April 2020 Brunch Menu


Fellow book club members Melinda McGinley of Proper Endings and our resident bartender Roderick Deerr created a custom quanratine-style brunch menu based on Moonglow by Michael Chabon.

Moonglow Tarte Tatin

"'Why aren’t you eating?’ my grandfather said. Having only lately consumed an entire tarte tatin was another secret I felt that my grandmother would prefer I didn’t betray. I didn’t answer” (Moonglow, p. 377).

What you will need:

· 7 medium apples (dessert apples or a blend of sweet and tart apples)
· 1 cup white sugar
· 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
· shortcrust pastry OR ready-made puff pastry
· pinch of salt
· 3 tablespoons of water
· 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice

 

 
 

Melinda's recommendation: Shortcrust holds up better to all the liquid that is created by the apples and caramel. Puff pastry is delicious and used almost as often, but can get a bit soggy. Pre-made puff pastry is easiest since you can usually get it from a grocer. If you decide to go the shortcrust route, use your favorite recipe, make it the day before, and store it in the fridge. Bake in a cast iron skillet for best results.

How to make it: 

1. Peel, halve, or quarter (quarter seems to cook through better) and core the apples, then put in the fridge, uncovered, for 24 hours.

2. Put the sugar into a heavy-based, non-stick ovenproof frying pan (about 8 inches long) with water and leave to soak for a couple of minutes, then cook over a medium heat (low heat if using electric stove) until golden and fudgy.

3. Take off the heat and stir in the butter one tablespoon at a time, and salt, until well combined. Carefully arrange the apples in the pan, round-side down (bearing in mind the caramel will be very hot) and put back on the heat. Note: You may need to cut some of the apples into smaller pieces to fill in the gaps. Cook for 5 minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool completely.

4. Pre-heat the oven to 390F. Roll out the shortcrust to 5mm thick (pretty damn thin), and cut out a circle slightly larger than your pan. If using puff pastry, lay one sheet flat and cut out a circle slightly larger than your pan.

5. Put the pastry on top of the pan and tuck in the edges around the fruit. Bake for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden, then remove from the oven. Watch your pastry closely so it doesn’t burn. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before placing a plate (use a plate that's slightly larger than the pan) on top and then, very carefully, using oven gloves, invert the tart on to the plate. Best served warm. 

Moonglow Cocktail

 

 

Inspired by traditional Rosh Hashanah cocktails, the pomegranate represents hope for a fruitful year, while the honey signifies a wish for sweet days in the coming months. And what else could you wish for during a pandemic?

1.5oz gin

1.5oz pomegranate juice

3/4oz honey syrup

1 dash of bitters

1/4oz lemon juice

Optional: Top with champagne