Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Favorite Cookbook from a Culinary Hero

I have a few culinary heroes
Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa is one

Anna Pump is another

I "met" Anna before I met Ina.
In the gift shop of a California winery,
I found an interesting cookbook

I read the whole book on that trip and couldn't wait to get home to make some of the dishes.

And make them I did -- there are a few (because of scarcity of ingredients) that I haven't made
but I've made most of them
And some time after time.

I'd give up a lot of my cookbooks before I'd give up this one!

And then I found that she had two more --

The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook


The Loaves and Fishes Party Cookbook

I soon had acquired both of them

And although I do like them . . .
Country Weekend Entertaining remains my favorite.

For a time, it was out of print and copies were listed for sale on Amazon for hundreds of dollars.
I would have never given up my copy
for any amount of money!

One of my favorite dishes?

Two Plum Tarts

It's not a tart made with just two plums but rather two plum tarts.
You can make one -- I did the first time -- but you really need to make two!

All of Anna's recipes are simple as is this tart


4 cups flour
1 1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
24 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 T. slices
2 egg yolks
4 pounds ripe Italian prune plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise

Preheat oven to 400

Combine the flour, walnuts, sugar in a large bowl.   Add the butter and the egg yolks and mix by hand or with an electric mixer until crumbly.   (I used my food processor)

Press 3 cups of the crumb mixture into each of two 9 or 10 inch springform pans, creating an even layer over the bottom of each pan.   Beginning from the outer edge of each pan, arrange the plums in a circular, flowerlike pattern, skin side down, over the doughy layer.    Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture uniformly over the plums.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until lightly browned and the plum juice has risen to the top.    Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes.    Transfer the tarts from the pans to flat cake pans.    Serve warm or at room temperature.

The tart recipe came from her third cookbook,

I adore all of my Anna Pump books and although the other three (her latest is Summer on a Plate) are not used as much as the first one, I would never get rid of any of her cookbooks, but . . .

I am always on the prowl for them and when I find them in a thrift shop or estate sale and it's under $5, I buy it . . . and give it away.

For I love to share Anna!

And I've an Anna to share -- her The Loaves and Fishes Party Cookbook.   It's used but in good condition and has the dust jacket.  

To be eligible for the drawing, just leave a comment -- I'll draw on Wednesday.     If you're a follower, I'll put you in twice.

I hope you enjoy this cookbook as much as I . . . and when the Italian plums come to the market this year . . . that you'll make the tarts!

For those of you who asked for the recipe for the apricot almond bread, here it is --


6 ounces dried apricots, coarsely chopped
3/4 c. orange juice
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
3 T. butter, melted
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
1 cup slivered or whole natural almonds, toasted

Heat oven to 350.    Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

In small saucepan, bring apricots and juice just to boiling.    Pour into large bowl; cool to lukewarm.   Add all remaining ingredients except almonds.   Mix just to blend thoroughly.    Gently mix in almonds.    Turn into pan; level top.    Bake in center of oven about 1 hour 15 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes.

Turn out of pan onto rack to cool.

While still slightly warm, wrap securely in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Slice to serve.    Flavor is best if bread is allowed to stand 24 hours before serving.

Note:   I used my "boozy" apricots.   The apricots that I use for my apricot liqueur.    They're already rehydrated so I skipped that step.    I also added liqueur as the liquid instead of the orange juice.

I made a dozen muffins and two mini loaves of bread.    The next day I made a glaze from powdered sugar, almond extract and a wee bit of milk and drizzled over the top.

It's Friday and I'm joining Michael at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

I have the loaves and fishes cookbook, but not the loaves and fishes party cookbook... have been wanting country weekend entertaining for a long time. Thanks for sharing some recipes.

glynda said...

How fun to win this! - I only have Summer on a Plate

Penny said...

I love Anna Pump too. I have the Summer on a Plate cookbook and check Loaves and Fishes out of the library occasionally. Thanks for the generous giveaway. I am a follower.

Chez Laurel said...

Oh this cookbook sounds delightful! I always love your recipe posts and have saved as many as I can...keep hoping you might have a cookbook of your own or organize them on your blog site so all of them are easily accessed.

Well enough blathering! Please include me in your drawing as I would LOVE to own this cookbook!

Sheila in Seattle

On Crooked Creek said...

Love to hear the enthusiasm in your voice when you're reviewing cookbooks!!! Makes me want to jump right up and go bake something! Ha!
Thanks for the Apricot Bread (Muffin) recipe. I have all the ingredients...but also a full loaf of Banana Bread...will make this soon, dear friend!!!

Pondside said...

I was just thinking 'I must get onto Amazon and find that' when you I read on to see that you're drawing! Yes,, I'm a follower and would love to have my name in the hat!

megan said...

Martha, shall I tell you another cook I follow? It is You!!!
I have made so many recipes of yours since I first found your site.
We also share a love of England as it is my birth home and we are going to Provence and England in the spring. Where you stayed in Pitts Cottage, is very near where I was born, in Shakespeare's county.
I have been a follower for some time and would love to be put in for the draw.
Thanks, Martha.

Cass @ That Old House said...

Put my name in the hat, too, along with Honora's -- and we can duke it out. :-P

I love the name "Anna Pump" -- it just sounds so perfect for a cookery book writer.

Dylan says to tell Dolly that she really needs to assert herself in the matter of upholstery usage. He is especially fond of the study loveseat, where he can perch on the back and keep an eye on me at the computer.

Happy Days!

Seaview said...

Love Anna too...great casual style

Bernideen said...

Two fantastic recipes - I feel like I found a buried treasure!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Oh my goodness, Martha, I adore a good cookbook! Please count me in for a chance at this wonderful giveaway!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Oops, I forgot to say that I'm already a follower!!