- Apricots 4 ways : Tatin, compote, vinegar and cereal bars
Going to the market in London or at least to my market (Portobello road) is just for the sake of it. Just to say proudly that I buy my vegetables and fruits on the market and avoid supermarkets, while for some, buying on the market means buying healthier. Well… Unfortunately it’s not. If you check the boxes most veg are coming from Holland and Spain. I will not stress enough, let’s try not to buy fruits coming from Spain, please. Just read, or re-re-read my post about the Spanish strawberries !
Let’s face it, unless you are going to a farmer market (be careful as sometimes the market has ‘farmer’ just the name) in Brook Green or Queens Park, that’s the ones I know in West London, fruit and veg are same sh.t as in supermarkets. That’s just a fact.
And so are the apricots ! We are in the full apricot season and most of the time they taste nothing. Hard, dry and boring. An apricot can be so delicious. So, what I do, I buy one (not to be told off by the trader if I try one without paying) taste it and buy some more only if they are sweet and ripe.
Here we are, I found some. Deliciously, utterly pinky-orange with little frickles, juicy and soft.
To celebrate, I tried apricots four ways, I made cereal bars, healthy and not too sweet and completely natural, a tarte tatin, vulgarly called ‘upside down tart’ by the jealous people who don’t want to admit that they copy the French recipe. An apricot compote and an apricot vinegar.
It was a first attempt for the tarte tatin and cereal bars and the vinegar. You know me, I love to experiment. I am your guinea pig, try everything before and when it’s safe and very nice, you can do it, elle est pas belle la vie ? Just for the vinegar, you will have to wait as the maturation is supposed to last for one month at least. Let’s see the result in one month, you will hear about it… or not.
Cereals bars with fresh apricots , for around 10 bars,
- 5 tsp of oil (the one you want, I chose sesame seeds oil)
- 5 tbsp of runny honey (or glucose or maple syrup)
- 1 egg
- 2 big mugs of cereals of your choice and/or grains, seeds, fruits (I put around one mug and a half of oat, a bit of pistachios I had left, sunflower seeds and desiccated coconut)
- 5 fresh apricots
In a bowl, whisk the egg, add the oil, honey and drop the mix of cereals/fruits etc
Mix it with your hands, it’s sticky and it’s normal, if it’s too dry add a bit more honey as the ‘dough’ has to be quiet wet. If it’s too wet, add some cereals.
Put the mix on a baking tray covered with baking parchment, tamp well with a fork.
Put it in the oven for 15min at 210°C/Gas mark 7.
Cut the bars while it’s still hot and preserve them in a metallic box for up to one month.
Apricot and lavender tarte tatin, for 4 people
For the 3 min homemade shortcrust pastry
- 300g of flour
- 150g of butter pommade
- ½ tsp of salt
- 3 tbsp of sugar (if you want a sweet pastry)
- 8cl of water or warm milk
In that case I used water instead of milk and didn’t put any sugar in my dough as my apricots were very sweet.
Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, add the butter (it has to be pommade, not melted, so you should take your butter out of the fridge at least one hour in advance) and knead for a few minutes, you should obtain a kind of big grain semolina in 2/3 min
Add the water quickly and knead to have a dough.
For the apricot and lavender
- 10 small apricots
- 20g of butter
- 50g of sugar
- 1 pinch of lavender flower
As the apricots make a lot of water, it’s better to cook them and caramelise them before, not to have your pastry waterlogged.
Put the butter and sugar in a pan and add your apricots, washed and cut in half for around 10min (till the water from apricots disappear and the sugar start to become caramel. Dispose your apricot tightly in a baking tray and cover them with the caramel.
Spread you shortcrust pastry and put it on the top of your baking tray, cut the edges and slide them to the inside to close the tart in an hermetical way. Put in the oven for 30min at 180°C/Gas 6, let it cool down, unmold and sprinkle with a bit of lavender flowers.
For the compote, it’s another story. To be honest with you I wanted to make a jam. A lot say that to make a jam you have to put half fruit half sugar. I never do that as it’s too sweet. Instead I do a quarter of sugar which I did for my apricot but because they made quite a lot of juice, it is now more like a compote, it stays still on a toast but it depends on the fruits the jam ends up more or less liquid.
I had 800g of apricots (without the stones) that I washed and cut in big chunk, put them in a saucepan with 400g of sugar and let it simmer until the apricots give their juice. Don’t let them for too long, like that they will keep the most of their vitamins and it tastes sooo good.
For the vinegar experiment :
- 400ml of white wine vinegar
- 4 apricots
In a jar put the vinegar and the apricots washed and cut in half without the stone. Leave them for at least one month.
And let me know if you like the result. We can then compare yours and mine 😉