Thursday, July 14, 2011

celebrating bastille day

To celebrate Bastille Day, I decided we would eat a  French(-ish) dinner. 

We had champagne with elderflower syrup and with cassis. For dinner, I made a shaved fennel and mushroom salad with a very simple chicken paillard and potatoes gratin. I picked up some of Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk Red and some brie and tossed in a sliver of goat cheese we had in our cheese drawer and made us a little cheese plate. For dessert, we had an apricot rosemary tart. 

It was my little nod to France.  Happy Bastille Day!


  1. Those apricots are GORGEOUS. Care to share your tart recipe?

  2. It's from Patricia Wells' cookbook At Home in Provence and it's dead simple. It's also infinitely adaptable, depending on which fruits you want to use. I also make it sometimes with fresh raspberries, just baking the crust with the custard and then layering on the raspberries afterwards. Enjoy!

    For the crust:
    unsalted butter to grease tart pan
    8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/8 tsp. pure almond extract
    1/8 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    a pinch sea salt
    1 1/4 cups plus 1 tbsp. unbleached all purpose flour
    2 tbsp. finely ground raw almonds

    For the cream:
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 large egg
    1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
    1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    2 tbsp. raw honey
    1 tbsp. superfine flour such as Wondra

    about 1 1/2 pounds fresh apricots, pitted and halved


    1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Butter bottom and sides of tart pan.
    3. In large bowl, combine butter and sugar and, with a wooden spoon, stir to blend. Add the almond and vanilla extracts, salt, flour, and stir to form a soft, cookie-like dough. Do not let it form into a ball. Transfer dough into the center of buttered tart pan and using the tips of your fingers, evenly press the pastry onto the bottom and sides of the pan. The dough will be quite thin.
    4. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake until the dough is slightly puffy and set about 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle the almonds on the crust. This will prevent it from becoming soggy.
    5. Meanwhile, prepare the cream. In a medium-size bowl, combine cream, egg, both extracts and honey and whisk to blend. Then whisk in superfine flour.
    6. Starting just inside the edge of the pre-baked pastry pan, neatly overlap the halved or half-moon slices of apricots, cut side up at a slight angle. Make 2 or 3 concentric circles working towards the center.
    7. Pour the cream evenly over the fruit. Place in center of oven and bake until the filling is firm and the pasty is deep golden brown, 50 minutes. The apricots will shrivel slightly. Allow to cool before slicing.


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