Apricot season

It feels old fashioned, walking with your skirt full of ripe, soft sweet smelling apricots… a summer perfume fills the air.
I love the feeling of their soft skin, their blossoming cheeks, the bite of the juicy flesh.

There is nothing better than fresh fruit coming from a farm where you know there is no use of pesticides.
So we are very happy to be able to pick some lovely apricots from our neighbor’s garden.
We know it’s only a short time that there is so much fruit available that we must eat and use it right now.
So my cooking books with apricot recipes are laid out on the table to find the best ones…

For the jam I found a recipe on the Blog of Susan Herrmann Loomis

Miche’s Apricot Jam

Miche is categoric, she makes the jam in small batches, uses as little sugar as possible, and cooks fruit for as short a time as she can get away with. She also refuses to put apricot pits in her jam, a typical French custom, for in her mind, anything that interferes with the pure, fresh apricot flavor is blasphemy. She’s right, her apricot jam is out of this world.

3 pounds (1-1/2 kg) apricots, pitted and quartered

3 cups (600g) granulated sugar

  1. Place the apricots and the sugar in a non-reactive pan or bowl, stir, cover and let macerate for at least 12 hours.
  2. Transfer the fruit and sugar to a large, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the mixture is boiling merrily and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and ladle the jam into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headroom. Seal the jar according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Came out for me as approx. 5 jam jars

 

The next recipe is from Tessa Kiros in total I made three of these tarts as I thought they are easy, delicious and a healthy treat! I changed her recipe a bit and it worked out so well…

Whole Wheat Apricot Pie
For pastry dough:
190 gr whole wheat flour ( I used organic)
70   gr light brown sugar
100 gr chilled butter cut into cubes
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
a few drops of vanilla extract

Some cinnamon
Few spoons of earlier made apricot jam
approx.. 10 apricots

  1. For the pastry dough combine flour, sugar, and butter in a bowl and work it together with your fingers till the mixture is sandy. Add an egg plus an extra egg yolk, vanilla and keep mixing till you have a smooth ball of dough.
    Flatten and wrap in plastic wrap to refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200º C.
    Using a little extra flour to work with, roll out your pastry dough onto a sheet of parchment paper to a circle a bit bigger than you baking form.
    With the parchment paper flip the dough into a ungreased 23 cm springform or pie pan.
    Carefully peel the parchment off the dough and press the pastry onto the bottom of the pan.
  3. Spread the apricot jam over the bottom, sprinkle with some cinnamon and add the halved apricots on top.
    Sprinkle with some superfine sugar and dot with broken up pieces of the rest of the butter.
    Fold the pastry dough edge in over some of the filling so it’s wrapped in.
    Bake for 40 minutes or until the apricots look a bit brown and the pastry looks crisp. Enjoy!

Dutch Cake

200 gr soft butter
200 gr all purpose flour
200 gr sugar
4 eggs

8-10 apricots

1.Preheat the oven on 160ºC
grease a cake form and dust it with some flour
Cut apricots in cubes and slightly dust them with flour
2.Beat the butter and sugar with a hand mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy.
3. Slowly mix one egg at the time in the mixture
4. Add the flour and mix till you have a smooth batter.
5. Put half of the batter in the cake form.
6. Spread the dusted apricots over the batter and cover with the rest of the batter
7. Put it in the pre heated oven slightly lower than the middle of the oven and bake in 60 minutes.

If it’s apple season just make a change of fruit!

Tips from the Winelands, Western Cape  
by Zeelandhuys