flavor into your beverages:
- Ice Tea – Add fresh mint leaves or use an infuser to add fresh berries.
- Lemonade – Try something a little different like adding cucumber or basil to traditional Lemonade.
- Water – Use citrus fruits to add flavor and color. Lemon is the most common but I enjoy using grapefruit and orange. You can also try lime for a little more kick.
Make sure the fruit or herbs are well washed without soap. Roll the citrus fruit before cutting into slices. Herbs will need to be crushed; this allows the flavor and smell to emerge. Prepare your beverages at least 30 minutes before serving so that the flavors can steep.
In the summer we think of ending a meal with a lighter dessert. Here is my traditional recipe for a French Fruit Tart. Summer fruit is perfect for making this dessert.
French Fruit Tart Recipe
* You will need a 12" x 1" deep tart pan
* A basket each strawberries and blueberries, 3 kiwi, 3 plums, and 2 peaches
Pastry dough -1 1/2 lb. flour, 1 lb. butter, 12oz sugar, 6 egg yolks (no whites), 4 oz. heavy cream.
Cut butter into little chucks and put in a mixing bowl with everything else, mix quickly until dough starts to come together. Do not over mix. Let dough sit about 1 hour.
Roll dough out and place in tart pan. Press dough against side of tart pan sides.
Filling - lightly brown 1stick of butter, remove from heat and add 3 lightly beaten eggs, 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour and 1/4 cup ground almonds, mix together and pour filling into tart shell, bake until lightly brown.
Let tart cool on counter, once cool add fruit. Make rings of fruit starting with the outer edge. Cut strawberries in half place on tart. Peel and slice kiwi place on tart. Slice plums and peaches and place on tart. Fill center with blueberries.
Glaze - take a 1/4 cup of apricot jam add 1/8 cup water and heat until melted. With a pastry brush, brush jam lightly over all the fruit giving a nice shine to your tart.
Serve by itself or with whipped cream.
I hope you enjoy these fresh ideas for your summer entertainment.