Fall has come quickly. Breezy days and brisk summer nights require a sweater. Shorts are no longer an option. September is here and so are beautiful fall days. I find September always a chaotic season in terms of it being a big change from the lazy days of Summer. Suddenly you're preparing for the busiest time of the year and there's always a bit of chaos. It feels too early for Fall, but too late for all things Summer. My menu reflects this transitional period in terms of offerings. I find it too early for pumpkin and pears. The first fruits of the season are not always the best. Grapes are king now. Nothing taste better than a bunch of cold grapes, the crunch of tart grape skin, the jelly inside, the sweet and tangy flavor that elicits you to eat more. This is a brown butter clafoutis, concord grapes, anise hyssop greek yogurt, elderberry sauce, orange jelly, red currants, and lemongrass ginger ice cream. I love the licorice-like flavor of anise hyssop and the contrast to concord grapes. Clafoutis is a rustic cake usually studded with fruit, but I love the plain cake itself with fresh fruit. This brown butter clafoutis is floral, and pairs well with the lemongrass and ginger ice cream, my current obsession. Elderberries are interesting, as they are sweet with a bitter finish, not at all unpleasant. I added quite a bit of St. Germain to the sauce just to pair elderflower with elderberry.
The beginning of Spring marks a whole array of fresh produce and new products for chefs to use. Unfortunately this year, the late arrival of Spring leaves much to be desired. The lack of produce as a result of such a cold and long winter leaves one feeling meh. To start off this new season, I decided to play around with the flavors of lemon, basil, and yogurt. Good citrus is still available and I wanted to ease into Spring without having to use the first of the season's fruits. I love to wait until its the height of the fruit season before fully incorporating it into my dessert. Here's to the first dessert of Spring.