Tea for Two Tarts, the First

13 08 2009

From the moment the double CSA share’s worth of gorgeous apricots arrived in my kitchen, I knew I wanted to bake something.  As the weekend approached and the supply began to dwindle, I had to tell Nick to stop eating them or I wouldn’t be able to make him a nice dessert on Sunday.  Never mind I didn’t really have a plan, these things usually work themselves out, right?

How to fold a rustic fruit tart

And they did, with a little help from Pierre Hermé and Dorie Greenspan.  Flipping through the French version of Desserts by Pierre Hermé for some apricot inspiration, I was immediately hooked by the recipe for apricots en papillote seasoned with tea.  (For those of you just joining us, I am a big tea drinker.)  The combination sounded wonderful, and I had the perfect floral-citrusy tea to use.  I knew it would be magical.  But I wasn’t so into the papillote.  I mean, who wants to eat roasted parchment paper or foil, no matter how delectable the insides may be?

Look how juicy!

So I joined forces with an old favorite, the rustic fruit tart.  Flaky, buttery pastry is better than parchment any day.   The apricots, tossed with some sugar and a couple pinches of tea, were glistening with juice.  In order to capitalize on the flavorsome liquid, I sprinkled the bottom of the tart with almond meal to soak up some of the good stuff – and prevent leaks, too.

I love a no-fuss crust!

Into the hot oven it went and an hour or so later, I pulled out the browned and caramelized galette.  A friend had joined us for dinner, so we democratically cut the tart in thirds.

A "slice" of apricot-tea tart

Let me tell you, tea does lovely things with apricot.  In this case, the floral aroma and hint of bitter tannin played off the sweet-tart fruit beautifully.  The crust, with its crisp flakes and rich butter flavor was the perfect foil.  Because it wasn’t.  Foil, I mean.  Anyway, I was so pleased with the results that I immediately began contemplating other ways to work tea into my summer fruit desserts…

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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Apricots and Ginger and Butter, Oh My!

20 06 2008

I know I just posted about clafoutis on Monday, but, as Loulou recently pointed out, it’s clafoutis season!  So maybe I’ve got clafoutis on the brain, but when I saw this month’s Royal Foodie Joust ingredients – apricots, ginger, butter – I knew that this would be the perfect vehicle to showcase them!  (This is a monthly contest hosted by Jen (aka The Leftover Queen), and it’s my first time entering, so if you are a food blogger and want to vote for me, head over to the forum and sign up.

That’s a lot of links for one paragraph!  Still here?  So apricots in clafoutis are almost a given, but what is the best way to incorporate the ginger?  I decided that adding fresh grated ginger to the batter would give the most vibrant ginger flavor. 

Grating fresh ginger

In order to enhance the flavor of the butter I went ahead and browned it.  Because who doesn’t love the nutty richness of brown butter?

Mmmm... brown butter

I also roasted the flour before incorporating it into the batter, adding to the fullness of flavor imparted by the brown butter.  I first read about this technique on Chocolate and Zucchini a couple of months ago, and have been intrigued ever since.  (Note: I did attempt the Squeeze Cookies, and they were tasty but ugly, which is why you never saw them here.)  The batter made, I set about arranging the apricots in an attractive manner in the baking dish.  They were not exactly ideal specimens, a little worse for wear after the manhandling they received at the hands of the guy selling them.  But I did my best to make them look cute for the camera.

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