tagged ‘pie’

Summer brunch in Athens

in Inspiration -

This summer brunch in Athens combines some of my favourite things: delicious little bites, good friends, good vibes and the sublime Athenian light.

Summer brunch in Athens

A few days ago, I got to spend a few hours with two of my favourite bloggers- who also happen to be two of my favourite people: Ifigeneia and Calliope, the creative minds and talent behind Teapot and Madame Gâteaux respectively. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, so the first couple of hours (more like three, maybe four) were spent mostly catching up and gossiping about mutual acquaintances, rather than trying to set up for our brunch and photo shoot. I wouldn’t have it any other way: one of summer’s (and life’s) greatest pleasures is spending time in a beautiful garden (surrounding Madame Gâteaux’s brand new tea room), with good friends, over cold coffee, exchanging news and ideas. If your sister happens to join too and there’s also a delicious meal to be enjoyed at the end, then the day is close to perfect.

Summer brunch in Athens

 

Summer brunch in Athens

My sis’ sense of humour and positivity makes her the perfect companion to any project and her appetite and love for eggs an ideal brunch buddy. The other two gals are not bad either: Calliope runs a very successful pastry business, which specialises in afternoon tea and other delights with a vintage feel. She’s also my personal sweet guru, having taught me any decent thing I know about desserts and baking (she recently graced us with the recipe for the damn best cherry pie ever). Ifi is not only a great ball of energy and light, she also carefully hides behind the best shopping guides ever and dreamy travel posts (her IG always gives me serious wanderlust).

Summer brunch in Athens

So on a very bright, VERY hot summer day, we gathered for what would be one of the most fun and delicious photo shoots and brunches I’ve ever had. Calliope & Ifi filled the garden with beautiful flowers and hanged wee vases from the trees, while Alkyoni took photos of the neighborhood’s cats. And then, we were ready to dig in: Callipe’s gorgeous, pink fig cheesecake with a chocolate, dried fig & walnut base was as delicious as it sounds and her mango & raspberry jelly panacottas made me momentarily lose my mind. My nectarine and tomato tart, with lemon thyme, feta and balsamic was light and colourful enough to match the aforementioned prettiness; and of course there had to be eggs, and I went the creamy, easy, en cocotte way- all topped with pretty geranium leaves from the garden.  And since it was consistently around 37ºC (98ºF), the watermelon and lime agua fresca I made in 5′ was a life savour.

I am not crazy about summer in the city, but this brunch, with these ladies, really me eat my hat- along with everything elese.

Find the recipes & inspiration below.

Summer brunch in Athens

Summer brunch in Athens

Summer brunch in Athens

Summer brunch in Athens

Summer brunch in Athens

Pink fig cheesecake with a chocolate, dried fig & walnut base

Mango & raspberry jelly panacottas

Nectarine & tomato tart with lemon thyme, feta & balsamic– coming soon

Eggs en cocotte

For the watermelon & lime agua fresca: blend together 1/2 medium-sized watermelon and 1 1/2 limes. Strain through a fine mesh into a large jug and top with lots of ice cubes

Ifi took my photo- and there’s more from our brunch here!

 

 

Damn fine cherry pie

in Desserts, Taste -

Buttery and crumbly on the outside, juicy, red and perfectly sweet on the inside- a damn summery, damn fine cherry pie indeed!  Damn fine cherry pie Pies with buttery, sugary crusts bursting with fruity, juicy fillings are amongst the things I most love to make; there is a bit of challenge to them, which is always a good thing, while also welcoming experimentation with so many different ingredients and flavours. Apples and pears are impossible to resist in gloomy, rainy, autumn days and cherries are a gift that keeps on giving in the summer. For this damn fine cherry pie, I have worked with Madame Gâteaux– she is not only amongst the people I most love to be with, she’s also my baking fairy godmother. She’s taught me every decent thing I know about baking- and without cringing even once at my questions, comments and suggestions. Without further ado, here’s her tips and secrets for the best damn fine cherry pie you’ve ever had in your life!

* find the original recipe, inspired by the insanely cool Twin Peaks, here. [READ MORE]

Fresh pea, watercress & egg tart

in Savoury, Taste -

Celebrating Father’s Day with a very crunchy and very green fresh pea, watercress & egg tart. Easy, quick, pretty and perfect for all handsome men out there. 

Fresh pea, watercress & egg tart

Father’s Day always comes at one of my favourite times of the year: it’s early summer, the weather is usually, hopefully, enticingly warm in the mornings and perfectly cool at night; work is slowly winding down and summer plans are slowly, or frantically, unfolding. And amongst all that, there’s this day and the additional charm it brings with it to celebrate. [READ MORE]

Nectarine & blackberry pie

in Desserts, Taste -

nectarine pie-1-3

A couple weeks ago, I spent a whole day making pies for an event. They were filled with spinach and swiss chard, feta and ricotta and I was filled with joy. I love making pie of any kind and this is probably my favourite savoury combo. At the end of the day, I found myself tired, with some leftover phyllo pastry and in desperate need of a dessert (after all the pie ‘testing’). I glanced at the ice cream in the freezer, then at the beautiful fruit in the fridge and thought “What the hell, let’s make another pie! A nectarine & blackberry pie!” [READ MORE]

Blueberry, lime & lavender galette

in Desserts, Taste -

BlueberryGalette-620-4

Blueberries are here, people! Yay for blueberries, always and forever! I love all berries, but these dark purple, juicy and sweet beauties might just be my favourite. From the moment they’re in season, I buy them constantly and they’re a staple in most of my breakfast dishes; yogurt with lots of seeds and nuts, lemony pancakes or even smoothies, you name it and there’s probably blueberries in it. But that’s not all; let’s not forget dessert, it would be such a sin. Summer berries are the superstar of sweet treats, especially pies. [READ MORE]

Spinach, swiss chard & feta pie (spanakopita)

in Savoury, Taste -

SpinachPie-620-4

I left home when I was 18; I’ve been gone many years and food, as much as it is important to me, is not at the top of the list of things I miss. I miss my sister most of all and my parents too; I miss the frequent arguments we used to have and the almost instant truces that followed -although, in keeping with the family tradition, we still have plenty of those every time I go back. I miss the gorgeous house I grew up in and its beautiful balconies, filled with flowers, herbs and small trees and the views to the Acropolis and Lycabettus hill. [READ MORE]

Swiss chard, almond & cream cheese tart

in Savoury, Taste -

52.SwissChard-620-6

I grew up eating savoury pies. Both my grandmothers were excellent pie makers- even my mom’s mom, the non-domestic goddess one, could make a mean cheese pie with her eyes closed.  When most of my friends had some sort of roast meat on Sunday, we often had pie. Filled with salty cheese or fresh greens or a combination of both, all wrapped in homemade crust bursting with olive oil.  [READ MORE]