Smile Politely

Market Watch: The Full Swing of Summer

Everyone had a great day at the Market on the Square last Saturday. The sun was shining and although it was a little hot later in the day, shoppers packed the aisles and kept farmers and vendors busy throughout. This coming Saturday looks like great weather again and we can expect plenty of watermelons and cantaloupe as well as all of the great grilling vegetables, including zucchini, peppers and eggplant. Corn, heirloom tomatoes, green beans, beets, potatoes, herbs, onions and garlic will all be in good supply, yet greens and lettuces are slim, so you will have to get there early if you so desire.

Although blackberries are pretty well over, we can look forward to fall raspberries in the next few weeks. The peaches and nectarines are slowing down but apples and pears are gaining ground and will lead us well into the fall harvest.

Some of our favorite vendors return this week with bagels, breads, sweets and honey. It is not something you generally think about stocking up on, but some of Illinois’ best local honey can be found at our market at the edge of aisle three. Alternating weekends, Robert Fleming from Monticello and Kevin Miller from Sidney sell their liquid gold in several useful sizes perfect for pairing with apples or pears in a delicious dessert.

Puff Pastry Apple Tarts Glazed with Honey
From Bon Appetit Magazine October 2002

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
2 7- to 8-ounce apples, peeled, halved, cored, each half very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 teaspoons honey

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to very thin 18×14-inch rectangle. Using small plate as guide, cut out four 7-inch rounds. Transfer 2 rounds to each prepared sheet; cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to one day.

Position one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400¡F. Overlap slices from 1/2 apple on each pastry round, leaving 1/4-inch plain border. Sprinkle apple on each tart with 2 1/4 teaspoons sugar, then drizzle with 2 1/4 teaspoons butter.

Bake tarts until pastry is golden and apples are tender, about 25 minutes. Drizzle each tart with one teaspoon honey. Transfer tarts to racks; cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The Market on the Square runs every Saturday from 7 a.m. – noon, rain or shine now through November 8th. It is located in the parking lot of Urbana Square Mall on the corners of Vine and Illinois Streets.

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