Pastry chef Maggie Huff is practical when it comes to produce: When tomatoes are at their peak at the height of summer, she takes advantage of their sweetness in her artistic desserts. Here, she shares five easy ways to channel an overproducing garden into simple, delicious summer desserts.
Pastry chef Maggie Huff is practical when it comes to produce: When tomatoes are at their peak at the height of summer, she takes advantage of their sweetness in her artistic desserts at FT33 in Dallas, chef Matt McCallister’s modern American flagship. When McCallister, a 2014 F&W Best New Chef, opens his more casual, Southern-inflected restaurant Filament this fall, she’ll be turning out her takes on classic American desserts like cobblers, crisps, pies, and layer cakes. Here, she shares five easy ways to channel an overproducing garden into simple, delicious summer desserts.
1. Toss tomatoes into fruit salads. Grape and cherry tomatoes are sweet to begin with, so halving and tossing them with strawberries, other berries and a light poppy-seed dressing is a delicious no-brainer.
2. Prep pie with both fruit and tomatoes. Substitute sliced tomatoes for ¼ of the fruit in a pie or crisp, particularly one made with stone fruits like nectarines or peaches. Some of my favorite tomato varieties to use are Sun Gold, Sweet 100 and Red Currant, but any sweet, not overly acidic tomato will do fine.
3. Spoon tomato compote over ice cream or pound cake. Cook tomatoes down with a little bit of sugar, just like making a jam. You can season with fresh basil and add a splash of balsamic vinegar. The compote is great with pound cake and sweetened mascarpone or sweetened ricotta cheese. You can also top with whipped cream.
4. Cool down with tomato sorbet. Make a refreshing tomato sorbet the same way you’d make a fruit sorbet. Purée the tomatoes, strain them to remove the seeds, add simple syrup, and season with black pepper and cinnamon. You can then process it in your ice-cream-maker as you would any other sorbet.
5. Swap dried fruit for sun-dried tomatoes. Dried tomatoes, quickly plumped in boiling water, are an especially good substitute for dried cherries or cranberries for quick breads or any other recipe that calls for dried fruit.