Saturday, July 15, 2017

MORE THAN JUST A BOWL OF CHERRIES


Life is just ---

Not much in life is more pleasurable than a bowl of sweet red cherries. We’ve been enjoying the fruit since early June. But, as the cherry season draws to an end, I’m going beyond the proverbial bowl of cherries.


I don’t remember eating fresh cherries as a kid. But I absolutely remember cherry pie, a favorite for the Fourth of July, made with canned cherries. When I came to Spain and found fresh cherries in the market, I bought a cherry pitting device at the local ferretería (hardware store) and produced some pretty good cherry pies. Later, I went through a few seasons of making cherry clafoutis. (My trusty cherry pitter did double-duty as an olive pitter.) But mainly, I’m happy to just pop cherries in my mouth.

Spain is in the top ten of world cherry producers and exporters. More than a third of the crop is grown in the Valle del Jerte, in Extremadura (western Spain). More than two million cherry trees cover hillsides in this protected climate, creating spectacular sights when they blossom in early spring. Cherries from the Valle del Jerte have Protected Designation of Origin.

Picotas, on the left, are sweeter than cerezas, with stems.

Two kinds of sweet cherries are grown in Spain—picotas and cerezas. Picotas, which are picked without stems, are darker, sweeter, with a crisper texture than cerezas, which are picked with stems. Both are superb. The guinda is another name for cherry in Spain, designating the sour cherry.

For my cherry-themed dishes, I'm making cherry gazpacho--fairly traditional, but with cherries as well as tomatoes--and a cherry "ketchup" to serve with marinated pork tenderloin.

Cherries add a subtle sweetness to traditional gazpacho.

Tangy cherry ketchup is a perfect accompaniment to quick-cooking pork tenderloin. Add a cherry-inflected Garnacha rosado wine from Navarra for a lovely summer menu.

 Cherry Gazpacho
Gazpacho de Cerezas

Garnish the gazpacho with crispy croutons.

 Chef Dani García at his two-star restaurant in Marbella makes a cherry gazpacho served with a powdering of goat cheese and a sprinkling of pistachios. I’m using traditional croutons of fried bread, but adding non-traditional basil that seems to complement both the tomatoes and the cherries in the blend.

If you prefer a completely smooth gazpacho, sieve it after blending to remove tomato pips and cherry skins.

Serves 4.

Chill the gazpacho before serving.
10 ounces cherries
2 ounces crustless bread (2 thick slices)
2 cups chopped tomatoes
¼ cup chopped green pepper
¼ cup peeled and chopped cucumber
¼ cup chopped onion
1-2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Croutons of fried bread to garnish
Sprigs of basil to garnish

Useful tool--cherry pitter.
 Pit the cherries (you should have 1 ½- 2 cups)

Break up the bread and place it in a blender container. Add the pitted cherries, tomatoes, green pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic and salt. Pour over the lemon juice and water and allow the mixture to soak for 30 minutes to soften the bread.

Blend the mixture until quite smooth. Add the oil and blend again until the mixture is emulsified. (Gazpacho can be thinned with additional water, to taste.)

If desired, sieve the gazpacho mixture. Chill it, covered.

Serve the gazpacho with croutons and basil.

Basil is a nice complement to both tomatoes and cherries.

 Cherry Ketchup
Ketchup de Cerezas

A little tangy, a little sweet, cherry ketchup goes with many foods.

I'm serving this fruity, tangy ketchup with marinated pork tenderloin. But it would go well with turkey burgers or barbecued meat.

Ketchup should have a balance of sweet and tart. I found the cherries sufficiently sweet, so I added no sugar. After adding the vinegar to the pureed cherries, taste the mixture and add sugar to taste.

1 ½ cups pitted cherries
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
2-inch celery stalk
¼ cup water
Pinch cayenne
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons wine vinegar


Place the cherries, onion, bell pepper, celery and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, 15 minutes until fruit and vegetables are tender. Discard the celery. Puree the cherries in a blender.

