cherry pastry again


Where did the time go? I last remember eagerly awaiting summer and now it seems the sun is setting a bit earlier each night.

I’ve been buried under a pile of books, papers, forms and slide shows in an effort to ‘catch up’ or ‘get ahead’ or whatever absurd, defensive, “please tell me it’s not nine o’clock already” expression we use to justify missing the key, important moments of our lives.



A little sea side hamlet with beaches and cottages is where I should be. Rest and relaxation are needed – at minimum a few vacation days.

In an attempt to tune my mind and mood to simpler pleasures, I reach for the red fruits and begin to bake.

fantable and chairs


It’s quiet here. The sky is overcast for the first day in quite a long time.

I make cherry filled pastry and red currant financiers and sit down with a cup of tea.

currant cakes
currants on stoneware
Resolved: That it is desirable for me to be on vacation for at least two weeks.

Scratch that. It’s unrealistic. Would be nice though.

How about one week? One I should be able to manage.

hmmm… What if I can only get a day?

I need your help.

light hall


If you had one day to celebrate summer in the most meaningful way possible, what would you do?

Where would you go?

Who would you spend it with?

What would you eat?

Tell me about your idea of the perfect summer day and I’ll share some recipes with you. You’ll get incredibly delicious snacks and I’ll get some ideas for how to spend my day off. Sounds like a fair trade to me. Wouldn’t you agree?

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James

bowl of cherries

Cherry Breakfast Pastry

1 recipe puff pastry, rolled into sheets (I recommend bakery bought or the recipe in the book Baking with Julia, written by Dorie Greenspan)

160 g (1 c) good quality cherry jam
1 egg mixed with 8 g (1 tbs) milk
10 cherries, washed, dried, halved and pitted

Icing (optional)

60 g (1/2 c) powdered sugar
50 g (1/4 c) water
10 g (2 tsp) organic corn syrup

Stir ingredients together. Heat in microwave for 15 seconds. Stir again. Repeat until you have a smooth consistency. If you like the icing to be thinner, gradually mix in additional water.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C)

Cut puff pastry into 6″X6″ (13cm X 13 cm) squares. Place a heaping spoon full of cherry jam in the center and using a knife, spread the jam out slightly.

Cut each pastry square at the corners and fold over to create a pinwheel effect. Leave some space in the center to add cherries.

Brush with egg mixture.

Bake 10-15 minutes until puffed and golden. While pastry is hot, apply glaze using a spoon and a quick, back and forth motion. Place fresh, halved cherries in the center. Cool completely before eating.

Red Currant Financiers

125 g (1 1/2 c. less 1 tsp) almond flour, meal
125 g (1 c plus 1 1/2 tsp) confectioners sugar
75 g (1/2 c plus 1 tsp) flour
3 egg whites
100 g (7 tbs) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 g (1 tsp) vanilla extract
a handful of red currants, washed and dried (you can add as many or as few as you like)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C)

Combine flour, sugar and almond powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until combined. Add egg whites, vanilla and butter. Mix until combined. Gently fold in currants. Fill desired pans 1/3-1/2 full (mine were 2×3 in size). The less batter you add the less fluffy the cake will be. It will also take less time to cook so keep an eye on the cakes in the oven while they’re baking.

Bake about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack before eating. Optional- dust with powdered sugar.

Bon appetit!

Fresh New England

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  1. What a gorgeous house! I especially love that little fan. Our fan is sadly about to get a kick into the trash can, it has a harder and harder time turning on each night.

    It’s tough for me to find currants around here at the market, although I did find one (one!) currant out in the woods yesterday. That’s one berry, not one whole bush.

    Every weekend this summer has been filled with ideal summer days for me. But if I had to choose, I would spend my day on a beach, without bugs or too much wind, and with warmth but not scorching sun. Perhaps with a pastry treat! So sad that the light is fading… I’ve been noticing it every day recently.

  2. I think my ideal summer day would need to be near the ocean. Perhaps on a sailboat or taking a ferry to an island. Sometime to read and relax, a picnic, and then a delicious dinner to end the day.

  3. I totally relate to your feelings. The days are whizzing by faster than I can believe. I think perfection for me is a warm day, a boat and a lobster lunch (ocean breeze too please) The cherry pastry would be nice too!!!

  4. Such a lovely post, as always!

    I’m in Australia… it’s early evening and I’m reading this in my pyjamas… there’s a pot of veal and vegetable broth gently simmering on the stove. It’s the tail end of winter, it’s raining and bitterly cold outside and I’m yearning for some warmth (despite our four-day escape to Darwin recently).

    Where would I go if I had one magical day? Perhaps a beachside hut in Vanuatu with my Peter.

  5. Lovely photos; I was in need of images to remind me that it really is summer, since I have not gotten out nearly enough. I’m with Henry James, and so, being practical, I will say that an afternoon on a screen porch overlooking a lake would be my choice. It may not be my ultimate ideal, but it is very attainable, since that’s what I will be doing on Saturday on a rare day off, thanks to a generous friend for supplying the venue! Oh, and I’ll take one of your financiers with my tea, thank you very much.

  6. That is the house of my dreams. I had one slightly younger than that with a few rooms still in pristine shape (not the kitchen though… a new one had been added on in the 40’s). I loved the severe beauty of the style. Ah yes.

    Give me those pastries please! As I embark on the daunting task of making pastries for my blog food group, you are inspiring me (I’m not a great pastry maker!). Beautiful work, as always!

