July 3, 2018
Fruit in a Crust
(Otherwise known as a pie or a tart)
Something magical happens when you bake fresh fruit into a crust—the flavors and textures are enhanced and offset by the flakiness of the pastry.

Presenting a pie or tart to family and guests elevates a gathering to a celebration. Someone took time and care to make this delicious offering!

And now, since summer fruit season is in full swing, it's a great time to unleash your baking creativity.

At Piedmont Grocery, we love baking and hope to inspire you to turn on your oven (in the heat!) and prepare something delectable.
The Fruit
Of course our produce aisle is brimming with all varieties of stone fruit and berries at the peak of season. And we love baking with them. But for times when what we are looking for is not as bountiful, we reach for Willamette Valley Fruit Company Frozen Fruit from Oregon. Right now we have Peaches, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Marionberries in the frozen foods section.

The Crust
King Arthur Al-Purpose Flour is consistent and dependable…simply the best! King Arthur pays close attention to detail, consistency in milling, and set rigorous standards for the wheat they mill. And, their gluten-free flour gets great results.

Vermont Creamery European Style Cultured Butter is 86% butterfat, and it makes a noticeable difference in your crusts. 

And sometimes there is simply no time to create a crust from scratch. That's okay, nobody needs to know. Try Leadbetter's French Picnic Flaky Pastry Shells they're perfect for pies, tarts, quiche & appetizers. They come two to a pack--enough for a top and a bottom. 

DeFour Pastry Kitchens Classic Puff Pastry is a longtime favorite. Making puff pastry from scratch is so time consuming, and frankly, it is hard to tell the difference when you are comparing Defour's. It is made with the best churned sweet butter. They pastry is crisp, airy and will transform your pie into something wonderful. 
The Flavoring
The quality of the flavorings that you choose make a big difference. We reach for Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract (We've go the organic, too.) And also Nielsen Massey Pure Extracts in Chocolate, Lemon, Almond, Orange Blossom, and Rose Water.

Taylor & Colledge Gourmet Coconut Extract Paste and Almond Extract Paste are both wonderful flavor add-ins for pie fillings. Taylor & Colledge pastes replace traditional extracts, and because they are concentrated you do not need to add as much. Simply use ½ tsp for 1 tsp of the standard traditional extract.

Odense Marzipan Almond Candy Dough is made in Denmark using California-grown almonds. You know it can be used for making decorations and candies, but it is a great addition to pastries as well as pie and tart fillings.

For Thickening
Bob's Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca is a great choices for thickening. It keeps the fruit’s juice clear and the fruit flavor true. The resulting color and flavor is spectacular.
From our blog, The Cocktail Post

The Cucumber Collins is a great cocktail for entertaining on a hot summer weekend.

The Cucumber Collins is a fresh variation on the classic Tom Collins cocktail. Traditionally made with vodka, ours is made with gin for extra flavor. And, you can substitute a good-quality vodka if you prefer.

Cucumber Collins Cocktail Recipe
Yields 1 Cocktail

July 4th Holiday Hours
Be certain to come by the store to purchase everything you need for your celebration. Our holiday hours for July 4th are as follows:

We will be closed Wednesday, July 4th so that our Piedmont Grocery family can spend the holiday celebrating with family, friends and loved ones. We will resume normal business hours on Thursday morning, July 5th at 9 AM.

Enjoy your holiday!
A Cookbook Recommendation

In New York City, famous for its food and restaurants, locals are reverential about the bakeshop and café Once Upon a Tart. For more than a decade, they have been lining up at the store mornings and afternoons, waiting patiently for their signature scones, muffins, soups, salads, sandwiches, cookies, and—of course—tarts.

In nine delicious chapters ranging from savory tarts to cookies, Among the tart recipes, particularly winning are the Zucchini Tart with Curried Custard and Dried Currants; Roasted Ratatouille Tart with Herbes de Provence; Chocolate Pear Tart; and Jerome's Mother's Famous Almond Tart, a melt-in-your mouth confection. 
Once Upon A Tart is a magical collection of recipes that will quickly lead you into the kitchen to start cooking and baking .
—Marion Cunningham

What are you doing for the 4th? Some of us are planning the big celebration for this weekend, while others are holding out for the Wednesday holiday.

