2 Dishes to Make Now—Before Their Ingredients Cost More in 2018
1. A Simple Yet Sublime Dessert
The price of eggs often fluctuates because of seasonal demand (people buy more during the fall and winter, and less in the summer), but the Economic Research Service (ERS) is predicting a bigger than usual increase next year that isn't tied to seasonality. Based on data from the US Department of Agriculture, the ERS estimates that egg prices will jump 5 to 6 percent next year (the average annual increase, going back 20 years, is only 3 percent), thanks to other factors such as grain prices. In fact, the egg price hike has already started, with a 2.8 percent increase having occurred from August to September of this year; so, we'd advise making this classic English custard tart before the cost of a dozen climbs even higher. The recipe, from Michael James' new book, The Tivoli Road Baker, calls for nine egg yolks (save the whites for an omelet), which result in a rich and silky filling. You bake it inside a subtly sweet pastry shell (made with two more eggs) and grate nutmeg over top to give the tart a lovely aromatic lift.
Get the recipe: Baked Custard Tart
2. The Fruity Condiment
The year 2017 was good for lunchbox fruits, with banana and apple prices falling. However, overall fruit prices rose 6.1 percent, and 2018 isn't looking much better. The ERS says the cost will likely go up 3 to 4 percent next year. With strawberries already at the high end of fruits (they average more than $2 a pound, far more expensive than bananas, grapefruits, pears and apples), now's the time to try this recipe for slow-roasted strawberries from Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski's new State Bird Provisions. It calls for three pounds of the berries; you sprinkle them with sugar and then roast them in a low oven for three hours, until they've shrunken and are surrounded by syrup. They make an amazing topping for just about anything, from oatmeal and pancakes to pound cake and ice cream.
Get the recipe: Slow-Roasted Strawberries