Connecting

gluten free red currant pistachio cake recipe

Brown Butter Pistachio Berry Cakes

“Tu verras, quand ma soeur arrivera, il fera beau”, (You’ll see when my sister comes, it will be sunny again) my brother B. tells his wife G.

My mother also tells me it’s raining a lot. And it’s not warm for July either. Every time we talk over the phone, I can hear frustration in her voice because I know that this means her daily walk to the next village becomes challenging.

I don’t know how it happens but my brother is right. As soon as P., Lulu, and I arrive–and for the entire month of August we spend in my home village–we are blessed with blue skies and sunny days.

It’ summer in full force with fields filled with wildflowers; farmers harvesting; zucchini and Heirloom tomatoes of all shapes and colors to stuff and make tarts with; plums and mirabelles to bake with, and make jams.

And groseilles and mûres to pick in my mother’s garden each day.

Lulu does take notice and is the first to help every morning.

Taking photos all along.

These images are about this summer. The kind of summers I want to keep with me. Those that I now want Lulu to experience in France the way I did.

Right away, I tell her about it all.

She seems to understand.

For her, it means hours spent outside to play in the little wooden house my father has built for her in the garden.

For me, it translates in having her taste the produce we grow.

And cook together.


One day, she asks that we bake chocolate tarts. Another time, we make crêpes and a tomato, zucchini tart–even if it means that she exclusively focuses on eating the crust. There’s also a delicious dark chocolate cake we end up having for le goûter one day. We decide to name the cake “le gâteau au chocolat de Lulu” (Lulu’s chocolate cake).

She loves that.

gluten free chocolate cake

Lulu’s Dark Chocolate Cake

We thought we’d tell you about the chocolate cake later.

And then there are these small cakes. Made with pistachios and berries (red currants, raspberries, and black currants) picked in the garden.

With the fruit we find.

I show Lulu how to make brown butter. And why we have to leave the vanilla in the butter to infuse. She uses her hands to feel the pistachio meal and millet flour. And after she beats the egg with the sugar and adds the rest of the ingredients, she runs her fingers by the side of the bowl, licking them clean, before starting all over again.

Ils sont beaux maman!” (they are pretty!) she exclaims when we take them out of the oven.

The timid shy at the corner of her lips tells me she feels proud.

Later that afternoon, she tells me that she loves to cook with me.

She does not yet know how much her words mean to me.

So yes….

This summer in France is just about her. Connecting her to a French summer in the countryside.

With time spent time with family. Discovering new books. Visiting farms and pet goats. Picking fruit. Running in open fields and playing with hay. Pretend playing in her kitchen. Picking wildflowers.

And cooking.

gluten free red currant pistachio brown butter cake recipe

Lulu and I made this recipe using delicious pistachios with a really deep green color. The recipe can also work with almonds–gridn whole almonds or use store-bought almond meal. And then, instead of red currants, use other seasonal berries. Right now, we have delicious late in the season raspberries.

Les framboises tardives.

It’s a very versatile kind of cake.

Red Currant Pistachio and Brown Butter Cake Recipe

(for 6 muffin-like cakes)

You need:

  • 5 1/2 tablespoons (80 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
  • 2/3 cup (70 g) pistachio meal (use shelled unsalted pistachios that you grind in a food processor)
  • 2 tablespoons (20 g) millet flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) blond cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 ounces (60 g) red currants*
  • 6 raspberries*
  • 6 black currants*

*Combine any kind of seasonal berries

Steps:

  • Preheat the oven at 400 F and grease 6 muffin molds (or line a muffin mold with paper cases); set aside.
  • Place the butter in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook on low to medium heat until the butter turns and tastes like hazelnut. Stop the heat and add the vanilla bean and seeds; leave to infuse for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and discard the vanilla pods.
  • In the meantime, in a bowl, combine the pistachio meal, baking powder and millet flour.
  • In another bowl, beat the egg with the sugar.
  • Add the dry ingredients to this wet batter, and beat until well combined.
  • Add the melted butter and then buttermilk.
  • Divide the batter between the muffin molds and stud with the fruit.
  • Bake the small cakes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden.
  • (Optional) When cooled, dust with confectioner’s sugar.

55 comments

  1. Goodness. It seems like everything I read lately makes me tear up. I don’t know if I will have children though I hope to. If I do, this is my dream…time in the countryside cooking & taking photos with my child. Sharing the passion for touch, taste, and sight. It seems like a dream. Like the point of life. The real, honest to god point.