Whatever we are planning, food is always the centerpiece. So, with that in mind, we are offering a list of some of our favoriteJuly 4th recipes for you to peruse and consider for your holiday festivities.

Dips & Spreads

Salads & Veggies

Sandwiches & Burgers

The best cotton candy ever! 
Who would have thought that there could be a grown-up version of cotton candy? But, Sugar and Spun has dreamed it up, and it's magical. This cloud of spun sugar is so satisfying—the way it melts on your tongue almost instantly—and brings back childhood memories wrapped in sophisticated flavors.
The only danger is that you don't eat the entire tub in one sitting.

Perfectly packaged to take on a picnic, hike, or road trip. Get some for the July 4th holiday to surprise your friends and family.

Strawberry Shortcake is a must for any fan of the classic ice cream treat. Sprinkled with bits of vanilla cream cookies & organic strawberries, it is the perfect balance of light & sweet.

Cinnamon Bun tastes like a freshly-baked cinnamon bun…in a tub! Made with organic cane sugar, cinnamon bun cookies & actual cream cheese.

Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter is made with cocoa powder, peanut butter & a light sprinkle of Himalayan pink salt--combining for the perfect salty & sweet combination.

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana is everything you love about a banana Nutella crepe but in cotton candy form! House-made Nutella powder is sprinkled with Organic bananas.

News & Events

The weather is getting warmer, and it time to head out to your favorite swimming hole. You don't need to go far to find some great places to swim in the East Bay.

So, drop by the store, grab a picnic, and head to one of our favorite spots:

Lake Anza is the big lake in Tilden Park. Surrounded by greenery and fresh air, it sits near the top of the East Bay Hills. The parking area is close to the beach—which gets plenty of sun—and is fairly wind protected. Bring some picnic food out to the lake and snag your spot early or stop at one of the park's picnic areas.

Heres' a great tip: If you want to go for a swim after work, the lifeguard leaves and there are no fees after 5:30 PM. It is quiet and there is still plenty of sunlight.

Lake Temescal is a small reservoir situated just off Highway 13 in the Oakland Hills. It is a popular swimming spot with a sandy beach. The shores of the lake were a popular camping spot with bohemian artists and writers in the late 1800s. And now it is filled with families and sunbathers.

Cull Canyon is a popular Castro Valley swimming lagoon is worth a trip with the family for a day of swimming and hiking in the park. The swim area has a bathhouse, lawns, sandy beaches, and lots of shallow water for kids. The swim area is fenced and a lifeguard is on duty when the area is open.

Roberts Pool at Robert's Regional Recreation Area features a baseball field, playfields, and a sand volleyball court. It is near hiking trails and hosts its very own grove of redwood trees.

The Roberts Pool complex features a 25 yard, heated swimming pool with a depth of from 3 feet to 8.5 feet (no diving board), vending machines and lawn areas.

Temescal Pool is located at Oakland Technical High School, adjacent to Studio One Arts Center. Pool use includes swimming classes and lessons for tiny tots, children, and adults, swim team practice, recreational swim and much more.

The El Cerrito Swim Center keeps winning Best of the East Bay for pools. They have two pools plus a kiddie splash pad. And, there are all kinds of swimming programs and lifeguard training.

From our recipe blog, The Kitchen Table

Gone Stone Crazy
In case you haven’t been in the produce section lately, I am here to let you know that stone fruit season is upon us! And, that makes me very happy. It also creates a bit of a problem…

I am a fool for stone fruits. I look forward to this season every year. To me, there is nothing better than a juicy peak-of-season peach. I have been buying nectarines by the dozen…and don’t get me started on the cherries. I’ve become a bit of a stone fruit hoarder. I just can’t help myself. I see ‘em and I gotta have ‘em.

My fruit hoarding has presented other problems. Usually, I can count on my family eating all of the fruit before I can even get to it. But, my current obsession means that they are having trouble keeping up—which is how I found myself with a few pounds of black plums that needed to be consumed ASAP. So I made this almond stone fruit tart.