Return the puree to the pan. Add the cayenne, allspice, ginger, salt, sugar, if using, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.
Store the ketchup covered and refrigerated. Keeps up to one week.

Pork Tenderloin in Adobo Marinade with Cherry Ketchup
Solomillo de Cerdo Adobado con Ketchup de Cerezas

Pork tenderloins are rubbed with adobo marinade with oregano.

A friend gave me a bunch of fresh oregano picked just before flowering. The pungent fresh herb inspired this adobo marinade, traditionally used to preserve pork. Here, it’s a rub for flavor. Spread it on the meat and marinate, refrigerated, at least one hour and up to 24 hours. 

Picked before flowering, fresh oregano is incredibly pungent.

I used three small tenderloins, which cooked fast, fast, in the pan. If you’re using one big tenderloin, finish it in the oven.

Serves 4

1 ½ pounds pork tenderloin
8 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon smoked pimentón (paprika)
1 tablespoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon + ¼ cup water
¼ cup white wine
Cherry Ketchup to serve


In a mini-processor, grind together the garlic, pimentón, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon water. Spread this mixture on the tenderloins. Place them in a non-reactive bowl or container. Cover and refrigerate.

(If you intend to finish the tenderloin in the oven, preheat oven to 400ºF.)

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet on medium heat. Sear the tenderloin until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes.

Scrape any remaining marinade into the skillet. Add ¼ cup water and the wine. Either place the pan in the oven or cover the skillet and cook on top of the stove until pork is done to medium-rare (145ºF internal temperature). (Small ones were done in 10 minutes.)

Place meat on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes. Slice the tenderloin crosswise, Spoon some of the pan juices over the meat. Accompany with cherry ketchup.

Pork and fruity ketchup.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

FOOD & WINE’S “FAST”

Last week, while sizzling those lamb chops with whole cloves of new garlic, I recalled that the recipe, from my book Cooking From the Heart of Spain—Food of La Mancha, also appeared in Food & Wine magazine’s special Spain issue (February 2005). I contributed eight recipes to the regular section, “Fast.” (The section disappeared a few years back, replaced by “fast” dots in F&W’s Recipe Index.)


Most of my fast recipes were authentically quick to prepare; others were adapted to use prepared foods (i.e., canned beans) to replace long-cooked ones. All were loaded with Spanish flavor: Chicken Breasts with Anisette, Seafood Chowder with Sherry and Serrano Ham, Bean and Chorizo Salad with Olives (the complete list and links to the recipes are below).

Butter beans and clams flavored with sunny saffron.

One of them, Clams with Butter Beans and Saffron, is what’s for dinner today. The F&W recipe calls for shucked littleneck clams. I don’t get fresh shucked clams in my local markets in Spain, so I used fresh Manila clams (also known as Japanese littleneck clams, they are a product of aquaculture). Steaming and shelling them added to the 30 minutes of preparation time. I did that the day before cooking the dish.

To prep the clams: Soak 3 ¼ pounds fresh Manila or littleneck clams in lightly salted cold water for 1 hour to disgorge any sand. Drain and rinse them in running water. Place the clams in a deep pan and add 2 bay leaves and ½ cup water. Bring the clams to a boil, covered. Shake the pan to move the clams around, just until the shells begin to pop open. Use a skimmer to skim the clams out as they open. Strain and save 1 cup of the broth, discarding the bay leaves. When the clams are cool enough to handle, remove the meats from the shells and discard the shells. Makes approximately 1 cup of clam meats. Clams can be cooked and shelled a day before cooking the recipe. Refrigerate the clam meats and the reserved broth.

Shucked.

More of a stew than a soup, but light enough for summer.

Clam Meats and bits of ham contribute all the salt needed to flavor the beans.

Clams with Butter Beans and Saffron
Almejas con Alubias y Azafrán

Don’t add salt to the beans, as the clams and their broth are quite salty.

