Easter is a big deal where I grew up in the Midwest, at least in the circles my family traveled in. Sunday church service, where we sang "The Old Rugged Cross," Easter dresses and hats, pastel ties, egg hunts, and plastic grass were all part of the revelry. Perhaps the most memorable part of all of it was the enormous Easter brunch, in which ham was trotted out in almost every dish and sweet breads abounded.
No matter what religious tradition you come from, most everyone feels a twitter of joy at the advent of spring, especially if you live in snow country. It's the season of fertility and abundance, hope, renewal, and growth. I'm experiencing a whole new level of excitement for the changing of the seasons this year as I work on my first garden. The more I contemplate the many meanings that spring and Easter have, the more apropos it seems that we celebrate this season together, sharing delicious food that reflects the bounty of the particular place we live in.
So it was to my great delight that I learned I was scheduled to cook Easter breakfast for all the students and interns here at Yestermorrow Design/Build School. Even though I've mostly written here about the garden part of my internship, my title is actually "kitchen/garden intern" and I cook many of the meals along with the staff.
I have a slight penchant for going overboard, so I spent days trying to figure out a fabulous Easter breakfast that hinted enough at tradition to be comforting but offered a little twist on the familiar. I ended up picking two recipes.
The first was called Kolacki (aka Bohemian Sweet Rolls), out of my favorite bread baking book, "The Bread Bible" by Beth Hensperger. It's a traditional Czech bread stuffed with a fruit or cheese compote. But the piece de resistance was the second recipe, an apple and onion tart. I've been experimenting with this little gem for a while, trying to perfect it. I ordered it several times at the restaurant I blogged about in one of my first posts here and loved it so much I was determined to figure out how to make it. Here's what I've come up with so far. Sorry, but I mostly eyeballed amounts for the filling. This makes a large tart; halve the filling and crust ingredients if you will be feeding only four or five people.
Apple Onion Free Form Tart
Ingredients for the tart filling:
Ingredients for the crust:
(Credit where it's due: the crust recipe is based on the crust for the Bacon and Goat Cheese Free-Form Tart in "Cooking with Shelburne Farms.")
Happy cooking and happy festivities, everyone. We'd love to hear about your favorite Easter or spring celebration meals.