Wednesday, January 23, 2019

629/1038 - Fresh apricot tart

Of course we did more with my friend's apricots than simply make jam!

In addition to the incredible fresh apricots used in this tart, there is also a good amount of the jam included which was used to glaze the fruit. 

Given how easy this was to make it would almost have been criminal not to take the time to make it with fresh pastry. We also ate it with some home-made vanilla ice-cream to round out the completely made from scratch theme of this lovely dessert. Caramelised, sweet, delicious and eaten less than 24 hours after the fruit was picked. I am not sure dessert gets any better than this!  

As always, I am in the midst of playing mad catch up with my study due to a fabulous Christmas holidays spent with my little family. Mini-breaks, mini-renovations and lots of relaxing has been the order of this holiday period...and I am paying for this joy with some serious cramming at my desk. As well as neglecting my study, I have also been relatively absent from my beloved kitchen which should change in a couple of weeks time. Bush foods here we come! In the meantime, I thought I should at least stop for a moment to give my blog a little bit of (rushed) love.  

If you can get your hands on some apricots fresh from the tree, I highly recommend making this beautiful tart. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

628/1038 - Apricot jam

Oh, the hardship of having to help a friend use up her ripe apricots!

Incredibly, this is the first apricot recipe I have made. Actually, it should not be too much of a surprise for others who have severe FODMAP intolerances as apricots are definitely not my body's best friend. Eaten when cooked and in small quantities the reaction is not too bad but downing an entire fresh apricot would unfortunately have me in more pain than the enjoyment of eating it was worth.

But this jam!

This jam now represents happiness for me each morning. The flavour of the fruit, which was still on the tree less than a day prior to becoming a preserve, is simply marvellous. Stephanie advised that the flavour would be compromised if the jam was made in large batches due to the increased cooking time and so although I doubled the recipe, I divided the ingredients into two pots. It was very interesting to observe the far superior performance of my beautiful copper pot, which takes any concoction to a very high heat in record time. 

Given the lowish level of pectin in apricots, turning them into a lovely, goopy jam can be tricky. The thickening method generally employed for apricot jam is to add a good amount of apricot kernels to the pot. The fact that the kernels contain cyanide makes me appropriately wary and so I was only comfortable throwing in the ones I didn't accidentally split with the mallet. I did add the split kernels, but they were constrained in a mesh bag which I hung on the side of the pot. To make absolutely sure my jam would thicken to the required consistency, I also added a handful of chia seeds to each pot as they are renowned for their gelling quality. The resulting thickness was absolutely spot on. 

Doubling the recipe made us a LOT of jam and so it appears I will have many, many days of breakfast happiness ahead.