In the tiny village where we are living this month, there is no grocery store. There are two bread shops that sell the essentials of life: coffee, cookies, yogurts, olive oil, wine, etc. They also have the most basic of produce, a list which may not be of interest to everyone but I feel is worthy if only anthropologically:
- lettuce...not exactly iceberg, but...
- spring onions
That's about it. The most beautiful and interesting are the apricots, and I'd been eyeing them, buying a few for breakfast now and then. The other day I took the plunge and bought a big bag, subconsciously driven by some weird urge to whip up this very tart. Reminiscent of both the French countryside childhood I never had and my time at Bottega.
The chance arose when we had some friends over for lunch, all very thrown together. Chorizo, ensalada rusa, green salad, chickpea salad and pork loin stuffed with jamón and idiazabal. With cider to drink. And this tart, which I made using my oh-so-useful trick: when faced with a pathetically outfitted kitchen, freeze your butter for things like scones, biscuits, and pastries. Then grate it with your neighbor's Microplane or grater. A cornmeal-like dough in no time.
Here's the recipe. Pardon my grams.
- 6-8 ripe apricots
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp regular sugar
- pinch salt
- 113 grams butter
- 175 grams pastry flour
- 1/4 c of ice water
- egg, beaten
Freeze butter. Mix flour, sugar and salt. With borrowed microplane, grate butter into dry ingredients, stir with a fork or two. Drizzle ice water into mixture until it comes together. Form into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. If you're in a hurry, place in the freezer for twenty minutes. Roll out with a wine bottle, always starting from the middle and moving 15 degrees clockwise (or counter) each time. Put in the freezer for ten minutes or the fridge for longer.
Meanwhile, quarter the apricots (or cut them into sixths) and toss with the brown sugar. Distribute over the crust and then fold the edges up. Brush (or use your fingers to brush) the egg over the exposed crust. Bake for 20 or so minutes at 200º C.