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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No. 60: The Rebel Within from Tell Tale Preserve Co.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM

click to enlarge Tell Tale Preserve Co.'s the Rebel Within, $6. - JUN BELEN/JUN-BLOG
  • Jun Belen/Jun-Blog
  • Tell Tale Preserve Co.'s the Rebel Within, $6.

SFoodie's countdown of our 92 favorite things to eat and drink in San Francisco, 2011 edition.

click to enlarge sf_92.jpg

Know it or not, you're living through a golden age of San Francisco pastry. A generation of talented patissiers with the entrepreneurial urge is saying no to restaurant kitchens and working solo, in shops of their own or ― because this has always been a cold, cold city for the under-capitalized ― at pop-ups or farmers' markets.

Take Tell Tale Preserve Company's William Werner. The ex-Quince pastry chef has plans for his own shop, a space in Maiden Lane, and even an investor, but finds himself stuck on the fly strip of start-up bureaucracy. Thankfully, it hasn't kept Werner from firing up his stand mixer. Tell Tale sets up a stall twice a week at Ferry Plaza, stocks cases at Coffee Bar and Sightglass, and mans Trunk Show, a cafe pop-up-without-end at Big Daddy's Antiques, where you can score Werner's savory pop tarts and caramel-filled brownie sandwiches, jars of fruit curd and confiture au lait, a sort of dulce de leche. And on Tuesdays and Saturdays, usually ― Ferry Plaza market days ― Werner bakes the astonishing savory muffin he calls the Rebel Within.

It's the same Parmesan- and Asiago-cheese batter Werner uses for his savory cake, only studded with little nubs of Boccalone breakfast sausage and ― here's the astonishing part ― a whole Glaum Ranch egg, poached so delicately that its yolk oozes like thick hollandaise when you cut into it. How does he keep the egg from overcooking as the muffin bakes around it? "It's just calculating the bake so the outside cake is just cooked through," Werner says, "and it's a matter of cooling it down quickly. It's not as hard as people think." Of course, Werner also has a fancy oven ― a Rational CombiMaster ― that can both steam and bake at superlow temperatures. It's where he poaches the eggs first, for 5 minutes, before peeling and embedding them in batter.

See? Easy.

Tell Tale Preserves Company: Trunk Show at Big Daddy's Antiques, 1550 17th St (at Wisconsin). The Rebel Within is available most Tuesdays and Saturdays at Trunk Show, and at Tell Tale's stall at the Ferry Plaza market.

Dishes in our series so far:

92: Goat tacos from El Norteño

91: Faux shark's fin soup at Benu

90: Esperpento's alcachofas a la plancha

89: Poco Dolce's olive oil chocolate bar

88: Decantr's chicken-liver mousseline

87: Outerlands' levain bread

86: Fraîche's frozen yogurt

85: Gyro King's spinach pie

84: Tandoori fish from Lahore Karahi

83: Braised oxtail and daikon from Namu

82: Golden Gate Bakery's custard tart

81: Commonwealth's cured foie gras with umeboshi purée

80: Star Stream's Liège-style waffle

79: Mexican hot chocolate from La Oaxaqueña

78: Meatball sandwich from Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe

77: Cheesecake from Zanze's

76: Chicken pepian at San Miguel

75: Macau iced coffee at Vega/Special Xtra

74: Comstock Saloon's Pisco Punch

73: Hai Ky Mi Gia's duck leg noodle soup

72: Sauerbraten at Walzwerk

71: Boudin noir at Cafe Bastille

70: Blackstrap molasses gingerbread at Lotta's Bakery

69: Plow's crispy potatoes

68: Prospect's Catcher in the Rye

67: Pork banh mi from Little Vietnam Cafe

66: Nakaochi at Ippuku

65: Sidekick's chocolate spritzer

64: Farmhouse Culture's horseradish-leek sauerkraut

63: Destination Baking Co.'s challah

62: Cotogna's roasted carrots

61: Hard Knox Cafe's chicken and waffles

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com

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