If I owned an airline, I'd give upgrades not just for miles flown, but for homework helped, groceries shopped, children hugged, and laundry done.
Gift mini bottles of booze to those who climb not just the corporate ladder, but other ladders, too: men and women who repair roofs, squeegee skyscraper windows, secure scaffolding to the sides of buildings.
You just ran a race? Spent all day delivering mail? Chased a toddler around the park? Here's more legroom for your aching feet.
Took care of an aging parent? Coached a kid? Taught ballet? Please enjoy priority boarding.
To all of you who dug a ditch, tilled a field, sang a tune, or mopped a fevered brow, please exchange this voucher for free WiFi and today's feature film.
Ladies and gentlemen: Join me in a round of applause for the woman seated in 2D. She just came off the night shift at the nursing home. Let's praise her for a job well-done.
Teachers / cooks / poets / bus drivers: Please press your call button. The flight attendants would like to offer you a special meal.
If I owned an airline, I'd stock the galley not with pretzels, but with slices of warm fruit tart bleeding cherries and peaches. I'd top them with snow-capped mountains of cool Greek yogurt, pass linen napkins and sturdy mugs of fresh-brewed tea.
If I owned an airline, everyone would ride first class... sometime.
Recipe for Saveur Magazine's Amaretti Peach Tart, topless and with cherries
I recently returned from a rather awe-inspiring trip to Las Vegas courtesy of Saveur Magazine. I say awe-inspiring not just because Vegas is so over the top (though it is), but because many of the food bloggers in attendance are producing some of the most beautifully-rendered online work I've seen in years. Meeting them made me realize that the future of food blogging is exciting and boundary-breaking.
On the way home, my husband gave me his free first class upgrade. He's a frequent business traveler, and this was an unexpected perk I happily accepted. But I was one of very few women in that section of the plane; it bugged me and got me thinking.
But I didn't just think. I also read the most recent issue of Saveur from cover-to-cover. Since Friday, I've already made three recipes: the flank steak, the grilled chicken, and this amaretti peach tart (called Crostata di Pesche Cotte e Amaretti in the magazine). I subbed out one pound of the peaches for one pound of cherries and nixed the bird-and-leaf-shaped pastry scraps on top, and the results were out of this world. The remainder of the recipe is a very close adaptation of the original, which the magazine credits to Maddalena Bellorini. Please leave 3 hours for the full recipe, though much of this time is hands-off.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
5 to 6 ounces amaretti cookies (found in the cookie aisle or bakery section of large grocery stores)
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
6 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into large cubes
5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup ice water
2 pounds firm but ripe peaches, peeled with a vegetable peeler, stoned, and chopped
1 pound red cherries, stemmed and pitted (I used Bing and Brooks)
1 tablespoon cinnamon (subbing half as much cardamom might be nice)
Plain Greek yogurt whisked with a touch of milk, for dolloping
In a food processor, pulse the amaretti until coarsely ground but not powdery. Transfer to a small bowl. Set aside.
To the processor (no need to clean), add the flour, cubed butter, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and a pinch of salt. Pulse until the butter is the size of large peas. Dribble the ice water through the feed tube, pulsing as you go, then let the machine run just until the dough balls up. Turn out onto a floured counter (the dough is pretty wet), dust with a touch more flour, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for an hour or two while you make and cool the filling.
Meanwhile, place the peaches, cherries, the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, and the cinnamon (or cardamom) in a heavy medium saucepan with tall sides. Set over medium heat. Stir frequently to melt the sugar, then let bubble, stirring occasionally, until almost jammy, about 45 minutes, reducing the heat if necessary. Transfer to a wide, heatproof bowl set over an ice bath. (I filled the hot sticky saucepan with ice and water and used that as my ice bath.) Stir in the crushed amaretti. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to release steam.
While it's cooling, roll out the dough to fit into a fluted 11" tart pan with a removable bottom. Pop back in the fridge until needed.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Set the tart pan on a baking sheet for easier transport. Scrape in the filling; smooth the top. Bake until the tart is set and evenly brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.
Serve generous triangles with dollops of cold Greek yogurt whisked with a touch of milk.