What is the best thing about autumn
The fall has many pleasures, but the warm colors and the crispy cold autumn light is what attract me the most I think. But I also like the fact that dark evenings makes the dust and debris disappear nicely into dark hooks, and my dirty windows and chaotic veranda is out of sight, and nobody actually reveal what a bad housewife I am. Well, candles on the table, a glass of red wine in reach, curled up in my favorite chair with a blanket around my legs and a thriller on the screen. That is the perfect autumn setting for me, and just what I need to charge the batteries. Sounds great right?
Do not misunderstand, I love long bright summer days. Who does not? But this time of year is cozy, and as we Norwegian call «hygge». But as a photographer, the light source is unfortunately very limited at this time of year. I am a newborn photographer, and I always photograph in natural light, so the the autumn and winter days short and limited. Therefore, it is important to schedule a photo session. And I’m not to good with this consideration, but I’m learning by doing, and I actually learn a great deal about every season and how the light changes and effects the scenery,
The beautiful autumn colors suits me fine. I am quite bohemian by nature so these dark and dusty earth colors is perfect. My home is filled with vintage furnitures and beautiful treasures (at least for me) that I have found in various flea markets in the Scandinavian countries. I appreciate old worn things because they have a story to tell, although I do not always knows these, (actually quite seldom to be honest) and it’s exciting to fantasize and try to imagine who has been the owner of it before it ended up with me.
The autumn also call for foraging in the woods. I love to walk in the forest with my pug and a small backpack with some equipments like coffee and something sweet, a book and some tools for foraging. And my camera of cause. I love to look for chanterelles, cause in this part of Sweden where I live for the past 9 years, there is a lot of mushrooms in the woods. I am absolutely no expert in picking mushrooms, but I have learned to recognize chanterelles.. I really like to use them in the simplest way. Just fry them on the pan with real butter and onion and season it with salt and pepper. But if you want to use them in a more real meal, these tartlets with herbed crust is a delicious way to serve mushrooms. The recipe is adopted from www.myblueandwhitekitchen.com - Sini´s blog is very inspiring, so go have a look, I’m sure you will love it too
FUNNEL CHANTERELLE TARTLETS WITH HERBED CRUST
makes eight 10 cm tarts
for the crust
300 g all-purpose flour
155 g cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 ½ tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 ½ tsp thyme leaves
½ tsp fine sea salt
4 – 6 tbsp ice cold water
for the filling
2 tbsp olive oil
15 cm piece of leek (white and light green parts only), finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
225 g funnel chanterelles or other mushrooms
1 ½ tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 ½ tsp thyme leaves
¾ tsp fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
60 ml dry white wine
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
150 ml single cream
3 eggs (M)
40 g grated flavorful, firm cheese, such as Comté or Gruyere
To make the crust
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, butter, herbs, and salt. With your fingers, quickly rub the butter into the dry ingredients until well incorporated and crumbly. The dough should now resemble coarse bread crumbs with plenty of pea-sized pieces of butter remaining. Add water gradually just until the dough holds together when pinched. Try to work as fast as possible to avoid over-working the dough. Alternatively, you can use a pastry cutting tool or a food processor to make the dough.
Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for half an hour or until ready to roll.
Grease the molds. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Alternatively, you can roll out the dough between a piece of parchment paper. Roll out the dough into eight 3 mm (1/8") thick circles. Line the molds with the dough. Refrigerate for half an our.
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Prick the crust bases with a fork. Place a piece of parchment paper into each mold and fill with baking beans (or you can use rice). Prebake for 15 minutes, remove the baking beans and parchment paper and bake for further 5–10 minutes, or until the crust is light brown in color. Reduce the temperature to 180°C
To make the filling
While prebaking the crust, prepare the filling. In a medium-sized pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for about 3 minutes, or until soft but not brown. Add the garlic, mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the white wine and let cook for about 1 minute. Add the parsley. Set aside and let cool slightly.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the single cream, eggs, and cheese until smooth. Set aside.
