Archived entries for fruit

Newest Addition: Four Way Cherry Tree

Not much to look at now, but wait until she grows up!

The Seattle gardening season never ceases to amaze me. Here it is the beginning of February, and I was able to buy and install the newest addition to my garden: a four-way cherry tree! It was available bare-root, so getting it home was a snap.

To clarify, my cherry tree has four separate varieties of cherries all grafted into one trunk. The four varieties are Bing, Stella, Sam, and Rainier.

The friendly lady at the garden center showed me how the main tree variety is the strongest, and without careful pruning could easily “take over” or “steal” all the energy from the other branches.

I’m very excited because I have a very small backyard, and I try to maximize the amount of food I can get out of the lot. Also, the fact that I won’t have to worry about cross-pollination is a great bonus, as you usually need two different varieties of cherries to pollinate each other to get fruit.

My First Tart Tatin

Hi! I hope you like caramel. I'm covered with it.

A tart tatin is all about perfecting the basics. It’s really just a few ingredients: butter, sugar, fruit, and puff pastry. But there are so many variables at work. How is the pastry, flaky enough, with just a little chew? Melting sugar and butter together is easy enough, but there’s definitely an art to laying the fruit on top before the caramel starts to get really gummy. What about turning it out at the end – oh the suspense! The dread of melted sugar possibly burning skin! Yes, those were the thoughts that ran through my head. But everything came out well, thankfully.

There are different varieties of tart tatin. Some have lots of fruit on the top, with a thick crust. Or sometimes there is a thin crust with the fruit piled on top and falling over itself onto your little plate. Finally, in this version the crust is quite thin, showcasing a thin layer of completely carmelized fruit. It is almost always paired with crème fraîche.

My only comment on the particular recipe I used is that next time I wouldn’t use any light brown sugar. When I used the 1/2 white to 1/2 light brown sugar, the resulting caramel smelled and looked wonderful, but it had a bit too much of a molasses taste. So this post I’ll leave as “to be continued…” because while Mike and I thought that it turned out well, I think it could’ve turned out better.

An Orange Tree Grows in Seattle

Or it will, hopefully!

Citrus myrtifolia - Myrtle Leaf Orange

Over at Gardening in NYC, meemsnyc recently discovered Logee’s, a tropical plant purveyor based in Connecticut. She decided on a new fig plant. I posted recently about Logee’s new book, Growing Tasty Tropical Plants, but my impulse to buy a new edible container plant faded to the background due to all the new plans I’ve made with the new year.

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Growing Tasty Tropical Plants

Happy New Year!

Today I had some time to leaf through this stunning book, filled with tropical plants that can be grown in your home. I never thought about growing a tahitian orange tree, barbados cherry, or miracle berry in my kitchen. But because I have a great southern exposure along the longest side of my house, it looks like growing one of these delicious and beautiful plants is a definite possibility!

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