This past weekend promised to be another scorcher along with maybe, just maybe, some long over due rain to drench our parched fields and gardens. A check of the satellite showed a huge band of rain showers and storms heading our way as I headed over to pick up this weeks share.
Sorry lovers of all things green, but I passed on the collards and kale. I still haven’t used up last week’s share, and braising of still more greens just wasn’t going to be in the cards.
Much to my surprise the first thing I spied as I walked in were crates of gorgeous apricots and plums. I know these are not coming from our farm and I try to make something with our very local produce, but this was real fruit, proper seasonal fruit, fruit that tasted like it should.
I have a couple of cool, refreshing no-bake deserts to share, but local apricots to me mean an apricot tart. So, with thoughts of a rainy day, I supplemented my fruit share and prepared myself to take one for the team and turn on the oven. — Jason Adams
Inspired by Susan Herman Loomis, Rustic Nectarine and Apricot Tart, from On Rue Tatin
For the pastry, crust, pâte brisée, whatever you want to call it, I use the following recipe – note that this will make a little more than you need. You can cook the leftovers along with the tart with a little butter and sugar.
2 cups flour
2 sticks unsalted butter – ice cold, if not frozen – cut up into ½” dice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
About 1/3 cup ice water
In a food processor with a steel blade, add the flour, salt and sugar, pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse 6 to 8 times until the butter is cut into peas size pieces. Add the water a tablespoon at a time, pulse for one second between each addition.
The dough should just start to come together, pulling away from the sides of the food processor. Do not let the dough come together into a ball. Dump the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, lift the wrap up and form the dough into a disk about one inch thick. Place the wrapped up dough into the refrigerator for a least one-hour. It will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
2-2 ½ lbs. apricots, or a combination of apricots, plums and/or nectarines. You can probably use any type of smooth skinned stone fruit
1/3 to ¾ cup sugar – this all depends on how ripe the fruit is and how tart you like your tart
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1 Tablespoon butter
1 egg wash made from one egg and 2 teaspoons water.
Assembling the Tart
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Take the pastry out of the refrigerator allow to warm up slightly. Flour a work surface and roll out to a rectangle (more or less) about 20″ x 20″ about 1/8″ thick. Roll the pastry back onto your rolling pin and unroll on to a 10-1/2″ removable bottom tart pan.
Cut the apricots into quarters and if using other fruit, cut to about the same size as the quartered apricots.
Place all the fruit into a large bowl, add the sugar and cornstarch and toss to combine.
Immediately dump the coated fruit onto the pastry in the tart pan, fold the excess dough over the fruit, crimp to close the overlapping dough. Brush the exposed dough with the egg wash and sprinkle more sugar over the egg wash. Dot the exposed fruit with the butter.
Place the tart on a cookie sheet or sheet pan and place in the oven. As the butter in the dough melts it is going to leak out of the tart pan and make a big mess and a bunch of smoke so don’t’ forget to place the tart on another pan.
Cook for 40-45 minutes. If the tart looks like it is burning, turn the oven down a little. Overdone is better than underdone with this tart.
Take the cooked tart out of the oven and carefully place it on an inverted bowl that will support the bottom of the tart plan but allow the outside ring to fall free.
Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. The sweetness of the ice cream or whipped cream will counter the tartness of the tart. If you taste the tart and it is sweet enough on its own, you can skip these additions.
For a wine pairing there is nothing better than the current vintage of Jean Paul Brun’s FRV 100. A typical French play on words, eff-err-vay-sant, or effervescent. This low alcohol, sparkling rosé has never been better. You can pick up a bottle at Dry Dock, so you never have to leave the hood to enjoy this desert.