“We eat fruit with joy and with abandon, but very occasionally, and for special moments, I prepare fruit-based desserts: pies and stewed fruit compotes, ice creams and sorbets.” Jennifer McGruther, Nourished Kitchen
If you know Tim, you know how much the man loves fruit. The other day, he turned to me in the car, cruising up I-65, and out of nowhere said, “I’d like to take a few days and eat nothing but blueberries,” which is honestly not that unusual of a thing for him to say. One of our biggest someday dreams is to have our own land with fruit trees and berry bushes, which he likes to remind me his grandparents did on a city lot in Chicago, to explain maybe it’s not such a pipe dream. So of course when we were looking through Jenny McGruther’s beautiful new cookbook, The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle Featuring Bone Broths, Fermented Vegetables, Grass-Fed Meats, Wholesome Fats, Raw Dairy, and Kombuchas, the fruit sections stood out.
“Traditional foods are the foods of our great-great grandmothers–the foods of gardens and farms. They represent a system of balance, emphasizing the value of meat and milk, grain and bean, vegetables and fruits.” Jennifer McGruther
So here’s the skinny: If you’re into traditional foods or familiar with the Weston A. Price crowd, you probably already know about Jenny and her blog, Nourished Kitchen, and how she offers excellent, informative resources about the real-foods-focused life. We love what she says about raw milk and the way she regularly uses einkorn and the fact that she’s got recipes posted for fermented foods like kombucha and water kefir and ginger bug. Much like her blog, the Nourished Kitchen Cookbook showcases recipes for fresh vegetables, pastured meats, raw dairy, fermented foods, and so on, all alongside pretty pictures and in-depth nutritional info. We made her berry panna cotta, and then we made her potato-crust quiche, and when we made this red fruit custard cake, we decided it was time to tell you about it already.
We’ve talked about a variety of traditional foods lately (i.e., soaked vanilla maple almond butter, perpetual beef broth), but fruit should definitely be included in that lineup, as it’s definitely a food group that our ancestors were eating generations and generations ago, too. Also, when I mentioned above that Tim is such a fruitophile, I didn’t say why, but here’s the thing: Tree foods (and perennial foods) are ideal foods because, typically, they are the most naturally nutrient dense, they have the right form of and the right size of minerals (and these minerals balance blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance), and they are the easiest to digest. They’re also more detoxifying than vegetables (which is why it would be hard for a lot of us to handle eating just fruit) and they’re powerfully hydrating with their high water content.
So yay fruit! But even besides the appeal of the berries in this cake, I’ve been in a custard mood lately (maybe it’s those cream puffs), so as soon as I saw this recipe that called for six eggs, I was in. Akin to fruit clafoutis or a Dutch baby pancake, this custard cake is easy and fast to pull together, bakes in 45 minutes, and emerges from the oven so pretty and puffed and dimpled, you want to eat it right away. The red berries soften and sweeten while baking, staining the dough around them that’s part pudding, part cake, and pure comfort food. Plus, bonus fact, while you can use any red fruit and fresh are ideal, we can also tell you firsthand that it works great with frozen strawberries, so there’s no reason not to make it right now, this spring, even before berries are at their peak in the produce section.
I want to learn more about traditional food! How do I get Jenny’s book?
The Nourished Kitchen Cookbook launches April 15—a week from tomorrow. You can preorder it right now on Amazon (and if you do, head over to NourishedKitchen.com to let Jenny know because she’s offering a bunch of bonus incentives for all preorders), or you can win a copy* here in this post.
To enter, leave a comment telling us your favorite fruit and/or what you like to do with it. A random winner will be chosen this coming weekend.The winner is Jacqui MacKenzie! Congratulations!
*Special thanks to Ten Speed Press for sending us a review copy of Nourished Kitchen and sponsoring this giveaway!