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A particularly Bay Area/N. Californian dessert

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The theme for my ladies' supper club this coming month is Northern California. I'm in charge of dessert. Any ideas out there? Something iconic of this area or an ingredient which screams Bay Area? TIA!

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  1. Something wine based, wine-poached pears, maybe?

    Or what about a dessert cheese course, with something fabulous + honey?

    1. Something with Meyer lemons, which are abundant locally and in season, would be appropriate. There are a number of threads on this board with specific ideas for Meyer lemons.

      1. love all the ideas suggested thus far! you could always do something with grapes instead of wine...and don't forget that dairy in general is a major industry up there (so don't discount yogurt & ice cream), and that walnuts and almonds are also local crops.

        1. I think dessert cheese course nails it on the head. Some Humboldt Fog, other fabulous local cheeses, honey, fig preserves, good crusty bread or crackers...

          4 Replies
          1. re: operagirl

            And/or a humboldt fog cheesecake.

            1. re: chowser

              Do you have a specific recipe in mind? The very thought is causing my stomach to rumble.

              1. re: tcamp

                I've had my eye on this recipe for close to a year but haven't made it yet. If you do, let me know how it is.

                http://www.cypressgrovechevre.com/rec...

            2. re: operagirl

              Good call--my favorite cheese ever. Maybe even humbodt fog w/ a red wine poached pear on the side, if you're really ambitious.

            3. Meyer lemons are a fantastic idea. Dried fig crostada would be lovely. Another very bay area thing to do would be to mix herbs with the produce. So a lovely meyer lemon mousse with thyme shortbread - hey put some goat cheese in the mousse and that would be mighty tasty and very northern californian. Rosemary and figs are great.

              6 Replies
              1. re: jsaimd

                I second (er, third) the Meyer lemon idea. The best thing about them is that while lots of folks have them in their yards, they rarely use them so they fall to the ground and rot. We help these folks out by taking the ripe lemons.

                A couple of weeks ago I made a lemon tart recipe from Medrich's Pur Dessert book. It's a rich crust with a lemon curd spread on top. Wonderful and not difficult. Great with Meyer lemons.

                1. re: oakjoan

                  It's funny, because I don't live in the region and don't live w/in 180 miles of a Whole Foods or equivalent, I had absolutely no idea Meyer lemons were a Northern California "thing" - and I've never seen or tasted one either.

                  1. re: shanagain

                    shanagain, if you ever do encounter Meyer lemons grab as man as you can. they're wonderfully floral and sweet - totally different than conventional lemons.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I definitely will - I'm the woman at the grocery store who always manages to find something the cashiers have never had to ring up before!

                      1. re: shanagain

                        the first time i bought sunchokes, i ended up at the register with two cashiers scratching their heads trying to figure out the code. i finally took the list from one of them and looked it up myself. after it happened a second time, i memorized the number to avoid any future mysteries!

                        and for the OP or anyone else who needs information or inspiration for Meyer lemons:
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/475220
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/662290
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/597603
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/668033
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/283920
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/590953

                  2. re: oakjoan

                    Do take a look at Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert - it has fabulous recipes and is very northern Californian. There are some recipes floating around on the web from this too and it was a Dessert Cookbook of the Month. Love it! Note that the lemon tart recipe has a misprint in early versions of the book where the filling needs to be tripled.