Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Last Course - Concord Grape


I rarely spend time in front of my computer when I got home. I enjoy spending my time watching TV or talking to my sister on the phone instead. Therefore, I missed out the treasure of food blogs in the past few years. I found it hard to catch up but at the same time, I found it fun to surf from one blog to another.

Claudia Fleming’s book, The Last Course, was mentioned in a many of the food blogs that I have visited. People always have good things to say about this book. Unfortunately, the book is out of print. So that I borrowed it from the local library and planning to try all the recipes in the book.

When I got the book, it was September. I started with figs & concord grapes recipes. I made the
fig tart which my friend, Lucia, loves. However, my mother-in-law wasn’t impressed by my tart. (I should have said “the picture of my tart”. She didn't try my tart because she lives four hours flight away.) She took pity on me for buying those not very nice looking figs... Well, she was comparing store-bought figs to her fresh, sweet, tree ripen figs from her garden. She has a fig tree in her backyard which yields close to a thousand figs each year. Lucky her.

Concord grapes were also in season in September. You can find them every time you turn around. I was so excited when I got a basket of very fresh concord grape home from a local store. With a 2.5L basket of concord grapes, I made a batch of Concord Grape Sorbet and Concord Grape Parfait. This is my first time using my ice-cream machine. (It was given to me 6 years ago by my brother.) The sorbet turned out very well. That deep vibrant colour from the grapes is very eye-catching. The taste is rich yet refreshing, so different from the ordinary orange or lime sorbet that you can find from the store.

I had also made the Cornmeal Nut Biscotti to go with the sorbet, as suggested in the book. However, I don’t think it pairs very well with the sorbet. The flavour of the anise seeds and the nuts in the biscotti is just simply too strong to the refreshing sorbet. If any of you had tried the combination, let me know whether or not you feel the same way.

I’m very happy about my first attempt on making sorbet. Fleming’s book has a lot of ice-cream and sorbet recipes. I book-marked some of them and the Caramel Ice-cream is on the top of my to-make list.

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