ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Summer Dessert Tablescape and Lemon Meringue Puff Pastries

Buona Sera Amici!

Oh my- a crazy day here at Casa Bramasole. But we would never miss Susan's party at Between Naps on the Porch- it's Tablescape Thursday!!

I haven't been home much lately- there are changes in the works at Bramasole (more on that later)! But today I worked at home- insanity reigned- and since the kids are home for the summer, I decided not to waste a minute of memory-making time. It rained HARD last night, but the sun was trying very hard to peek out this morning. What better time for a dessert break with my lovely daughter? Her creative mind is churning with ideas for Father's Day this weekend and we spent some time chatting about an upcoming family trip. 


A tiny table for 2....

The table is topped with a vintage 50s card table cloth. These were made with little ties at the corners so that the cloths would stay flat during a raucus game of Canasta!
I pulled the bottom cloth through at the corners

a pillow made with a vintage initial hanky...

and one made with a vintage needlepoint

Each corner has a motif. This little lovely little Miss is carrying a lantern. Isn't the heart adorable??

By the way- it's quite obvious I'm still learning this picture stuff. Note to self- make sure your feet aren't in the picture!

One place setting is handpainted glass...

and one is painted pottery. The colors echo the flowers around us

See my little potted fig tree? :)

Overflowing planters still wet and droopy from the night's downpour

Another motif- a hanging lantern- the suit is Diamonds

Citrus- the colors of summer

A lantern of Clubs...

Lemon Meringue Puff Pastries

One of my very few hydrangeas this year :(   Mr B. inadvertantly pruned at the wrong time

Here comes the sun...

Silver rose napkin rings holding vintage monogrammed linen napkins- I was so excited when I found these- they're our initial!

So relaxing- even a very short break is so good for the soul

Who do you think she's looking for?? The Queen of Hearts maybe??

A lovely break with my girl

I just have to show you my figs- I feel like a proud mama!

Please come join us sometime- we'd love to have you

Lemon Meringue Puff Pastries

1 package frozen puff pastry tarts- regular size or mini (I used mini here)

Bake as directed on package and cool. Remove tops and scoop out centers if necessary

Lemon Curd 
1 tsp. lemon zest, finely grated on a microplane 
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
rounded 1/2 cup caster sugar 
scant 1/2 cup freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice (about 3 small lemons)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut in pieces 
a pinch of sea salt
In a saucepan, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until combined
Add the lemon juice, salt and cut up butter pieces and heat over medium-low heat, stirring continuously with a heat-proof rubber spatula.
The lemon curd will eventually thicken, coating the back of the spatula.  Do not boil or it may curdle. 
Strain and discard residue.  Add zest and stir.  Allow to cool.
3  egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup caster sugar 
1 1/2 TBLSP water
In a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites until foamy.  Add cream of tartar and continue whisking on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
In a heavy saucepan, heat sugar and water until dissolved.  Continue to cook the sugar until the soft ball stage. (240 degrees) Pour the cooked sugar into the stiffly beaten whites and beat until combined.

To assemble: Fill puff pastry tarts with lemon curd. Using pastry bag with star tip, spiral on meringue working from edges in to center. Either broil for a minute or so till tips turn golden (watch very carefully!! This burns quickly) OR do as I do and use a kitchen torch to gently brown the meringue.

Join us tomorrow for Foodie Friday at Gollum's place- and take the time to make some memories of your own 

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. As I always say "lemon is my chocolate" so these tiny morsels would be very welcome.Glad the sun came out and the weather did not spoil your beautiful day:D

  2. What a pretty setting. I love the vintage images on the card table cover. Yay! for the little figs. :)

    Timeless Settings

  3. Glad you had special time with Allie today! That is the and daughter time! The tablecloth is adorable! You have the best linens (and china)! I was looking at the Antique Mall last weekend for some linens, but no luck!
    Sweet wishes for start of a good weekend sent your way!

  4. What a sweet table, Pattie, and those desserts! Oh my! Delicious! That table cloth and the needlework on the pillows is cute as can be. So glad you had time to spend with your daughter. You are a wonderful mom!


    Sheila :-)

  5. What a summery, vintage table. Just darling!

  6. Pattie, You are such an excellent cook! The lemon meringue puff pastries look delicious. Lemon is so refreshing in the summertime. I really like your floral plates, and those napking rings are great! Anxious to hear about changes at Bramasole...assuming they are GOOD things about to happen.
    Hugs and blessings, Beth

  7. what a lovely tablescape and teh pastries are sooo pretty !

