3.25.2011

Blackberry and Tomato Crumble


My Michigan family was visiting recently and my sweet DIL mailed me a "thank you" cookbook after they returned. Angie's an excellent cook and she loves looking through my cookbooks. I bet she looked to see if I had this one....I didn't and was really thrilled to get it.


As you can see, it's 
Avec Eric  and the only way I can describe it is to say it's a cookbook/travelogue/scrapbook. With LOTS of photos of Eric. But that's OK with me; laid back and handsome Eric Ripert is a favorite of mine and his restaurant, Le Bernardin in NYC, is  as near perfect as you can get. I've eaten there and can state that unequivocably. As one reviewer stated:  "it is a high church of reverently prepared fish."

What I found unusual about this cookbook was the way the chapters were labeled. Not according to food groups as one expects, but location. Eric has this to say in his introduction: ".....you really have to get out of the city and visit the source to appreciate what it takes to cultivate and produce the food that ends up in our markets.....you have to walk the fields, talk to the farmer, see the animals and taste everything in its purest form."

So Eric takes us with him on his travels....to California, to Italy, to the Cayman Islands...where he finds inspiration for his restaurant, his home and hopefully, for us.
 The directions are not fussy, the recipes easily within the reach of everyone and they include wine pairings and notes. It was a pleasure to read.


Because spring is already here (Hopefully summer can't be far behind!) I chose this recipe first because just looking at it made me think of summer. It was in a chapter entitled Star Ingredients, which I certainly think these are. I like savory/sweet desserts and everyone loves fruit for dessert. The syrup for the tomatoes and blackberries made me close my eyes and go mmmmmm....such flavor! The cookbook had a scoop of ice cream or sorbet on top and I just happened to have some vanilla bean sorbet in the freezer. It was the perfect touch.

Blackberry and Tomato Crumble
From Avec Eric by Eric Ripert



Crumble Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold, diced
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
pinch of fine sea salt


Fruit Ingredients:
1 pint small grape tomatoes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
3 tarragon sprigs
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 pint fresh blackberries
lemon zest strips and tarragon leaves for garnish
Sorbet for garnish, optional


Crumble Method:
Stir all the ingredients in a large bowl until it forms a pebble-like consistancy. Cover and chill for one hour.
Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread the crumble mixture on the parchment paper and bake for 10 - 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool.

Fruit Method:

Bring a pot of water to the boil, drop the tomatoes in for 20-30 seconds. Remove to ice water and peel the skin.

Combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the basil, tarragon, lemon zest and juice and the seeds from the vanilla pod. I tossed the pod in as well for good measure. Cover and allow to infuse until cool. Strain the mixture.


Rinse and dry the blackberries. Place the tomatoes and blackberries in the syrup. Chill for at least 1 hour. Drain, but reserve the syrup.


Arrange the fruit in 4 bowls and top each with a spoonful of the syrup, along with 3 or 4 tablespoons of the crumble. Garnish with lemon strips and tarragon and top with a small scoop of ice cream or sorbet.



59 comments:

  1. I love this unusual mixture of flavors. I would have never put them together. They make a beautiful dish!

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  2. Barbara... I never would have thought of this combo.. don't know why... I mean tomatoes are fruits, aren't they?? I have a tiny crush on Rippert's cooking and love his style... seems funny and creative without being a kitchen nazi. I will put this on my list when the weather gets warmer... it is really beckoning me to try it.

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  3. What a nice gift! I have that book because I really enjoyed his TV show. I thought that the ingredients made such an usual combination. Yours looks amazing, I'd try it!

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  4. I'd never heard of Eric before but he's certainly dashing and it sounds like his recipes are great. Like Deana, I'd never have considered this combo but interesting cooking is all about breaking rules, right? Love your presentation as always.

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  5. This sounds incredible. Beautiful photo too.

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  6. Interesting with the tomatoes. I've never seen it and that looks so good.