  2. oh, your words and photos are just so beautiful – they make me want to pack my bags and go to france immediatement, pour pratiquer ma francais, et pour faire l’experience d’un ete francaise.
    You must be having the time of your life, I feel good just reading your post!
    Bisous!

  3. Such a joy to feel as if walking alongside you and Lulu, experiencing August in the French countryside! Gorgeous images, reflecting pure joie de vivre!
    Merci for sharing your summer with us,
    Merisi

  4. oh love the whole post.. love these pistachio-brown butter cakes.. for us in india ..strawberries come jan-march.. am bookmarking these for then because there’s something about the red berries in a cake that I adore!! and am waiting for lulu’s chooclate cake!

  5. Love it Bea. My mum taught me everything I know about feeding, loving and nurturing. I’m sure neither one of us realised that cooking would be our most enduring divine connection. What a beautiful gift for a mother to give to her child.

  6. I almost had tears in my eyes reading this post. This post reminds me of the summers spend at my grandparents in Sourthern Germany. My granny is a great cook and loves to share her love for food.

    These little cakes look so tempting! I’m sure they would also work with lingonberries as they are in season right now.

  7. Beautiful photos Bea…..

    We just spent 10 days in Normandy and Paris, and the countryside was my favorite. The cottage had a little playhouse for children in the back too, which was wonderful.

    Pistachio cake my fave. xo

  8. Your photography and writing are incredibly beautiful. What a delight to read this morning! I love that you made these cakes with your daughter. My son absolutely loves to “help” me in the kitchen. He and I will have to whip these up sometime soon. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  9. Hi, love the blog. Quick request…

    Could you consider using the “read more” tag I’m sure your blog engine includes? It cuts the post off in the RSS feed to (wherever you want it) the first few paragraphs. It doesn’t effect the post when seen on your site.

    I subscribe via RSS and Google Reader. Long posts like this one take tens of seconds to scroll through, and as I did in this case I can click through to your page if I want to read the full thing. My “tens of seconds” aren’t much of a concern, but it’s an easy and common courtesy to make everyone’s browsing of your content easier.

    Thanks for considering!

  10. Quelles magnifiques photos ! Les plats sont absolument superbes et les paysages aussi, on se sent transporté dans une ambiance unique ! Merci pour ce post !

  11. Thank you for sharing such a lovely post. I can’t wait to try infusing brown butter with vanilla. I’ve browned a lot of butter, but have never infused it.

  12. Superbes photos ! Ca me rappelle aussi ma région d’origine, la Champagne. L’été à la campagne, y retourner, c’est tellement ressourçant. Je comprends parfaitement ce que tu souhaites partager à ta fille. Merci pour les souvenirs !

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  14. thank you for sharing a bit of your world with your daughter. my 6 year old and i cook and bake a lot, and i’ve found it to be the place where we connect and play and get creative together. i’ve noticed many of the same small details that you mention, and how rewarding it feels to have your child tell you they love doing something with you. it’s the truest, more pure gift we can receive. thank you.

  15. I tried your recipe yesterday and it was incredibly yummy. So simple to make and yet so tasty. Thank you so much. I love your blog and your stunning pictures and stories. Bought your book too :-)

  16. Lovely post! Love the little cakes, they look delicious! I have a one year old and cannot wait to cook and bake with him. What is buttermilk, exactly? And what can i replace it with? Here in Norway it doesn’t exist..

  17. love your photos and recipes, i just got your cookbook and can’t wait to try them!

  18. I just bought a fresh bag of pistachios so that I can try this with the blueberries we gathered in August. I can’t wait to taste!

  19. That’s my very first time visiting your blog and I must say I’m totally enchanted for everything! And this post now made me travel in my own dreams… wondering how it would be, living in a place so beautiful like on these photos, where time passes slow, the food is always fresh, stress is something that simply doesn’t exists. Love it!
    For now on I’ll visit your blog, to dream about a life I want for me et pour mon mari.
    J’adore!

  20. Joli rappel de l’été qui s’en va déjà … j’aime beaucoup la photo des cigognes !

  21. Vous auriez pu me dedicacer votre livre !!!je suis egalement lorraine

  22. Hi Heidi,

    it’s not exactly the same, no ;-) But good all the same! The one I made when you came is different.

  23. I love your photos and am so jealous of the lifestyle but glad for you and your family that you have found this ideal. Cannot wait to try your recipe although would love to be making it in your kitchen and not the freezing cold north of Scotland. Enjoy your life.

  24. As usual..beautiful photos,great story,yummy recipe and cutie lulu..ahh j’adore

    xo
    F

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