• Ity Tiwari Pareek

Apricot Tart



My first memories of eating a tart are from the region of Darjeeling in India. We were visiting my Mama (Mom`s brother) who used to work at the beautiful tee garden "Longview Tee Estate" I must have been between 8 or 10 years old. I had learnt so many things in that trip, which I still remember. Coming from Jaipur, ours was a traditional Indian family, but here there was a combination on tradition influence by the western culture, as Longview`s history started in 1879 under the British Raj. That was my first ever visit from the Desert land of Rajasthan to the mountain region of India, my first even peek into a different culture of the tee gardens. As I recall now, it feels quite compatible to the Alpen land of Switzerland. Mountains, lakes, tall eucalyptuses trees, foggy days, which felt like soft clouds of wool and I loved them and wanted to always catch them. But now as the age is catching up the body needs and wants a bit more sun.

I just happen to see that its Mamasa`s birthday today :) What a coincidence that I am writing and remembering Longview today morning, makes this post even more special for me. He has been a great influence on me and I am sure on many other people in our family. A very happy birthday to you Mamasa.

So we were talking about the tart. There was this very old Nepalese Chef working at the Bungalow called "Baje" He was a great cook and a very fine baker. For us back in Jaipur, biscuits were not a thing to be made at home, but they came either from a bakery, or Papa always used to go to this little shop in Nehru bazaar called as B C & Company or you could send your ingredients to this bakery and they would and they still do make biscuits for you with cardamom, still remember the taste. So when I got to eat biscuits, cakes and tarts there, they was such a special luxury. I still remember the taste of the Jam tart Baje used to make. It was a bit tarty ie. a little bit hard but yet crunchy and then topped with a red jam and I loved those. It looked and tasted very professional but very home made too and I am a sucker of of all things which look and feel very homemade y.

I have been trying so many recipes for a tart base, until we made some Quiche/Wähe at our cooking club. Margret showed us a simple recipe and I took my base as that and worked on that. Summer you get great fruits here and the Apricots from the region of Wallis are so big, juicy and full of flavour. So I made this tart last week after T`s final ceremony from school. I served it with Mövenpick Vanilla ice creme and it was perfect, reminded me of my very childhood memories, Nostalgic!

Here is what you will need for the base/dough

Ingredients:

- 300 gm flour, I took half white and half brown but you can take what you like

- 100 gm ghee or butter or even oil

- 1 tsp of baking powder

- 1 tbsp of vinigar (you can take 1 egg too)

- about 100 ml water

- pinch of salt

- about a dozen apricots

- 1 tbsp of almond powder

- 1 tbsp of brown sugar

- about 1 tbsp of semolina

- baking paper

- tart/pie tin of 32 cm diameter

Method:

1. Take the flour in a bowl, add salt and baking powder to it and mix it well. Now make a well in the middle and add the ghee to it. Work on the ghee and flour until its all very well incorporated. When you hold the flour together it should hold itself.

2. Now add the water and the vinegar bit by bit and start to make the dough, dont knead too much, how we do it for the scones. Depending on which kind of flour you are using the quantity of water will differ.

3. Keep the dough to rest until you prepare the apricots.

4. Wash, core and quarter the apricots and keep them aside.

5. Knead the dough once again and make it into a ball. Take a baking paper and put semolina there, roll the dough on the baking paper with the semolina underneath, it gives a nice crust. It will be a big tart which can fit on a tart tin of 32 cm, roll it into a circle about 2 cm thick. Put it on the tart tin and prick it with the fork.

6. Now sprinkle the almond powder followed by sugar. Arrange the apricot pieces either randomly like I did, or you can go and make this flower thingy too. Top it with few drops of Ghee here and there.

7. Bake it in a preheated oven on 180° for 45 minutes.

8. Enjoy it either warm or cold. Serve it with beated creme, clotted creme or vanilla ice creme.

I think we have a great advantage if we make our own dough, firstly we know whats going in there and secondly if you see I haven't put any sugar in the dough, we just have a tablespoon full for the tart and rest we can serve it with any sort of creme or ice creme or even plain, tastes great. Vinegar is a good substitute for an egg, but one egg goes very well with the tart and the base will be very crunchy but I wanted to try a eggless one.

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