Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lavender Peach Crostada (GF) and Summer at Los Poblanos Farm

I had planned on using this post to describe the incredible adventures that I had this past week, but I just became overly enthusiastic about another subject, and had to post it immediately. Last week I went on cross country running camp with my ex high school team and marveled over the magnificent Grand Canyon, making stops to hike other beautiful destinations like Humphrie's Peak. But alas, I had made the last minute decision to leave my camera behind, as it was not a very realistic running accessory.

As this is a food blog, I also decided that we are witnessing the time of summer when the bounty of certain produce is at its height. And it is something that cannot be missed. Hence this post, capturing two of my most favorite things- peaches and lavender, in a particularily tasty way.  

But, before I can continue on I must also say that although witnessing a declared wonder of the world- like the Grand Canyon- is pretty amazing, there are also little hidden gems close to home that are so unique and have so much character that they deserve just as much recognition. One of these such places is Los Poblanos Inn and Farm in Los Ranchos.

Los Poblanos is one of my favorite places to go as a photographer. I see it as the perfect mix of New Mexican Heritage, farming, animals, art, and of course it is a foodie paradise. I know I will never tire of the little farm shop, the lavender fields, the goats and chickens, or the beautiful pond with its massive lotus plants and ethereal flowers.

Hopefully this post can portray some the charm at Los Poblanos. I highly recommend visiting if ever in Albuquerque :)

As for the crostada, it was fantastic. It is the perfect combo of all flavors summer. I bought the peaches at the growers market. The are so sweet and juicy. There is just someting so stunning about their appearance- like a sunset in a fruit. And I can never stop raving about lavender. The smell is the essense of long summer days, the purple hue intense and magestic.

The recipe that I developed for the gluten free pie crust is great. It is just as good if not better than traditional pie crust. When baked, it became golden brown, flaky and light. The balance of the buttery crust and the bright, distinguished flavors of the peaches and lavender were terrific.

Probably one of my favorite things about baking and cooking in the summer is that it is much easier to have a higher ratio of local ingredients to non local ingredients. Of couse I bought the culinary lavender from the Farm Shop (there is also an online store) and I decided to serve the crostada with a locally made gelato. Van Rixel Bros. has a great variety of gourmet flavors. Both the Butter Pinon and the Tuscan Roasted Hazelnut were amazing with the peaches.

Alot of people aren't used to cooking with lavender, but this combination is one of the best I have tried. So I encourage you to try it!

Summer is flying by, but I find it so fufilling to cherish every little thing that makes it so special.

Enjoy :)

Lavender Peach Crostada (GF)
makes one 10 inch crostada

Processor Crostada Dough

1 1/2 cups Jeanne's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (see below)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups cold butter, cut into chunks
4-6 tablespoons ice water

Place the flour mix, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour, then pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle with the water and process until the dough starts to come together (but not until it forms a ball). Carefully take out the blade, and press the mixture together to pick up all the bits of dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking.

Recipe from Family Fun Magazine

Peach Filling

6 peaches, sliced (keep the skin on)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons of sugar
1-2 teaspoons of culinary lavender
3 tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
coarse sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the peaches in a medium sized bowl and carefully toss with the lemon juice. Sprinkle the sugar and lavender on top and toss both in as well. Sprinkle a work surface with flour and roll out the dough so that it is a quite thin round.  In the center of the round, pile the peach filling. Distribute the pieces of butter on top of the filling. Fold the edges of the pie crust over the filling part way all the way along the round. If the pie crust is too soft, put the entire crostada back in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes before baking. Beat the egg, and using a pastry brush, brush a little all over the crust. Dust with sugar and then place the crostada in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

Serve warm.

Jeanne's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix

1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 1/4 cup white rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup sweet rice flour (Mochiko)
2 scant teaspoons xanthan gum

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together thoroughly.

Recipe by Jeanne Savauge of Art of Gluten- free Baking

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