The local Farmers’ Market this week had apricots, from within 100 miles. Seduced by memories of apricots I had in Tasmania years ago I bought a kilo. Sadly it just retaught me a lesson I know so well: eating local is not just an ethical response to the need to reduce transport of everything, by lots, but also a gastronomic choice that brings its own rewards.
Our northern apricots don’t compare with the golden, aromatic, dripping with juice things I remember from Tasmania. Tart and thin flavoured, these ones had to be cooked, and even then, I think the recipe works better for me with nectarines – they’re more adapted to a warmer climate. Try it with apricots if you live south enough, or otherwise try nectarines or plums instead.
This is the second last Muesli Bar Challenge recipe before the end of term.
The Semolina Cream
In a small saucepan, bring to the boil:
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 4 dessertspoons brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 dessertspoons (30 grams) of semolina
Cook this mix, stirring constantly, for 3 or 4 minutes until it is thick and creamy.
Take it off the heat and allow to cool a little while you make the pastry.
In the food processor, put
- 1¼ cups of wholemeal plain flour,
- 3 dessertspoons of butter
Blend for a minute until it resembles breadcrumbs. (Or you can just mix the flour and sugar and rub the butter in with your finger tips). Add just enough cold water to make a soft dough. Add it carefully, spoonful at a time.
Sprinkle flour on your benchtop and roll it out quite thin. Use a small saucer to cut 10 cm circles and put each in a cup of a greased 12 cup muffin tray.
Fish out the cinnamon stick and use an egg beater to beat 2 eggs into the semolina.
Fill each pastry case ¾ full with semolina cream.
Slice your apricots or nectarines into wedges and set the wedges into the semolina cream, half in and half out.
Bake the tarts for about 45 minutes in a medium-slow oven. About 10 minutes before they are fully cooked, spoon a teaspoonful of glaze on top of each tart. The easy way to make a glaze is to mix a couple of teaspoons of jam with a little hot water. If you don’t have jam, make a quick sugar syrup with a couple of teaspoons of sugar boiled in a little water until syrupy. Watch them after you have glazed as they will brown and then burn quite quickly.