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Monthly Archive for July, 2006

Tutti Fruitti

I was going to post this recipe last week but my life

(and power) was knocked out of sync by the huge storm

that rolled through St. Louis on July 19th! My power has

finally been restored and I’m in the process of getting back

to my routine as well as repairing all the storm damage to

my house. I count my blessings because the tree that fell

through my fence could have fallen on me as I was chasing

my patio umbrella around the yard!! Next time, the umbrella

dies alone….

Storm1 Storm2  

Storm3_2 Storm4

On to the recipe…

This recipe is so good, easy and refreshing it would be a

pity not to share it, especially while berry season is at its

peak! This is from my mom’s recipe archives. She called it

tutti fruitti, but when I took it to the Bastille Day party I went

to, these English people were calling it a trifle. To me, it was

more than a trifle, plus I like the name tutti fruitti better!!

I didn’t realize it until I was at my friend’s house, but if you

categorize the ladyfingers and creme as white, this dessert

encompassed all the colors of the French flag. Perfect to

celebrate Bastille Day!

Call it what you like, it will always be tutti fruitti to me!!

My view…

Tutti_fruitti1 Tutti_fruitti2

and Duane’s eye view…

Tutti_fruitti3 Tutti_fruitti4


for creme anglaise:

1 quart half and half

1 cup sugar

8 egg yolks

1 vanilla bean – split, seeds scraped

remaining ingredients:

1 pint strawberries – quartered

1 pint raspberries

1 pint blackberries

1 pint blueberries

24 ladyfingers


for creme:

1) In medium saucepan, heat half + half, vanilla beanand seeds gently to a simmer, then turn off heat.

2) In medium size mixing bowl combine egg yolks

and sugar and beat together until pale yellow.

3) Remove vanilla bean then beat 2 tablespoons of

the warm half + half into the egg mixture (do this

slowly to avoid curdling the eggs), then beat in the

remaining half + half little by little.

4) Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and cook over

a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats

the back of a spoon (do not let temperature exceed 170

degrees or mixture will start to curdle).

5) Cool in an ice bath.


1) Set aside a small amount of each berry for garnishing top

of dessert (see photo).

2) In a large, clear glass bowl, layer berries and

ladyfingers, starting w/ one of your berry choices,

then a layer of ladyfingers, then berries (alternating

color and choice of berries between layers), then ladyfingers,

then berries until you are almost to the top of your bowl.

Save enough room at the top for a final layer of ladyfingers,

then garnish the top w/ a row of each type of berry used.

3) Cover dessert and creme w/ plastic wrap and place in fridge.

4) One hour before serving, pour creme anglaise into dessert,

cover, and return to fridge.

5) When it’s dessert time, remove from fridge, uncover and

have at it!

Vive la Tutti Fruitti and Bon Appetit!!


Soulard Farmers Market – St. Louis, MO

I hadn’t intended on doing a post on some of St. Louis’

oldest neighborhoods. Initially I was just planning on

making a visit to the city’s largest farmers market,

Soulard Market, to see what had changed (I hadn’t

visited the market in over 10 years). As you can see

by this photo, the market is located just south of downtown.


I found that the market hadn’t changed much, but it

Img_0472_1 Img_0471_1  

is on the verge of some new and welcome additions

such as this new fish and meat store under construction.


Also, many loft apartments are popping up next door

in the old baby carriage factory.


The market still has a long way to go before reaching the level

of the farmers markets in San Francisco,or even the one I

discovered awhile back in Columbus, Ohio. The pickings were

slim, but maybe that’s because I visited on a Wednesday.


Hopefully on a Saturday these empty stalls will be brimming

w/ fresh produce from the many local farms that surround

St. Louis. By the looks of the market map they will!