  8. What a wonderful embroidered bridge cloth! That is a FIND! I also love the floral glass plates and stemware. Great photos!

  9. Cute tablecloth and dishes. Wow, you have quite a few figs on your little tree...what are you going to make with them?

  10. I love your mix and match -- and I ADORE that vintage tablecloth. Enjoy your fig harvest.

  11. Oh, I love the vintage card table linen! that is such an awesome find! the whole table looked so pretty. And congrats on the fig tree!

  12. Just love this post! We love figs and use to have a tree at our older home. The table and pillows and citrus and hydrangeas are wonderful.I have an old card table, very old but we use all the time, to hold a dessert buffet or for homework sessions. The legs collapse so it is easy to store.Your planters are so pretty and match the adorable dishes.All the details of this post are so memorable. Thank for sharing all the ideas. The setting and tablescape remind me of Victoria magazine,Take Care~Emelia~

  13. So pretty! You know I love the hydrangeas, and blue is my fave! Look at those cute figs!
    Great table, Pattie! You have a wonderful collection of vintage things!

  14. Pattie, I hope all the changes at Bramasole will be good ones!

    This is such a sweet table setting to share with Allie. The embroidery is so pretty on the tablecloth and the dishes and dessert look wonderful!

    I also have a fig tree growing in a large flower pot! Our figs are just beginning to grow as it was cooler here longer than where you are. The squirrels try to steal them all when they are ripe, but we get about 100 figs from our little tree.

    ♥ Pat

  15. Lovely table for two. I especially love that sweet tablecloth. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Wonderfully sweet! Your table cloth is gorgeous, what a beautiful linen it is! Think I just might have to try your recipe, thank you for sharing it:0)

  17. That tablecloth is fabulous! Love the lemon recipe -- lemons are always a favorite in our family! Joni

  18. Beautiful plates, and gorgeous tablecloth!


  19. You always set a lovely table and your puff pastries sound delicious. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  20. What a lovely table. Love your vintage linens and the dishes.

  21. My favorite is the handy pillow -- very pretty. Also that's a charming embroidered cloth -- a wonderful keeper. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Jane F.

  22. I came by yesterday, but got so distracted looking at some of your past post that I forgot to comment on your lovely table scape! Those lemon pastries sound wonderful; perfect for a summer luncheon.

    PS~ Have you considered putting in a label section to help us find your wonderful recipes?

  23. Lovely table from the linens to the centerpiece. Everything is pleasing to the eye. Thanks for sharing and have a great day!

  24. Everything you've put together looks so charming. I love the tablecloth and also how you gathered the corners. Really lovely.

  25. What a lovely table, Pattie! Ahhh, summer! I just love the table cloth with all of the charming motifs and the little puffs sound delightful. Grazie!

  26. Charming in every way. Since it is raining in my world today, this gives a little sunshine.

  27. Hello girls~ ~I love this table just for two. So pretty. Your card tablecloth is so pretty. I've got one but it's torn and in bad shape.

    Ok Girls you have convinced me, I will give the potato gnocchi a try. I'll take mine with the browned butter and sage too. Reminds me of my Nana. She always had a big bowl of macaroni with browned butter at her tables. We are Pennsylvania Dutch and this is common. Do you think they got the idea from the Italians?
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  28. It looks wonderful. I really like hand embroidery and the card table cover is just adorable. The whole table is so cheery. Just love it.

  29. What a charming, colorful, inviting table! I love the way you pulled the under cloth through at the corners, creating the swag effect. The citrus fruit, the flowers, the vintage enbroidery -- so many wonderful elements! Beautifully done! And desserts too? Oh MY! ;)

  30. Table cloth is so vintage cute. Love the lemon treats. I adore lemon especially now that the weather is so hot. Yesterdays post was wonderful. I was going to sign up to learn to make this next week when my son comes to visit but they are not having the class next week and I am so upset. Thought it would be fun as he likes to cook. Think I will take it myself next month because I never paid any attention to how the family members made this dish.

  31. I love your vintage tablecloth. I wish that I had taken more of my grandmother's card table sized tableclothes. She hosted bridge parties and had oodles of them. The embroidery on yours is so cute.

  32. Such a lovely tablescape. You certainly created a memory indeed with your daughter.

    Your fig tree is precious. My great-grandmother had a huge fig tree, loaded with figs. I would pick and eat figs practically everyday.



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