January 15, 2011

What's cooking?

 Nothing brings back happier memories of a year in Ain than a beautiful tarte aux pommes. It looks deceptively simple, belying the ridiculous number of hours required to produce this delicious dessert. It's a fabulous dessert to take to a dinner club, if all you have to make is dessert. This one is waiting to be scoffed this evening, the perfect end to a dinner which is to include raclette - a Swiss cheesy/potato dish that will be just right for this cold, snowy January evening. On the wine front, the perfect wine for raclette or cheese fondue is Chasselas, sometimes called Fendant, a dry, crisp, white wine prevalent in Switzerland and sometimes (like now) available in the LCBO. For the tarte aux pommes which, by the way, is wonderful with a scoop of creme fraiche, several chilled white dessert wines come to mind - Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, a nice Riesling icewine, or the Loupiac (similar to Sauternes, but less pricey) shown in the photo. Start the evening off with a yummy appetizer and a glass of bubbly, throw in a  crisp green salad along the way, share with some good friends, and you can't go wrong.

Here's the link for the tarte aux pommes recipe I use.
Creme fraiche is everywhere in France, but very hard to find in Ottawa. You can make it but it's fiddly, takes time and doesn't always turn out right. Ottawa Bagel on Wellington sells two kinds, and I'm busy lobbying Loblaws at South Keys to start stocking it.

Cheers and bon appetit!