Honey-Drizzled Raspberry Brie Brûlée

The first time I met our elderly neighbour, Oskar, he was leaning on his shovel on the edge of his sprawling corner plot of land.

I can’t remember who nodded hello first, but we hit it off at once in a discussion about his garden. It was a beautiful, well-maintained plot, surrounded by a low rock wall, which my three children scrambled up in mere moments. He didn’t bat an eye at their antics, as they skipped up and down the ledge, probably because his children used to do the very same thing.

Over the years, and many visits across the rock wall, I came to learn that Oskar was a true homesteader. His wife had passed away shortly after delivering his sixth child, and Oskar raised the family himself. He had an impressive garden – the raspberry patch itself could supply his large family with berries galore. But alas, they had all grown up and moved away, save for one.

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Elegant but Easy: Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers

I’m delighted to introduce my friend Marie from Food Nouveau! Today she’s bringing us a delightful recipe to bake with the kids. Make these simple financiers over spring break or bookmark the versatile recipe for your Easter weekend. I think I’ll be making a batch for my Downton Abbey closing party next Sunday….

I love to bake, and usually, the more ambitious the project, the more I love carrying it off. But I love surprises too, such as when you discover that one of your favourite treats from the bakery is actually really easy to make at home.

I first tasted financiers as part of a mignardises plate at the end of a tasting meal at one of Quebec City’s finest restaurants. Mignardises are tiny treats that are usually served after the main dessert, and they are meant to leave you with a sweet note—and maybe make you swallow the hefty check that follows more easily.

They can be fine chocolates, candies, macarons, or small cakes, such as madeleines and financiers. I loved the moist, nutty taste and crispy, sweet edges of financiers, and following that first encounter, I indulged whenever I spotted them in a bakery display.

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Eat Seasonal: Triple Berry Scones

It is a known fact that things don’t always go according to plan, and that includes gardening, weather and the seasons.

By now, early August, we should be hauling in tomatoes and cucumbers by the pounds, but the lack of heat has slowed everything down. My garden feels about a month behind; it’s looking ‘filled in’ but not quite ‘exploded’.

That’s all okay; I’m in no rush for those Romas or striped zucchini, because local berries are still front and centre. U-picks up and down the lanes are broadcasting blueberries and raspberries for the harvesting, and Quebec strawberries abound in the markets. Seasonal eating for us right now means gorgeous, jewel-hued berries enjoyed every which way. From salads to focaccia, pancake syrups to pies — and these breakfast scones, enjoyed on a recent Sunday morning.

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