For the scant year and a half that I've had this blog, it's my third time celebrating mother's day and it will be four before the year is over. Since it's always celebrated in the spring, no matter what part of the equator you live on, we take our moms out to party in september, or october, I'm not quite sure now.
I made her a dark chocolate mousse last year and a fresh fig and walnut pie today. Why? She's crazy mad about figs which makes this pie the perfect gift for her.
She's more mad about figs than me. Dried, fresh, in syrup, whatever way, she likes them.
We're having a celebration with the Sunday Supper group, hosted by my friend Heather of Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks, and we made many fantastic recipes for you to share with whomever raised you and helped you be the person you are today.
My mom worked with me for two years at the Café I once had. There were times where it's very fair to say she worked more than me. We were both equally exhausted. But like only a mother can, she never lost her temper with me the way I did with her. Actually, I lost my temper with most persons at some point, a very unpleasant streak of the gastronomy business.
|1964 (her wedding) - mid 70´s, arriving from NYC, she thought no one had come to pick her up|
I taught Carola how to bake a few things.
That's her name, and she hates that I call her that instead of mom, which I do on purpose of course, and now it's become a personal joke between us, especially since there was a customer who went to the cafe almost every day and had a chocolate colored labrador named like her, and they would sit outside and you would hear 'Carola, sit!' 'Carola, come here!' 'Let´s go Carola', making the other customers look at her puzzled and then laugh.
Everyone loved her, she was the heart of the shop during it's last year.
|1982/84 With my older brother (he was very sick then). We were living in Palo Alto, California.|
The water took away some old pictures, but happily not many, so I'm sharing some of my mom through the decades, so that you know who I'm celebrating today and I get them to a safe place, in case I loose them one day. Life is full of surprises people.
She got married at 19, gasp!, and by the time she was 24 had her three kids, the last two (me and my younger brother) with 11 months difference, so, if you're not into math, it means there is a month when we're the same age, or it also means she got pregnant again when I was less than two months old... gasp again!
I got my nose from her. And that frown in the second picture.
|The most recent ones I could find: 1999 (my wedding) and 2005 helping me at a textile exhibition|
So much has gone by in her life between the other pictures and these two. But these were happy times.
She's 62 in the one on the right, and can still get away with almost no makeup. My sweet mother.
About the fig and walnut pie that is our concern here, I have two favorite ways to use fresh figs in a pie or tart, and though the classic tart with vanilla bean pastry cream and sweet tart dough will always have a big place in my heart, this version with walnut cream, an adaptation from the almond frangipane, and a graham cracker dough is currently gathering votes and positioning itself right up there.
After making graham crackers for the first time, I now keep the dough frozen at all times. Or as cookies in a tin. The flavor is one to beat. It´s the perfect one for cheesecakes and also for this fresh fig and walnut pie.
So the dough is prebaked, then a thick layer of walnut cream is added, and finally the majestic green and red figs are artfully (you can laugh if you want) placed atop before going into the oven and emerging with a not so vibrant color, but with that unmistakable smoky flavor of baked figs, the cookie crunchiness of the graham cracker dough and the creamy walnuts. Oh, and a good pouring of honey on top to make it shiny.
This is good pie people.
FRESH FIG AND WALNUT PIE
graham cracker dough from Pastries from the La Brea Bakery, by Nancy Silverton
walnut cream adapted from Simply Sensational Desserts, by François Payard
Makes 8 servings
For the crust:
½ recipe graham crackers dough
For the walnut cream:
1 ½ cups walnut paste, at room tº, see recipe
4oz (115g) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg yolk
4 teaspoons flour
For the assembly:
9 or 10 fresh figs
2 Tbs sugar
For the crust:
On a lightly floured surface, roll graham cracker dough about ¼ inch or less, to fit a 9-inch round pie plate. The dough might not roll in one neat piece like regular dough does; don´t worry, just do it in pieces and patch it in the mold. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350º about 15 minutes before baking.
Cover cold pie dough with a piece of aluminum foil, fill it with some kind of weight, I used lentils but you can use beans or ceramic marbles. Bake for 15 or 20 minutes, carefully lift the aluminum foil with the weight, and bake for another 10 minutes or so, until the dough is dry and lightly colored. Let cool on wire rack. Keep the oven on.
For the walnut cream:
In a bowl with a sturdy hand mixer or an electric one, mix walnut paste with butter. Add egg and egg yolk and then flour. Mix well but just to blend all ingredients completely.
For the assembly:
Wash, dry and cut figs in half.
Pur walnut cream evenly over pie dough, and arrange the half pieces of figs on top. Sprinkle with the sugar and bake for about 30 minutes, until figs are beginning to soften and walnut cream is puffy.
Make sure you take a look at what the rest of the group is sharing today:
Mother's Day Brunch:
- Blueberry Coffee Cake from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Cornbread Pancakes with Blackberries from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Crepes from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Hot N Sweet Mango Chutney from Sue's Nutrition Buzz
- Lemon Glazed Raspberry Scones from Juanita's Cocina
- Quiche Lorraine from Supper for a Steal
- Seafood Quiche from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Strawberry Rhubarb Compote from Noshing with the Nolands
- Sweet French Breakfast Crepes from Curious Cuisiniere
- Vidalia Onion Quiche from Comfy Cuisine
Mother's Day Entrees:
- Cod with Stewed Tomatoes from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches with Herbed Goat Cheesefrom Foxes Love Lemons
- Lemon Risotto from Healthy. Delicious.
- Lobster Ravioli with Shrimp Caper Sauce from Family Foodie
- Pork dumpling (Shumai) from The Urban Mrs.
Mother's Day Sides:
- Spaetzle from Magnolia Days
Mother's Day Desserts and Drinks:
- Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls from Gotta Get Baked
- Chocolate Kahlua Cream Pie from Ruffles & Truffles
- Espresso Brownies from What Smells So Good?
- Fresh Blackberry Elderflower Sorbet from Shockingly Delicious
- Gluten Free Coconut Cake with Chocolate Ganache, Berries, and Fresh Whipped Cream from Neighborfood
- Lavender Shortbread Cookies from girlichef
- Lemon Meringue Pie from Pies and Plots
- Lemon Petit Fours from Home Cooking Memories
- Lemon Sorbet in Prosecco from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Milky Way Brownies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Mini Coconut Pies from La Cocina de Leslie
- Mini Strawberry and Cheese Pies from Basic N Delicious
- Mom's Apple Crisp from Cravings of a Lunatic
- Mom's Texas Sheetcake from Daily Dish Recipes
- Mum´s Strawberry Cake from My Cute Bride
- Raspberry and Hazlenut Friands from Happy Baking Days
- Semolina Balls (Suji Laddoo) from Soni's Food
- Too-Good-to-Be-Lowfat Chocolate Eclair Icebox Dessert from The Weekend Gourmet
Don't forget to join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter today to celebrate Mother's Day!
We’ll tweet throughout the day and share our delicious recipes. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.
Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.