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  7. Hi Barbara,

    I would never have thought of putting tomato and blackberry together.
    The book looks good and will look out for it over here. I have enjoyed watching his TV series on the Food channel.

    Happy weekend
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  8. What an unusual crumble! I really love the idea and find that combo extremely interesting.

    cheers,

    Rosa

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  9. What an unusual combination! I would love to try this. Looks like a great book too!

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  10. Very unusual. I do love Eric and what he does. Nice cookbook. Enjoy it.

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  11. oh my, I love everything in this! delicious!

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  12. I would of never thought to use tomatoes in this way! Looks scrumptious! I love Eric Ripert - he's so classy and cute.

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  13. A "thank you cookbook"!!! What a wonderful idea, I must tell my friends and family :)

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  14. Wow!! Tomatoes are so delicious is savory dishes, I never thought of using them in a dessert. This looks delicious!

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  15. I am fascinated by the sweet and savoury elements here, I bet this really has some taste wow factor.
    Hope you have a fabulous weekend ahead.
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. Eric Ripert makes my best friend swoon LOL

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  16. I am fascinated by the sweet and savoury elements here, I bet this really has some taste wow factor.
    Hope you have a fabulous weekend ahead.
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. Eric Ripert makes my best friend swoon LOL

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  17. Tomatoes and blackberries together? I would NEVER have thought of putting them together. I'm intrigued.

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  18. What an interesting combination of flavors in this! Thanks for sharing the recipe Barbara.

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  19. some chefs like very much to be shot ; same hee in France !!
    cheers de paris Pierre

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  20. It hasn't been that long that I got a glimpse at Eric's TV spots on PBS. So far, I've been thoroughly enjoying his great spirit and philosophy of food preparation and consumption. Did I forget to mention that his accent entertains me as well...not bad on the eyes either ;o)

    This recipe is certainly different than what I would probably make, hence my interest in you sharing it with us Barbara ;)

    Have a great weekend,
    Claudia

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  21. Hello my dear Barbara this look amazing, I love tghe Chef, is nice, lovely recipe, gloria

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  22. I have heard SUCH good things about this cookbook! And now seeing this truly unique and beautiful crumble...not only do I feel like summer must be around the corner, but i feel compelled to purchase this book!

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  23. Sounds like a great cookbook! What a wonderful dish!

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  24. add me to the 'never would have put these 2 combos together' but honestly, now that you mention it, i really can taste them together. Eric is so laid back and cool . . . his recipes stunning . . . i can only imagine this book . . . a wowzer i'm sure!

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  25. What an intriguing dish! Tomatoes in dessert...who knew?

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  26. This crumble sounds very unusual. But then again, that handsome Frenchman can do no wrong.

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  27. Tomatoes and blackberries do remind me of summer- I've just never thought of putting them together! The combination does look delicious though in this crumble! :)

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  28. What a great, fresh, and unusual recipe. I'm definitely looking forward to trying it once I get back to France with all the great fruit in season!

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  29. This is such an unusual combination of flavors. I will have to try this as it looks very inviting!

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  30. Dearest Barbara

    I have NEVER encountered so many lovely recipes that mix the savory with the sweet as much as I have HERE, chez toi! NOW I NEVER would have put tomatoes and berries together! The last time I saw your recipe for BASIL ice cream, I just was enchanted, remembering my taste of GREEN TEA ICE CREAM with beans in Japan.. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! Thank you for your kind visit and comments this morning dearest; my readers and friends, you are all so dear to me!

    FLY HIGH AND ENJOY dearest Barbara, Anita

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  31. I love the combination of black berries and grape tomatoes! Looks so cool!

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  32. Barbara darling, are you trying to torture me with this absolutely delicious-sounding recipe?! I want to run to the kitchen every time I visit your blog.

    Must attempt this recipe asap :)

    Big hugs from Paris xx

    Camille @ Paris in Pink

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  34. wow ... my taste buds are so confused right now. my mouth is watering and not exactly sure how to respond to such a recipe, barbara. except to say, as always, your talent and experimental bravura always inspires me to try new things ... and, that, is a noble thing to be sure.

    ciao, bella.