Even though I wasn’t impressed by the market on

day I visited I was taken in by the beauty, charm and

vibrancy of the neighborhoods that surround it. Here are

a few shots from my walking tour of the Soulard neighborhood:

Soulard_3 Soulard_9 Soulard_8

Soulard_5 Soulard_10 Soulard_11

Soulard is also home to many good restaurants. One of my

favorites is Norton’s which serves good Cajun and Creole

cookin’ and has a great outdoor seating area. Take a look:

Nortons_2_1 Nortons_3

One of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations also happens

in the Soulard neighborhood and as you will see I stumbled

across some remnants of the tradition…


On my way back home I decided to stop at one of the former

city hospitals (just west of Soulard) which sat abandoned and

crumbling for years but is now being converted into

apartments and commercial space. It’s looking pretty good…


From there I headed west to Lafayette Square.


St. Louis’ French heritage is reflected in the names of certain

neighborhoods as well as in some its architecture.

Lafayette_square_2 Lafayette_square_4_1 Lafayette_square_3

Located on the northern edge of Lafayette Square is

Eleven Eleven Mississippi Restaurant 

Eleven_eleven_1 Eleven_eleven_2

and their new sister restaurant Vin de Set which just

opened in mid-June.

Vin_de_set_1_1 Vin_de_set_2

These restaurants are both located in old warehouses,

giving them an open, rustic feel. New loft apartments and

townhouses are springing up all around. I haven’t been to

Vin de Set for a meal but plan to very soon w/ a group of my

food loving friends! Keep an eye out for the post.

Until then, eat well and play hard….


Almond Gelato and Bing Cherry Madeleines

What could be more refreshing than a nice bowl of

ice cream (or gelato) on a hot summer day? Well,

actually I can think of a few things… but I digress.

Anyhow, here’s what I have to offer: Almond gelato

w/ crumbled Amaretti cookies and dark chocolate

chunks, and bing cherry madeleines. Grab your

spoon and dig in!!


I had to search in 5 different specialty food stores

for key ingredients, finally finding the Amaretti

cookies in an Italian food store on The Hill.

Surprisingly, they didn’t carry amarena cherries

which I had originally wanted to use for my



8 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1 quart half + half

6 tablespoons almond extract

1.5 oz crumbled Amaretti cookies

1.5 oz bittersweet chocolate (chopped)


1) In medium saucepan heat half + half and almond

extract gently to a simmer, then turn off heat

2) In medium size mixing bowl combine egg yolks

and sugar and beat together until pale yellow

3) Beat 2 tablespoons of the warm half + half into

the egg mixture (do this slowly to avoid curdling the

eggs), then beat in the remaining half + half little by little

4) Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and cook over

a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats

the back of a spoon (do not let temperature exceed 170

degrees or mixture will start to curdle)

5) Cool in an ice bath

6) Chill mixture in fridge for at least 4 hours

7) Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s

instructions, adding the crumbled Amaretti and chopped

chocolate towards the end of churning

8) Tranfer gelato to a 2 qt plastic container, cover top w/

parchment paper cut to size (this will reduce air exposure

and prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of

gelato), and freeze until firm

Yield: Approx. 1 ½ quarts

Madeleines (recipe adapted from Gourmet Oct. 2004)

12  tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons for

greasing molds

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

4 large eggs

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup dried bing cherries

1/4 cup cognac

2 pinches salt

** special equipment: a madeleine pan w/

2 3/4 by 1 3/4 inch molds


1) Soak cherries overnight in cognac then simmer

over low heat for 5 minutes and let cool

2) Remove cherries from remaining liquid and chop


3) Sift together flour, baking powder and 2 pinches of salt

4) Whisk together sugar and eggs until well combined

5) Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined, then stir

in butter, chopped cherries and remaining cherry liquid until

just incorporated

6) Chill batter for 1 hour

7) Preheat oven to 400 degrees

8) Brush molds w/ butter

9) Spoon batter into molds, filling them about two thirds full

10) Bake 5 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake

another 5 minutes until springy to the touch and edges

are nicely browned

11) Loosen from molds, turn out onto a rack and let cool

12) Let molds cool and repeat process until batter runs out

Yield: Approx. 70 madeleines

Notes: Madeleines are best when eaten the same day.

If you don’t want to bake all the madeleines the same

day, you can refrigerate the batter and finish baking the

following day.

Now chill out and enjoy your hot summer afternoon!!