Each month I’ve been trying to take one of the cookbooks that I’ve never made anything out of down off the shelf and finally do it some justice, but I have to admit, I’ve been a bit lax this summer and there’s really no excuse. There’s still lots of opportunities – perhaps more so than any other time of year – to get together with friends over food and wine and try new recipes, so when the next invite came up, I pulled down a cookbook given to me by friends, Mark & Romy.
I have to admit, I’m a bit embarrassed that it’s taken me this long. Mark & Romy have enjoyed multiple trips to the Whitewater Ski Resort in British Columbia (in fact, I believe this is where they were married!), eating first hand the food that inspired this collection, and have been so kind as to bring two of the three cookbooks in the series back for me.
Whitewater Cooks with Friends seemed like the perfect choice on so many levels. A nod to my friends that not only provided the lovely book but who both love whitewater – whether it be the snowy resort north of the border or the more liquid version that they navigate in their kayaks on the rivers around Idaho. And then there was the afternoon ahead that I was going to be spending with a big group of outdoor-loving friends.
Once I started leafing through the book it was hard to pick which recipe to make out of the many pages I had marked. Our day involved taking part in a summer tradition – the Tour de Fat bike event sponsored by New Belgium brewing, and given that it was a hot day and I was sure there would be lots of “rehydrating” with beer, I had a feeling by the time we made it to the pool party afterwards people were going to be hungry! This tart went together fast, was easily transported, baked up and served poolside in no time. Alone it would have been delicious but that mustard cream really takes it to a whole new level. Make up a double batch of that goodness and keep it in the fridge to go on chicken or pork or sandwiches. It’s amazing.
Romy and I have been talking about having a true cooking with friends kind of night – a dinner party created all from Whitewater cookbook recipes. I’m more inspired than ever to make this happen – to share what I am certain would be a delicious night with the friends that shared with me.
Spiced Pear & Goat Cheese Tarte with Mustard Cream
Whitewater Cooks with Friends by Shelley Adams
6 Tbsp whipping cream
3 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp regular Dijon
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 package puff pastry, defrosted and rolled on a four dusted work surface, into a 10″ square*
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp milk (egg wash)
1 large, firm but rip pear, halved lengthwise and cored
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups baby arugula
4 oz crumbled stilton or goat cheese
*If you want to use the whole package of puff pastry, just double the recipe.
Whisk all mustard cream ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet. Score the pastry by cutting only halfway through, around its entire edge with a sharp knife, to make a 1/2˝ border. Brush the border with the egg wash. Fold the edges up at the score line and crimp with a fork. Brush this new edge with more egg wash.
Cut pear halves vertically into thin slices and toss with olive oil and cayenne pepper. Scatter arugula over puff pastry sheet. Top with pear slices and then cheese.
Place in the lower third of oven and bake for about 25 minutes until cheese is melted and pastry is crisp brown. Remove from oven, place on cutting board and cut into eight pieces. Drizzle with room temperature mustard cream.