It is always this time of year when the weather gets too hot to be outside when I start getting anxious to travel and I become even more melancholic about all my friends and family back home. Beaches flooded with people anxious to soak in the sunshine after a rainy spring. I too remember those times and I miss them.
This weekend, I found myself looking through the pages of Martin Berasategui’s “Calendario de Nuestra Cocina Tradicional”. It is one of my favorite Basque cookbooks as it depicts very well the seasonal approach to our cooking with emphasis on the quality of our raw ingredients and always with a modern approach.
I love seeing all the fruit stands filled with stone fruits and berries. It reminds me of my childhood and how my dad always filled up a cooler full of peaches, nectarines, apricot, saturn peaches or any other summer fruit when we took day trips to the beach or to the French border. Lots of fruit, tortilla and bread.
And when I came home with a bag full of apricots this week, I decided to make a simple tart. I know there are thousands of different ways of cooking with stone fruits, but for some reason, I always must have a tart. They are the perfect match and the simpler the tart the better.
This time I made a super quick gluten-free lemon shortbread recipe to fill the bottom of the tart pan. No need to roll it out. It is one of those doughs that you just press into the pan. Add some chopped pistachios on the bottom and fill the tart with fresh apricots. Lots of them tightly packed. Sprinkle some sugar, dab a bit of butter and a drizzle of honey. Simple and perfect for summer.
The fruit salad was also simple. I placed some yogurt over cheesecloth overnight and let it drain most of the whey. The next morning, you will have a thick yogurt that is perfect for a fruit salad with some honey. Kids love to arrange the fruit on the plate and dip it in the yogurt.
We are off to Seattle this week. I hear the weather is cool. It will be the perfect break from the Florida heat. Time with friends and family that we haven’t seen in a long time. Can’t wait to share with you photos and hopefully great meal reports.
Apricot, Pistachio and Lemon Shortbread Tart
makes a 10″ tart or 8 individual tarts
225 grams butter or non-hydrogenated shortening
110 grams powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
170 grams superfine brown rice flour
110 grams cornstarch
30 grams tapioca starch
pinch of salt
sugar for topping
lemon thyme leaves, optional
Cream the butter and powdered sugar together. Add the zest and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Press the dough into tart molds. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes.
Cut the apricots into thin wedges. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios on the bottom of the tarts. Arrange the apricot slices inside tightly packed as they will shrink in the oven. Sprinkle more pistachios on top and some sugar.
Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes until golden. Drizzle honey and add some lemon thyme leaves on top, if desired.