It feels like a little bit of Europe in New England. The growing (no pun intended) Hingham Farmers Market is now open for business twice a week - on Saturdays in their traditional location at the Hingham bathing beach, and now also, on Wednesdays in Hingham Square, just outside the door of my shop.
Nothing beats the look, taste and smell of locally grown produce, freshly picked just hours before, at the height of its ripeness. And it's so much more satisfying to buy from the people who produced it, than to purchase at the supermarket, the "same thing" which came from Peru or some other place half way around the world, and was picked weeks before when it wasn't ripe, and is therefore relatively flavorless.
Some pictures of the Saturday Market (last September):
Kathleen Looney sells annuals and perennials
Sheila Augusta with her tapenade, pesto and other homemade sauces/dips
The taste of her tapenade brings me right back to Provence!
Lovely Lissa buying fresh corn and beans
Mary & Fran check out the gorgeous cauliflower
Some photos of the Wednesday Market (last week):
Produce and smiles from Freitas Farms
Fresh baked goods from Big Sky Bakery
Lipinski Farm Stand
Strawberries that would later go into my tarte (recipe below)
Happy and healthy shoppers
Sheila's basil pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, traditional tapenade and olive/fig tapenade
I bought a number of items at the market last Wednesday and ended up making a divine strawberry tarte the next night, combining berries from two farmers (not for additional flavor, but just to support both stands).
The finished tarte tasted like summer!
MARKET FRESH STRAWBERRY TARTE
While the crust is cooking, make the Creme Patissiere:
In a heavy saucepan, stir until scalding: 2 cups milk (whole milk or mixture of light milk and cream) with the seeds scraped from 1/2 a vanilla bean
In the top of a double boiler (I like to use a copper bowl over a pot of boiling water - the bowl is easier to whisk in with its sloping sides), whisk together until thick and very pale yellow: 5 egg yolks and 1/2 cup superfine sugar
Into the eggs, whisk 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, followed by the hot milk in steady, slow stream. Continue whisking over medium high heat, until the mixture is thick and smooth. then lower the flame and continue whisking for another minute.
Remove from heat and stir in 2 tbls. unsalted butter
Cover with plastic to prevent a skin from forming and chill.
Slice the tops off the 1 pint strawberries and lightly toss with superfine sugar (and if desired, a light dousing of Grand Marnier, Eau de Peche or other liqueur), which will give the assembled tarte a nice glistening finish.
After the crust has baked and cooled, spoon the Pastry Creme into the shell, smooth with a spatula and top with the strawberries. Serve within a few hours.
Over the next months, I'll be sharing recipes from the various farmers, bakers and other local food vendors who make the Hingham Farmers Market such a bountiful place to shop.
The HFM logo - designed by my husband, Jack Dickerson