  7. Yes! Where has summer gone? The days just fly by; blurring into each other. My husband and I spent a day together last week at Point Lobos. A half an hour drive, it is just south of Carmel, CA, a state preserve. We packed a simple lunch and our cameras. It was a typical coastal day, sweatshirts required. Standing on the edge of California was just what we needed. A weeks vacation will have to wait.

  8. I would do what I used to do when I was a kid. Just go out into the woods and wander, with no goal or timeframe. Lie in the grass and look at the cloudless sky. Finally come back in the warm evening, have some lemonade or a popsicle on the porch swing and watch the fireflies come out.

  9. Beautiful pictures and a great looking house. I love the paint colours. A perfect summer day would be lazing in the garden, with fresh berries, cream and sparkling champagne. A really good book ans a comfortable recliner. No one asking me to do things for them and just enjoy the relaxation. GG

  10. My perfect summer day? Starting out with a bike ride to the beach with hubby, breakfast at a farm, where we’d walk around and eat and graze! Head to the beach for some boccee ball and swimming in the warm water. Ending it by grocery shopping for some things to cook dinner together at home and then eat it on the porch.

  11. I love everything about this from the canopy to the desserts. Perfect day? Pretty much anything involving a babysitter at this point would make my day.

  12. I feel your pain about summer slipping away. We rarely go anywhere in the summer since we have so many fun activities right here. The perfect summer day for me is entertaining friends on our patio on a warm summer evening.

    What a gorgeous home! Beautiful, simple details.

    I haven’t seen fresh currants for so long. My mother and I used to pick them from bushes near our home when I was little. The breakfast pastry looks fantastic! Beautiful images, as always.

  13. Oh My! What a respite. You have just gifted me with a moment of quiet and memories of days past at beach cottages and grandma’s house. And then, in one line, you baked the pastry and financiers like magic. Effortlessly in silence without a breath.
    What a beautiful place. What gorgeous treats. I wish we lived closer. I could learn so much from you, El. The photography, the baking…
    No red currants at the market here. I used to grow my own…
    Where would I go? Back in time to the old lake cottage where my sister and I would sleep in the attic up the winding staircase. We could push up the window and climb down the tree for breakfast. We would walk to the beach, even in the rain… and run back, build a fire and play cards. And draw.

  14. I’m reading your post about vacationing for two weeks at minimum and I was struck by my own reaction- ‘omigosh that is a long vacation…’ And then I realized that perhaps I have been visiting the wrong places or I’m simply an insane workaholic. Perhaps a lot of both.

    A perfect day for me would be in Napa having a glass of wine and some good cheese with friends.

    I love the ideas for incorporating summer fruits into these desserts. I must try the cherry pastry, it looks delectable!

  15. I dread the winter though I haven’t had enough of a chance to get outside this summer. Reading other peoples comments is definitely inspirational. The currant and cherry desserts look tasty too.

  16. Dave here. I follow u on Twitter Using your comments to plan a romantic 6 yr anniversary for my wife. Keep the ideas coming Super help

  17. El, it has been awhile since I have been here, and I am sorry to have missed some many wonderful recipes. These cherry turnovers are to die for. I am inspired to make them … right away!

    Perfect day, would be in the mountains, near a stream (or some body of water), just sitting, taking in the beauty and sharing it with Lenny. I would make cornmeal griddle cakes with blueberries – the perfect mountain breakfast!

  18. One day? Early am bike ride to the farm. Homemade frittata and mimosas. Then a good book and some lounging time on the beach with lots of ice cream. I love the desserts and the canopy bed by the way, all so elegant!

  19. Ah my perfect summer day would be like the ones I just had strolling the city in the morning, relaxing at the beach and a nice swim in the afternoon, a bike ride in the early evening and a late night picnic at the beach with a nice bottle of wine. That’s my idea of perfection.

  20. Oh El, these are GORGEOUS!!! A perfect summer day? Well, here in Oz I would go to the beach, absolutely. 🙂 I would have a packed lunch with super delicious things in it, and spend the day in the water, on the sand snoozing and reading, in the shade snoozing and reading, then rinse off in the outdoor shower, don my favorite sundress and sandals, and go out for a fantastic dinner overlooking the ocean. 🙂

  21. Hi, El. I went with Mia, Eli, and my sister to Crane Beach a few weekends ago, and it was just what I needed. We got there early, at 8am when the beach opened, before the crowds showed up. Heaven.

    A question: What is “almond powder?” Do you mean almond meal?

  22. Dave- best of luck.

    Yes, I mean almond meal. Thanks for the catch, I corrected it to prevent confusion.

    Love the summer stories everyone. They’re quite relaxing to read.

  23. Oh, how I hate my diet when I see the lovely puff pastry and fruit 😛
    We don’t have cherries here anymore (well, we have frozen sour cherries, but it’s just not the same), so I will try this out with other fruit 🙂
    The house looks so vintage, so comforting, wonderful 🙂
    Love the fan! 🙂

  24. El, beautiful pictures as always…and the desserts are awesome, so delicate and pretty…lovely for the end of the season.
    Hope you are enjoying your week 🙂

  25. You need a B&B, dear. Seriously. And I stayed in several when I was in your neck of the woods last Fall. Get there! On the matter of the perfect one day summer retreat — we often neglect the fact that we live in an incredibly beautiful place. So we take the ferry to Coronado and ride bikes, eat in somewhere lovely under umbrellas, stop at the Hotel Del for a cocktail on the patio while watching the tourists. It’s magical and restorative. I guess the translation is wonder is in our own backyard!

  26. “rest and relaxation” so important for mind, body, and spirit. however, most of us don’t honor that. both of these desserts would send me into a relaxing state – yummy!

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