I decided at the last minute to travel to Boston this weekend to visit Lady Mary, who is one of my dearest friends. We met in high school and bonded over a shared love of reading, acting, and singing, and that bond was strengthened on a school trip to England to sing in the great cathedrals, during which we subsisted primarily on Cadbury eggs. She and her husband were such wonderful hosts, and even though it was a short visit, I got to see her neighborhood, get a cup of amazing hot chocolate, visit the butcher shop Julia Child used to frequent, attend the Easter Vigil service at her (Lady Mary’s, not Julia Child’s) gorgeous church, and then cook up a spectacular feast on Easter Sunday. We cared about the main course, obviously, but we were pretty focused on making the dessert spectacular (we have our priorities). Lady Mary suggested ginger, I suggested berries, and her husband’s delicious multi-grain scones suggested mixing up the pastry crust with a little something other than white flour. The results were a tender, delicate tart and a rich ice cream, both with the bite of fresh ginger to balance the sweetness.
Ginger Ice Cream
(from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)
2 c. cream, divided
1 c. whole milk
3/4 c. granulated sugar
pinch of salt
3 oz. fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
6 egg yolks
Bring 1 c. of the cream, the milk, the sugar, the ginger, and a pinch of salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep at room temperature for 1-3 hours. Pour the remaining 1 c. cream into a medium bowl (or, my preference, a quart-sized measuring cup) and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
Bring the cream-ginger mixture back to a simmer over medium-low heat. Slowly pour the hot cream into the egg yolks in a very thin stream, whisking vigorously so the eggs don’t scramble. Once the yolks are incorporated, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and begins to steam, and a candy thermometer reads about 168 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the custard through the strainer into the remaining 1 c. cream, discarding the ginger rounds. Refrigerate until very cold or overnight. Freeze the ginger ice cream in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Blackberry Tart with Cornmeal Crust
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
3 c. fresh blackberries
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/8-1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
pinch sea salt
Rinse and pat dry the blackberries, then transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk together the sugar, flour, ginger, and sea salt. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over blackberries and mix together gently. Let sit 15 minutes. Gently spread the blackberry mixture over the prepared cornmeal crust. Your baking times will vary depending on your oven, but start checking it around 12 minutes. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden and the fruit is cooked and gently bubbling.
Serve warm with a scoop of ginger ice cream.
There are lots of lovely new lingerie and swim pieces starting to hit stores this month, but as I’ve been fitting women and revisiting those first oh-my-god-WHAT-size-do-I-wear? moments, I’m reminded that it might be a good idea to re-introduce some full-bust favorites that are widely available. Cleo’s “Lucy” bra and Freya’s “Deco” bra have been runaway hits ever since they launched, and both have been kind of enough to show up in purple for Spring, which goes so nicely with blackberry tart. I like recommending both these bras, in part because of how different they are. I’ve tried both, and even though neither is my perfect fit, I’m always happy to recommend them, because they are fantastic bras that a lot of new-to-the-full-bust-world women feel comfortable trying and wearing.
Deco has become a major, major player in Freya’s seasonal lineups. Originally a smooth, molded plunge bra designed to give amazing lift, shape, and cleavage, the line has expanded to include a strapless bra (my personal favorite strapless bra out there), a half-cup bra, and a wire-free bra, as well as different fashion ranges in prints, patterns, and colors. This month sees the launch of Deco Shape, a Deco range designed for maximum versatility under form-fitting clothes, which includes a longline strapless bra, convertible plunge bra, a bra-topped convertible slip, a high-waisted shaping brief, a short, and a thong. Deco Honey is one spin-off range, retaining the same classic shape of the original Deco but offering some sweet ruffled trims on the accessories and bright, vibrant solid colors, like this season’s beautiful Iris.
Lucy is a great style to introduce women who feel safer in T-shirt bras to seamed bras. The seams lie very flat and give an absolutely gorgeous round, uplifted shape. This is the opposite of the “granny bra” many women think of when they think of non-molded bras, and the dots, lace, sheer mesh, low-rise brief and thong, and bright seasonal colors make it a wonderful option for younger customers as well as older. This Spring’s bright zingy purple is pretty and fun without being fussy. Dezi reviewed Lucy for A Sophisticated Pair here (don’t forget about A Sophisticated Pair’s wonderful special order policy), and check out Fuller Figure Fuller Bust’s review here!