Friday, July 16, 2010

'Cots and crunch

I had some friends over for dinner the other night. And while the reason I invited them over was to thank them for continually and repeatedly taking care of Lucca for me while I'm out of town, they showed up on my doorstep with a bucket full of apricots. Freshly picked THAT day. In fact they ran a little late arriving 'cuz they were out picking apricots. How wonderful does that sound?? I mean first off - how dare they show up with "gifts" but could I turn them away? OF COURSE NOT!

The cream is there to dress it up, but really, it needed no dressing

Gorgeous. Simple, rustic and gorgeous.

The apricots were small, but perfect. I'm not a huge fan of fresh apricots but I seriously love them cooked into things desserts. And these apricots were so fresh and perfect that even this "non-apricot-lover" enjoyed a few uncooked ones!

Fresh picked the day before

I knew I needed to make them into something quickly since there was no way I was going to let them get past their prime when they were a gift and started off so beautiful the day I received them. So I got down to it the very next day. But what to make them into??

Yup, throw an egg yolk into your crust

Yup, throw some cornmeal in there too...

It's summer. I'm currently training for a half marathon (note the Team in Training badge to the right). I will likely be donning a bathing suit in the near future. Therefore, I didn't want to make anything too heavy and sweet like an apricot pie. I also didn't have any social functions at which I could "get rid of this" dessert, so I wanted to keep it small and simple.

It's quite a crumbly crust, but it DOES come together

I was thinking a lot about apricot tarts but didn't want the typical apricot and almond tart with the almond filling. I was craving just fruit and crust. I finally put a whole bunch of epicurious recipes together and made up my own: Honey Vanilla Poached Apricot Cornmeal Galette. Yes, when you put 3 different recipes together you get a mouthful of a title. And no, you do not poach the baked apricot galette in honey and vanilla...

I just rolled it out on the Silpat, assembled, then baked. Très facile.

I've been reading about cornmeal pie crusts a lot and they intrigued me. I ♥ cornmeal. I ♥ the crunchiness cornmeal adds to muffins and breads. I ♥ it! So I wanted to make a cornmeal crust. But I didn't want a double crust since I was trying to keep this a little light. So I used this crust recipe, but halved it and left some of the sugar out.

Beautiful color on those 'cots

I also didn't want to fuss around with a pie plate or baking dish and figuring out if I had enough filling and what not. So I decided to make a galette. Making a pie into a galette suddenly allows you to call it "rustic" and "earthy". I liked the freedom a galette gave me. Just make it as big as I had filling for. So I kinda studied this recipe a little, but didn't use any of the elements from it.

I cheated with peach preserves *ssshhhh*

For my apricot filling I again didn't want a super thick and sweet pie-filling type apricot mixture, so gently poaching them sounded like a much better idea to me. I found this recipe and like it a lot, though next time I might throw a cinnamon stick in as well?...

It's okay that I drank that syrup afterward, right?
I KID!!!

And here's how I put them all together: made up the cornmeal crust and let it sit in the fridge. While it sat, I poached the apricots (though I'd probably suggest a full pound instead of 3/4). While the poached apricots drained, I rolled my crust dough on a Silpat, to a 9-10" circle and spread 1/3-1/2 cup of peach preserves over it (I didn't have apricot in the fridge - peach worked just fine). Next was the layer of poached apricots. Yum. And finally, I didn't like how those poached apricots looked, so I cut up some fresh apricots and arranged them on the top. Folded the edges of the crust over, sprinkled with "big sugar". And voilà!

Definitely needed those "prettily" arranged apricots on top

Ready for baking!

I baked around 400° for half an hour and it came out GORGEOUS (I mean, if I do say so...) It was just as I wanted it. Not too heavy. Not too much "pie filling". Not too sweet. Mostly just fruit and crust. And oh, that WONDERFUL cornmeal crunch... I immediately fell in love with it. Immediately. I could have made cookies out of just that crust (ok you might want to add an additional egg or egg yolk in if you do that - too crumbly otherwise!) Yes, I dolloped some whipped cream on for my photo shoot - but it really didn't need it.

When something is so colorful and delicious looking, it's hard to get a bad photo

Let's not forget to mention that I did not eat this in its entirety for Monday night's dinner. I fed some to a friend and sent a huge chunk home with her. Whew! Crisis averted!

But highly recommend. Highly. And what I'd recommend even more? Getting some fantastic friends who not only take care of your dog, but bring you fresh apricots when you're in the middle of thanking THEM. Priceless.


  1. Beautiful and so tempting!



  2. This looks really delicious, and I like the way you've arranged the apricots. Nothing better than fresh desserts made with seasonal fruits, in my book.

  3. That's one beautiful galette. Then again are apricots ever bad? :) Yum!

  4. Your photos are SO lovely!!! I love a good galette and the cornmeal is perfect!

  5. i LOVE dessert crust!!!

  6. What a lovely gallete. I am not an apricot fan, but I've heard the same thing... that they are delicious in cooked desserts! May have to test it out myself.

  7. Beautiful!!! Aren't apricots the best right now? For some reason, this seems to be an apricot year. Oh, and I had to comment, because our dogs share the same name, only minus a "c" (Luca).