FLORA EX MACHINA

sweet and savory end of summer custard frittatas

If you’ve been following the journey of flora ex machina, it’s no surprise that Maine is highlighted and/or the inspiration for nearly every post and recipe. When I think about the end of summer, the transition of seasons, and the cornucopia of produce, I am transported once again to the fields and gardens of Maine that lay on the outskirts of forests and cliffs edges to the ocean. Whether it’s grown in a garden or forged in the forest, the end of summer – warmth of the day and crisp coolness of night is the perfect inspiration and bridge way into Fall cuisine.

maine blackberries

I was introduced to the cookbook, A Platter of Figs, and inspired by a dish that David Tanis called a perfect blend between a custard and frittata, including greens like spinach and leeks, and started playing with versions that incorporated ghee versus lactose-full butter and goat milks, yogurts and plant-milks instead of full-fledge milk. The kale and nettle version was such a hit, I continued to allow my rendition to evolve and created an end of summer sweet berry version that is equally delicious. I could see serving these both for brunch or the berry version for dessert, paired with additional yogurt or whipped cream. While it does require eggs, the dairy is entirely optional and a good nut milk or even coconut yogurt works perfectly.

I hope these images transport you to the forests and fields of the Maine coastline – a last glimpse of summer. This simple but delicious meal certainly takes me straight to the breakfast table at the edge of seasons.

sweet and savory end of summer
custard frittatas 

nettle and kale herb custard frittata

inspired by the recipe by david tanis
makes 1, 9 inch round frittata

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches kale
2 leeks
2 tablespoons ghee
2 cups milk of choice
6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons parmigiano or nutritional yeast (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash, prep and slice leeks and greens.

Add ghee to a large saucepan and sauté leeks on medium heat until caramelized and translucent. Add greens and cook until tender and wilted.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease baking tin or pie plate.

When greens and leeks have cooled, add them to a blender or food processor along with milk and eggs and blend until well combined. Add cayenne pepper or other fresh herbs, salt and pepper, and combine.

Pour into baking tin and garnish with 2 tablespoons cheese or nutritional yeast.

Bake 45 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool at room temperature and serve with a simple herb salad.

summer berry frittata

summer berry custard frittata
makes 1, 9 inch round frittata

INGREDIENTS 
2 cups milk of choice, yogurt or kefir
2 cups fresh berries of choice (I used blackberries and raspberries)
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
sweetener of choice to taste ( optional, I used 3 tablespoons of honey)
ghee or cooking oil to grease pan

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash and gently dry berries.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease baking tin or pie plate.

Blend milk, eggs, vanilla, zest and sweetener together. If using yogurt or kefir, alternatively whip eggs separately, then fold in other ingredients. This will create a thicker frittata.

Gently fold in berries.

Bake 45 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool at room temperature and serve with whipped cream and additional fresh berries.

summer berry custard

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