The Jean-Talon Market is my corner store. No really, it is since I live about 2 blocks away from it. In the summer, I stop by there almost every day. I sometimes don’t need anything but I love walking around all the stalls, especially at the end of the day when it’s quiet. I actually moved to this neighbourhood because I wanted to be close to the market. I was looking for a place to buy around either markets in Montreal but let’s face it, I’m not trying to start a market war or anything but the Jean-Talon market has more soul than any other market I’ve been to, and I’ve been to quite a few during my travels. Maybe it’s because it’s “my” market and I’ve gotten to know a few of the people that make up that soul. However, I do find that this soulfulness is also felt by tourists visiting Montreal… Even if they come from cities that have great markets, the Jean-Talon market sill leaves an incredible impression on every one.
Market Chronicles by Susan Semenak is about this very soul that I’m talking about. It’s about the market, its history and the dedicated people who make up its day to day charm. Sure you’ll find seasonal recipes in there as well but to me, its main subject matter remains the smiling faces that adorn its many pages. They all seem so proud to be part of something so great and that’s what it’s really all about.
I went to the launch of the book this past Thursday night and when I came home, I couldn’t get to my computer fast enough to write down the words that were filling up my head. That’s how inspired I was after I had flipped through this delicious book filled with Albert Elbilia‘s gorgeous photos for the first time. I was looking forward to this weekend when I would have time to try one of the recipes. I flipped to the Fall section and looked through the desserts. I hesitate between two and I finally settled on this one because I love cranberries and they are so abundant right now at the market and because November is my birthday month
November’s Tart (serves 8 to 10)
Recipe from Susan Semenak’s Market Chronicles, © Éditions Cardinal, 2011
For cranberry topping:
- 3 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup ground pecans
- 2 x 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 35o degrees F.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring gently to avoid breaking up the cranberries as they pop.
- Cook 5 minutes until cranberries are soft and glaze has thickened (note: I had to cook it for longer than that, about 12 minutes)
- Remove and cool completely.
- In a bowl, mix flour and sugar and cut in butter with a fork or pastry blender until the mix resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the nuts (note: I ground the nuts in a food processor then pulsed the dough in there as well instead of with a pastry cutter and it worked)
- Press mixture evenly all around an ungreased 10-inch round tart with a removable bottom and fluted rim.
- Bake for 15 minutes until golden around the edges. Remove and let it cool completely.
- In an electric mixer at medium speed, cream the cheese, sugar and range juice until smooth.
- Spread in the empty tart shell and bake again for another 15 minutes.
Spread cranberry topping over the cooled tart and serve.
This recipe was tested by the team at TELEGRAPHE and they all gave it a two thumbs up!
Market Chronicles by Susan Semenak is now available at all bookstores in Montreal for CAN $39.95
All photos in the book © Albert Elbilia