To arrange and bake the tartlets
Fill the prebaked tart shells with the mushroom filling. Pour the egg mixture over the filling making sure to spread it evenly. Bake the tartlets for 20–25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the tartlets cool for around 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy! This recipe is from www.myblueandwhitekitchen.com
It´s so strange that autumn is so beautiful yet everything is dying (Shakespeare)
After a couple of hours in the woods I always come home with some treasures in my backpack, as mushrooms or berries, or just some beautiful leaves in all kinds of shapes and colors. The fall gives us so much for free consider decorations in so many ways. I like to dry and press all kinds of leaves between books and use them for different purpose in the next few month. I decorate my table, hang them in the kitchen window, make a autumn invitation/collage or decorate the christmas tree with them.
This pumpkin soup is perfect after a walk in the woods. You can do like me, prepare it before you go out, or the day before, and all you have to do is put it on the heat for a while. This soup is so good and really creamy. But if you don´t like it so thick you can just add more milk/water to it.
CREAMY PUMPKIN SOUP
700g chopped pumpkin
1.5ml chicken stock
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Roughly chop the onion and toss it in a saucepan with a drizzle of olive oil; set over a medium heat and cook for five minutes or so, until soft and translucent. Peel and chop the pumpkin, (save the seeds for your chickens if you have ) and toss it in the pan with the onion, cover the saucepan and cook for a further ten minutes. Now add the stock, a little at a time, giving it a good stir now and then. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes until the pumpkin has become soft and tender, then add the nutmeg and cinnamon. Blend the soup and serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and poor some creme fraiche over it. Enjoy !
Autumn gives us not only chanterelles and pumpkin, but plenty of local apples or pears and blackberry. It´s wonderful to be able to harvest fruit and berries from your own garden. Hope you have that opportunity. I never had blackberries in my garden in Norway, but here in Sweden I have so many of them at the farm. And to use them in a galette or a pie is so fulfilling. This pear/blackberry galettes is very easy going. This is my version of the recipe from my friend Louise at the delicate blog www.cygnetkitchen.co.uk Her blog is absolutely beautiful and full of delicious recipes. Please have a look and see for your self.
Enjoy this wonderful time of year, and stay warm ! And thanks for stopping by
PEAR AND BLACKBERRY GALETTE
(The recipe makes double the quantity of pastry, so I freeze half to make a quick tart another time.)
500g plain flour, plus extra to dust
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon caster sugar
375g cold unsalted butter, diced
120ml iced water
1 beaten egg
2-3 tablespoons of Demerara sugar
For the filling
130g golden caster sugar
juice of half a lemon
65g hazelnuts, or cobnuts
crab apple jelly, warmed, to glaze (optional)
Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add a quarter of the butter (8 pieces or so) and lightly rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips. The mixture should resemble course sand. Add the remaining butter and rub it in gently with your fingers until the butter pieces are pea sized lumps.
Add the iced water in stages, you may not need it all, bringing the mixture together with the flat edge of a cutlery knife. The pastry should just come together, be careful not to overwork it.
Cut the dough in half and shape each piece into a disc about 2cm thick. Wrap the discs individually in baking paper. Refrigerate one disc for an hour and freeze the other piece for another tart.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.
Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 23cm round, approximately 5mm thick. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Pulse the hazelnuts (or cobnuts) in a food processor until finely chopped and scatter over the pastry, avoiding a 5cm border around the edge.
Peel, quarter and core the pears, then cut each quarter into three slices. Toss the pear slices in a bowl with the golden caster sugar and lemon juice.
Arrange the sugared pear slices on top of the nut mixture, again leaving a 5cm border around the edge of the pastry.
Carefully lift up the edges of the pastry to enclose the fruit. If it breaks up, patch it up, no one will know.
Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the Demerara sugar.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 - 50 minutes until the pears are soft and the pastry is golden brown.
Remove the galette from the oven and brush the warmed crab apple jelly over the pears. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or cream.