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Rosy Cheeked Apricots

June 17th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Cakes | Dessert - (Comments Off on Rosy Cheeked Apricots)

It’s apricot season and rosy apricots from the south of France have just arrived in London, unfortunately not bringing the sunshine with them.  So to add a little sunny cheer to my kitchen I’ve made my old standard apricot tart.
Apricots remind me of my childhood in South Africa where we had a small orchard in the back garden growing peaches, plums, apricots and a few citrus, but the apricots were always my favourite.   Small, cheerful rosy cheeks with the sweet taste of summers spent playing in the garden, dipping into the pool whenever it got too hot.
 
I sometimes jazz this recipe up with almonds.  See note below recipe.
Recipe for Apricot Tart
Ingredients
For the pastry
150 grams all-purpose flour
50 grams caster sugar
pinch salt
80 grams butter
¼ cup ice water
For the filling
10-12 apricots
3 Tablespoons caster sugar
2/3 cup water
1 vanilla pod (split down length)
For glaze
3 Tablespoons apricot jam
Crème Fraiche, Whipped cream or ice-cream for serving
Method
1.     Butter pie or quiche pan well and shake with flour.
2.     Place all dry ingredients in bowl and rub butter into mixture till bread crumb texture is reached.  Add iced water 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture adheres together and can be formed into a ball.  Be careful not to put too much water the mixture should not be tacky.
3.     Press pastry into pie dish using your fingers to work the dough into an even spread across the bottom and up the sides.
4.     Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
5.     Wash and halve the apricots, then remove stalks and stones carefully to avoid damaging the fruit.
6.     Place sugar water and vanilla pod into shallow frying pan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Then plan apricot halves cut side down in liquid.  Simmer for about 10 minutes on a low heat until liquid is a little syrupy. Turn heat off and allow apricots to cool.
7.     Lay apricots into the pie dish cut side down filling all the available spaces.  Cut a few in half to fill smaller gaps if necessary.  Pour half the syrup over the top.
8.     Place slightly above centre in a preheated oven (180 degrees C) and bake for 30 minutes or until pastry in lightly browned.
9.     While the tart is cooling heat the apricot jam in the remaining syrup and then brush the top of the tart, including the pastry with the glaze.
For a variation replace 1/3 of the flour with almond flour and garnish the top of the tart with flaked almonds

 

 

Raspberry Tiramisu

June 9th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Dessert - (Comments Off on Raspberry Tiramisu)
My local fruit & veg stall had Raspberries on sale this week and since we’re slap bang in the middle of  raspberry season it reminded
me that it’s been ages since I made a Raspberry TIramisu.  So I picked up a couple of punnets along with the veggies.
Not being a big fan of the regular coffee flavoured tiramisu I invented (or so I thought) this alternative that I have been making for many years now.  It was only when I moved to Paris in 2010  that I discovered this was a regular feature on a number of French restaurant menus.  Nevertheless, it’s a great dinner part dessert option and can be as boozy and decadent as you fancy.
Although tiramisu is quite a rich dessert the slight tartness of the raspberries off-sets this richness rather well.  And of course the bright red/pink layers in the dessert look sooo appealing.
If you can find Italian ladyfinger biscuits these are definitely preferable as they’re flatter and give a better biscuit to mascarpone ratio.
Recipe for Raspberry Tiramisu

Ingredients

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup white castor sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 carton mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup double thick fresh cream
  • ladyfingers (probably about 24 but could use less depending on size of serving dish)
  • 1 1/2 cups Raspberry juice (not too thick because the biscuits need to be able to absorb this liquid) add sugar to sweeten if necessary
  • 1/4 cup raspberry liqueur (or more if you like)
  • punnet of raspberries for garnishing
  • white chocolate

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl over gentle heat, beat yolks with sugar and vanilla until smooth and very pale. Don’t let the egg cook, just warm through
  2. Fold mascarpone and cream into yolk mixture. Set aside to cool.
  3. When cool fold in whipped egg whites
  4. Warm Raspberry juice slightly (makes it easier for biscuits to absorb liquid)
  5. Dip ladyfingers briefly in raspberry juice and liqueur mixture and arrange 1 layer of them in the bottom of a flat serving dish (should be deep enough to have 2 layers of biscuits) about 8 inch X 5 inch maybe a bit smaller.
  6. Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers.
  7. Repeat with remaining biscuits and mascarpone.
  8. Garnish with fresh raspberries and cover and chill 2-3 hours.
  9. Grate white chocolate over top just before serving.
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To make Raspberry juice
  1. Liquidise 1 punnet(basket) of raspberries
  2. Push through strainer to remove most of the seeds
  3. Add about 50ml warm water