Apricots will always remind Nutmeg of her grandmother, Charlotte.
Nutmeg never asked if her grandmother liked to cook, it was just assumed that she did as her Hungarian lineage prevailed in hearty meals and traditional sweets. It was not unusual for Charlotte to spend an entire day preparing for a meal. The group would gather around her formal table, set with family china, polished silverware and sparkling crystal to enjoy Charlotte’s paprika chicken, beef goulash, stuffed peppers, gnocchi and other classics.
Sometimes a memory just sneaks into your consciousness. You are busy texting in the line-up at your favourite coffee shop, or attempting to find a parking spot at the grocery store, and something jolts your brain. Apricots are often a trigger for Nutmeg, her grandmother loved them for jam production and baking.
Ginger and Nutmeg were invited to dinner at the home of a new acquaintance. A warm Provencal evening beckoned the group to the terrace, where the table was set under a trellis dripping in grapevines. The savoury buffet of regional favourites included olive tapenade, crespeou (omelette cake), an eggplant dish that is similar to a Spanish tortilla, vine-ripened tomato salad and fresh bread.
The piece de resistance was her homemade apricot tart – it was so good that Nutmeg enjoyed a second helping and asked for the recipe. The following is Marina’s recipe, translated from French – Nutmeg is convinced that her grandmother would have approved.
Note: You can prepare this tart with other stone fruit such as peaches or plums.
- 1 Cup Flour
- ⅔ Cup Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- ½ Cup Unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Zest from one Lemon
- 10 -15 Ripe Apricots, the actual number will depend on size
- ⅓ Cup Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Fresh grated Ginger
- 1 Stick Cinnamon
- ½ Cup Ground Almonds
- ¼ Cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- 1-2 Tsp Vanilla sugar or 1 Tsp vanilla extract
- Start by making the pastry
- Combine 1 cup flour, ⅔ cup sugar, 1 egg, ½ cup butter and lemon zest in a bowl
- Mix ingredients together by hand until the dough is smooth, without lumps
- Try not to over work the pastry
- Place in a bowl and keep in a cool place until ready to use
- Wash the apricots, remove the pits and cut in quarters
- In a sauce pan on medium heat cook the apricots, ⅓ cup sugar, grated ginger and cinnamon stick
- You want to cook until most of the water has been released from the fruit, it should be like a thick, chunky applesauce
- Prepare the frangipane cream. Combine almonds, butter, sugar, and vanilla in a Preheat the oven to 350F
- Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface and transfer to a shallow pie dish, make sure to cover the bottom and sides of the pan (Note: you should grease your dish or place parchment paper on the bottom)
- Prick the pastry shell with a fork and bake for 5-8 minutes until the pastry begins to turn a slight golden colour
- Combine the frangipane cream and apricots, and pour into the pastry shell.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, if the pastry starts to turn too brown cover loosely with a sheet of parchment paper
- Allow the tart to cool
- Serve and enjoy!