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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Savory Pumpkin Pastries from Tell Tale Preserve Co.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge Tell Tale's pumpkin-leek pop tart with sage, $3.50. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Tell Tale's pumpkin-leek pop tart with sage, $3.50.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

click to enlarge Savory cake with marina di chioggia pumpkin and Castelvetrano olives, $3.50. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Savory cake with marina di chioggia pumpkin and Castelvetrano olives, $3.50.

Savory pastries tend to languish in gougère limbo, but Tell Tale Preserve Co.'s William Werner is thinking outside the pâte à choux. Werner's finds himself in his own limbo at the moment ― his future brick-and-mortar shop at 33 Maiden Lane is stalled in the usual pre-buildout holdup ― but that hasn't stopped the Quince pastry refugee from ringing up sales. He's got his own cases at Coffee Bar and Sightglass, and yesterday was his second weekly appearance at the Ferry Plaza Tuesday market.

Werner's Valrhona Tainori brownie with a seductively squidgy filling of salted butter caramel is the kind of thing that gets my mom to deploy the phrase "to die for," but it's the savory side where Werner kills. Jonathan Kauffman previously glossed his fingers on Tell Tale's cheese and ham pound cake (the version at Ferry Plaza swapped out chorizo and scallions). Yesterday Werner offered a muffin-sized version of his savory cake, tinted vivid aniline yellow with a purée of marina di chioggia pumpkin grown at La Tercera Farm in Bolinas, shot through with an astonishing quantity of green Castelvetrano olives. The taste: Complex pumpkin sweetness dotted with bright olive acidity.

click to enlarge Tell Tale's case at the Ferry Plaza Tuesday market. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Tell Tale's case at the Ferry Plaza Tuesday market.

A more concentrated sweetness lay at the heart of Werner's savory pop tart, filled with a mash of sugar pie pumpkin (also from La Tercera) and melted leeks, with enough sage to channel Thanksgiving. It was in a pâte brisée jacket, flaky at the edges, less so on top, where a cap of pepita-studded Asiago held sway. Pretty much to die for.

Tell Tale Preserve Co.: Ferry Plaza Tuesday Farmers' Market, Tue. 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Also at Coffee Bar, 1890 Bryant (at Mariposa) and Sightglass Coffee, 270 Seventh St. (at Folsom).

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