    Jg.

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  35. This sounds wonderful. The vanilla bean flavor with the berries seems like heaven :o)

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  36. This is such an interesting dessert! And it looks like yours came out beautifully. I am really curious now... might have to try it!

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  37. Such a unique crumble - the combination of blackberry and cherry tomatoes is very intriguing!

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  38. Love Eric Ripert. His show is one of my faves, too. I especially enjoy his behind-the-scenes look at his own restaurant, Le Bernardin. I have this cookbook, but this is a good reminder that I need to cook out of it more! ;)

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  39. Tomatoes in dessert. Very interesting. Definitely going to try it out.

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  40. I would have never thought of combining those!

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  41. I'd love a chance to eat at Le Bernadin one day. I did a double take when I saw the title of your post at first, but it sounds very interesting. I made toffee dipped tomatoes once and they tasted wonderful, so I can see how the tomatoes would work with the sweet.

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  42. What a lovely combination. Together they make for a perfect dessert. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  43. A dear friend told me about Eric so I'm delighted to know you recommend his work too! :-) This crumble sounds amazing. :-) Tomatoes AND "real" fruit together? Mmm. :-)

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  44. What an amazing combination of flavors! And the colors are gorgeous - would love to try this!

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  45. Really interesting combination of flavors.
    Mimi

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  46. tomatoes and blackberries in the same dish, that's new to me but sounds very interesting.
    wonderful photos, thanks for sharing

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  47. Wild combination but I've made tomato jam and had blackberries in salads, so why not?! Oh wait... then there are the basil leaves. Could you send me just a taste so I'll know whether I want to make it or not?

    I do like every ingredient, so maybe. . . !

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  48. Wild combination but I've made tomato jam and had blackberries in salads, so why not?! Oh wait... then there are the basil leaves. Could you send me just a taste so I'll know whether I want to make it or not?

    I do like every ingredient, so maybe. . . !

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  49. I think you have a great page here… today was my first time coming here.. I just happened to find it doing a google search. anyway, good post.. I’ll be bookmarking this page for sure.

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  50. I haven't seen that one yet, I'll have to check it out. I think Eric Ripert can come off pretentious at times but in such a charming way that you forgive him. I love how creative this dish is, tomatoes and blackberries seem like such an unusual pairing.

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  51. You've made Ripert's cookbook sound so intriguing--and I imagine there are many recipes that are out of the ordinary, and pair seeming unlikely ingredients. when I first saw the photograph, I thought the tomatoes were watermelon balls! (which would be good too.)
    Tomatoes and blackberries are harvested at a similar time, so it makes sense that they would work well together.
    I like the herbal infusion with these two fruits, too.

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  52. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. A wonderful way to honour the gift giver by choosing and preparing a recipe from the gift - and what a recipe it is. I have never thought of tomatoes for dessert by CANNOT WAIT to try this. I am charmed. I am enamoured. I am so curious to try this. I can hardly wait. Melt snow! Melt!
    :)
    Valerie

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  53. Barbara, this sounds simply delish especially the crumble topping. Yummmm.... Just imagine having this with Mr Gorgeous! haha...
    Hope you're having a great day.
    Blessings, Kristy

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  54. I adore crumble, and the addition of savory elements like tomato and basil make a wonderful diversion. Interesting combination.

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  55. This is incredible. What a unique combination, one I would love you to link to Let's Do Brunch.

    http://sweetsav.blogspot.com/2011/03/tasty-roasted-potatoes-and-onions-lets.html

    You share wonderful recipes.

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  56. What a thoughtful gift. How sweet...The crumble looks amazing too. A wonderful way to welcome Spring.

    Thanks for sharing, Barbara...

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  57. i have to admit that this seems wrong. however, neither you nor eric have ever steered me wrong! :)

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  58. this covers a wide range of flavors..i love fruit though so...

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