Let’s be honest – one of the most enticing aspects of any holiday is the food. For weeks leading up to my vacation, I eat healthy, limit my alcohol intake, and exercise like a demon just so I can spend the entirety of my trip overindulging.
The food has been so marlevous in France, there was no way I was leaving without a cooking lesson. In this case, it was a tutorial in baking, since no one turns out desserts quite like the French do. Whereas in America we have pie, in France you have tarte. There are endless possible combinations for fillings; I used apricots. In the immortal words of Montell Jordan, this is how we do it:
What I love about French cooking is that it seems so effortless. Normally when I’m baking, I feel like I have to measure each grain of flour exactly to the milligram for my recipe to turn out. Not so in France – cooking is more intuitive. So you tend to have recipes that list measurements as a few, a sprinkle, or a handful – if you use a recipe at all. I was skeptical that this relaxed approach to baking would yield even edible results, but (voilà!) I was beyond pleased with the finished product.
Tartes are an easy dessert to make, pack a fruity flavor punch, and will be sure to impress at your next dinner party. Follow the easy recipe below, and enjoy the fine art of French pastry-making:Ingredients: 1 ready rolled pastry sheet (such as Jus Rol) 1 egg 6 – 8 apricots 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/4 cup peach preserves sprinkle of almond powder handful of dried prunes (optional) Directions:
- Preheat oven to 200°C (375°F)
- Roll out pastry sheet into tart pan or pie dish. Gently prick the pastry with a fork to vent, top with parchment paper and pie weights, and prebake for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and paper and let cool.
- Cut the apricots in half, remove pits, and slice them.
- Sprinkle pastry with a few tablespoons of almond powder. Then spoon on the peach preserves. Arrange the apricot slices in a rosette pattern on top. (I added dried prunes to mine, dotting them around between the apricot slices).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and heavy cream. Pour over the fruit.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Allow tart to cool before serving. Plate & serve!