Monday, September 7, 2009

Red currant vanilla squares and a farewell to summer


Summer is officially over. Loved it, as usual but it was about time. This summer was very different for me for several reasons, which I won't get into right now. The seasonal fruits and veggies, long, quite walks and warm summer rain will definitely be missed but now it's time for something new: my favourite time of the year, FALL. Fall with its gorgeous colours, candle lit evenings with friends and great comfort food, lots of crisp apples and juicy blackberries. For me it has always felt like a new beginning. I still have that back to school thrill running through me. Love the smell of new books, new leather shoes and the prospect of new wonders and adventures.
But since I'm not one for leaving any loose ends, here's my farewell to summer: deliciously juicy, sweet and tart red currant vanilla squares, that scream summery goodness. Made these last week with the last red currants of the season.

Red currant vanilla squares


350 g all purpose flour
200 g sugar
150 g butter, at room temperature
500 g red currants, cleaned
4 eggs
pinch of salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
150 ml sour cream

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix 250 g flour with 50 g sugar.Add butter and mix with your hands to obtain a soft dough.
Knead for about a minute. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Grate dough into a medium sized square cake pan, lined with baking paper. Push on grated dough with the back of a spoon to even it out. Scatter over red currants.
Beat the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in salt, lemon zest and vanilla. Add sour cream and the rest of the flour and mix until combined. Beat egg whites until stiff, add to batter in two additions, gently folding it in. Pour mixture over red currants. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Cut into large squares and dust with icing sugar.


And now here's my wish list for my new "school" year:

Picture 17

Cradle of flavour by James Oseland. The author spent two decades exploring the foods of the spice islands. Need I say more?

Picture 13

Cook in Boots by Ravinder Bhogal. Coffee table/ kitchen shelf perfection from a girl who loves food and shoes even more than I do.

Picture 11

Turquoise by Greg Malouf. The most beautiful book ever from the executive chef of MoMo (Melbourne), author of Saha and one of Australia's best chefs.

Picture 10
Picture 9

A year in my kitchen and My favourite ingredients by Skye Gyngell, expat Australian, now running the kitchen at Petersham Nurseries.
Do you have a cook book wish list?


Snooky doodle said...

Nice farewell to summer. these bars look so nice and delicious! I love fall too, I wish to buy some books too, the one I wish to buy most right now is Confessions of a closet master baker.

Visit my new blog with all my cake recipes at

Ash said...

What a great farewell to summer with such a delightful little tart! I love the little currents!
I think I may need to add some of these books to my list too! Cook books are always too tempting, and I pretty much always give in! :)

Question: Where is that bead warehouse or something of the sort you mentioned before in T.O? I wanna go to it.

Anonymous said...

These are ridiculously gorgeous. I wish we had currants around here so I could make them! I also wish summer was over here. Sure September is well under way, but I think Texas will continue with the heat for quite some time yet. Sigh. Oh, and the Skye Gyngell books are amazing.



Chef Fresco said...

These are so pretty, love the presentation!

Rose said...

WOW! This is stunning! Looks absolutely delicious :D Your site is lovely. Just added it to my reader!

Jules said...

Though we're still having a gorgeous Indian summer in Budapest, the experiences I've had this summer- traveling and culinary ones, long walks and talks- will also be missed, but mostly the 'cook' I was sharing them with.
Red currants always bring back childhood memories... these squares look just great!