The best thing about this tart is that you can use whatever fruit you have on hand as long as you let it dry a bit before baking. I’ve made it with peaches and nectarines. Cherries are good too or even a combination of all three and, of course, plums or pluots are amazing!

Almond Stone Fruit Tart
This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks,  Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. She uses orange sections for her tart. I decided to be different…

If you want to make this tart gluten-free, we recommend using King Arthur Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour instead of the regular flour.

This tart takes some time to make, and we have marked where is possible to prepare some of the steps a day or so in advance for ease of assembly on the day you bake it.

Fruit Pies and Tarts Recipes from our Archives

Tarts & Pies
Tarts and pies are thing of beauty. We have also included a recipe for dumplings and one for hand pies. You could consider these mini-pies. 

And, we're tossing in some savory pies and tarts…just because they are so good!
From our blog, The Butcher's Block

Unless you are an avid fisherman and catch it yourself, it is entirely possible that you could go your entire life without ever having to clean or fillet a whole fish.

The reality is that most fish are just too large for the average person to purchase whole and then cut into pieces. If you have ever seen a tuna at the aquarium you know what I mean. They can be HUGE. It is quite possible that you might find yourself with a whole salmon after a day of sport fishing or a trip up the Copper River. But, more often than not, if the recipe calls for a lot of salmon, you will purchase a whole side of salmon that your butcher has already filleted for you—not the entire fish.

There are some fish that are commonly sold whole like snapper and trout. Though you can obviously purchase these same fish already filleted, it can be cheaper and tastier to purchase them whole and cook them that way. But, those who prefer the elegance and ease of a fillet may benefit from learning to fillet the fish themselves while saving a little money. Once you get the hang of it, filleting your own fish will take no time at all.

How to Fillet a Fish
Having a very sharp flexible filleting knife is the key to filleting any fish quickly and without destroying the fish. Once you have that, follow these steps. 

A Staff Favorite

Cherries are here! And, their season is short. So, fill up on them while the eating is amazing.

We have two types of cherries in the store. Bing cherries range from dark red to almost black. They are firm, juicy, and very sweet when properly ripened. Rainier cherries are goldenwith a pink blush on their skin, and their flesh is yellow to transparent. These cherries have a very sweet and delicate flavor.

Selecting Cherries
Cherries don't ripen further once they're picked. They are very delicate fruits, bruise easily, and should be treated with care.

Some tips
Look at the stems of the cherries: those with plump, bendable stems have been picked recently. If the cherry stems are shriveled and brittle, the cherries are older and will be past their prime before long.

Choose cherries with stems still attached; this helps them maintain their freshness.

Select cherries with firm, smooth, unblemished skin, and buy only as many as you plan to eat in the next few days.
For best results, store them refrigerated in a plastic bag with holes in it, and don't wash your cherries until you're ready to use them

From our blog, The Cocktail Post

This updated frozen cocktail relies on fresh watermelon—and we recommend finding the ripest seedless watermelon available. Our slushy keeps the flavor of watermelon in the forefront with the citrus of the Aperol balancing the warmth of the tequila. For a visual twist, try it with yellow watermelon.

This is a great summertime drink for enjoying with company on a hot afternoon.

Boozy Watermelon Slushy
Yields 1 pitcher 

Vendor of the Month

Califa Farm makes some of our favorite plant-based milks, creamers, and juices. They come in a great variety of flavors so you can get exactly what you want. Now, you can choose dairy-free without the sacrifice!

One of our favorites is Barista’s Blend Almondmilk. Have you noticed the bestcoffee shops use this as a non-dairy option? The flavor and consistency hold up to your cup of coffee. And, their specially-formulated almond milk easily creates full-bodied foam for better latte art.

Califa Farms name comes from the Spanish legend of Queen Califia who ruled the bountiful, mythical island of California, and is said to have been the inspiration for the name of our home state. We love them for their sustainability efforts and earth-friendly practices. They are also all-natural and GMO-free.

We're Open
Seven Days a Week

Monday through 
9 AM to 8 PM

9 AM to 7 PM
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4038 Piedmont Ave.
Oakland, CA 94611

(510) 653-8181

Visit our recipe blog to learn what Amy, our VP and resident foodie, is cooking up in her home kitchen.