Farmer’s Markets & A Fresh Fruit Dessert for Summer

Wrong “Summer Sparkler” – though we’re sure she’s also crisp and fresh !

When you send out a weekly communication that includes a recipe year after year, as Tom and I have done, at a certain point you worry about running out of recipes.  So we have no qualms about hitting anyone and everyone up for new material.  This week, it’s poor unsuspecting Intern Margot’s turn.  As if she hasn’t suffered enough already, reporting to Tom and me, we’ve forced her to cough up her family recipe for Pavlova with fresh fruit !!  I’d pair it with a light summery sparkler – try our “Methode Ancestrale” Brut ($18).  This is the brut version of the “Methode Gaillacoise,” one of our best sellers. It’s dry but not bone-dry, crisp, and fresh.

Margot, an American University student (and whizbang intern I might add), is happily beginning to discover and explore our many wonderful farmer’s markets – and has a bit to say about that …        – Dare

Being from Pennsylvania, I am not used to the “summer in the city” feel, especially when it comes to fresh food.  At home, I have the convenience of living a mere mile away from a farm where I’m able to get fresh fruits and vegetables.  However, I was quite shocked to find that most DC residents are strong advocates of eating local food that comes from surrounding Maryland and Virginia farm country.

My first visit to Eastern Market proved to me that the country can come to the city.  The array of fresh fruits and vegetables left my mouth watering. Not only was I impressed by the food, but by the cultural diversity in the market.  DC has opened my eyes to the array of people who live in a metropolis. From hand picked strawberries, to jewelry trinkets and vintage posters, people of all ages seem to flock to these farmer’s markets in DC.

As a poor college student, I am well aware of the extra cost of fresh fruits & vegetables.  However, eating local supports the community in more ways than one:

1)      The foods are fresher—ergo, tastier! No one wants to eat tomatoes that are picked when half ripe in Mexico and then chemically ripened  with ethylene on the journey to DC.

2)      You are responsible for keeping the local green spaces and farmlands alive.  By buying local, you are enabling farmers to keep their businesses and preserve more land.

3)      Local foods create more sustainable behavior for the earth and the economy. The carbon footprint of food is greatly reduced if it does not have to travel 1,838 miles to reach your plate, like the average carrot does. By buying from local farmers, the money you spend will be spent in your region – thereby generating local revenue. 

There are several farmer’s markets located throughout downtown DC and the greater DC area. Visit http://www.freshfarmmarket.org/ to check out farmers’ markets in your neighborhood.  Not only do you get delicious food when you buy local, but you also get to speak with the farmers and really get a sense of where your food comes from.  I encourage you all to try out the Farmer’s Market foods and get to know who is growing your food; I guarantee the stories are not to be missed.

The recipe this week is, in my opinion, a perfect summer dessert.  Easy to make and can be varied at your discretion with whatever fruit is in season.  Please use locally grown fruit, it will taste better!!

The Pavlova with Fresh Fruit recipe is something that my family and I make quite often for summer dinner parties.  It is quick and easy, the perfect thing to make when you need a delicious and refreshing dessert.  

Pavlova with Fresh Fruit

Servies 6-8

Ingredients:

4 Egg whites

1 Cup caster sugar

1 ½ cups whipped cream

2 Peaches (sliced or diced)

4 oz Raspberries

4 oz Blueberies

4 oz Sliced Strawberries

(Any fruit can be used to fit your preference)

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F
  2. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl. If the bowl has grease, the egg whites will not foam properly. Allow the egg whites to reach room temperature then beat them slowly until they create a frothy foam.  Once the bubbles in the foam are small and even size, increase the speed so that the foam forms still peaks
  3. Add the sugar gradually until the mixture is thick and all the sugar has been dissolved. Do not overbeat.
  4. Spread the mixture onto wax paper and shaped it into a circle, heart, or whatever shape you fancy. Make sure to create it so it forms a sort of pocket for the fruit and whipped cream to go in
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until pale and crisp.  When the pavlova has cooled, fill the inside with the whipped cream, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Serve chilled if desired.

Adapted from: The Essential Dessert Cookbook. Whitecap Books, British Columbia: Canada, 1999.

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This entry was posted in Dare Wenzler, DC, Dc Farmers Markets, Domaine la Croix des Marchands, Margot Waldron and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Farmer’s Markets & A Fresh Fruit Dessert for Summer

  1. Sue says:

    Great recipe, Margot! That’s one of my favorite things to do with summer fruit. Have you ever tried making the pavlova with brown sugar? I usually beat in half the sugar and fold in the rest at the end and it gives a really nice toasty flavor.

    PS As a substitute for caster sugar, you can whirl regular sugar in the blender and it works well.

    Good job!

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