Serves 4.

3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 ounces chopped serrano ham (½ cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fine dry bread crumbs
2 15-ounce cans butter beans (not drained)
1 bay leaf
Pinch of thyme
Large pinch of saffron threads
2 tablespoons hot water
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup clam meats
1 cup clam broth
Chopped parsley to garnish

In a cazuela or deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the ham and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the bread crumbs, then add the beans and their liquid along with the bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil.

A sofrito of onions, garlic and serrano ham plus saffron flavors canned butter beans.

In a small bowl, crush the saffron threads into the hot water. Add to the beans and season with pepper. Simmer the beans over low heat for 15 minutes. Add the clams and the clam broth and cook on medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.

FAST recipes that appeared in Food & Wine magazine:

More FAST recipes:

More recipes with clams:


Saturday, July 1, 2017

--WITH A “SMIDGIN” OF GARLIC

I’ve got garlic! The garden produced a modest heap of the flavor bulbs. I’m celebrating the harvest by cooking al ajillo. Ajillo is the diminutive of ajo, garlic, meaning “a little garlic,” you know, just a smidgin.


A heap of freshly harvested garlic. After it dries in the sun a few days, I trim the roots and stems and store the bulbs for use.

In Spanish, the diminutive, of course, means “small.” But it can also denote affection or a tongue-in-cheek opposite exaggeration. So, you say you’re using "just a little garlic," when actually it's lots and lots!

Today I’m making lamb chops sizzled with just a little (lots) garlic. (Other recipes al ajillo are linked below.)  I had these delectable chops in Las Pedroñeras, a La Mancha town that bills itself as the capital of garlic. There I learned that garlic over time gradually loses its punch. So when made with July’s newly picked garlic, the ration of cloves is minimal (one or two per lamb chop). But later in the year, when the flavor is milder, the number is increased (3 or 4 cloves per chop).

Lamb chops browned in olive oil with whole cloves of garlic are finished with lemon juice.

My fresh garlic keeps well for several months. Store garlic in a reasonably cool, well ventilated place away from direct light. Eventually, in the natural cycle of things, the garlic will begin to sprout. Then it's finished. Mine will be used up long before that.

In this recipe, the cloves of garlic are not peeled. They are lightly crushed, just to split the skins, and fried with the chops in sizzling oil. The skins protect the garlic flesh from scorching.

I like thick (1 inch) loin chops best. But, all I could get were small ones. These cook in an instant. Really. One minute per side, in a very hot skillet, just until browned. If you’re using thick chops, moderate the heat and cook them just until browned on both sides. That way they’ll stay a little pink and juicy on the inside. Serve the browned garlic with the chops. Peel the cloves or not. Let each person decide whether or not to eat them.

Serve whole garlic cloves with the chops.

Lamb chops and garlic are plated on a bed of quinoa with vegetables. Rice or cous cous or, Spanish style, fries, are good alternatives. Perhaps a La Mancha  tempranillo to accompany the dish.

Lamb Chops Sizzled with Garlic
Chuletas de Cordero al Ajillo

Serves 4.

Ajo morado, purple garlic.
2 pounds lamb chops, (8 to 12 chops, depending on thickness)
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of thyme
10 to 12 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Sprinkle the chops with salt, pepper, and thyme. Using the side of a knife, crush the unpeeled cloves of garlic lightly, just to split the skins.

Crush garlic cloves lightly to split skins.

Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the lamb chops and garlic. Brown the chops on one side. Turn the chops and the cloves of garlic and brown reverse side.

Remove the chops to a serving platter. Add the water and lemon juice to the remaining oil and garlic. Heat until sizzling. Pour over the chops and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

Do you dare to eat the whole clove of garlic?






More recipes for using garlic:

Saturday, June 24, 2017

BIGGER FISH TO FRY

At my local fish market, I usually ignore the small fry, deeming them—except for fresh anchovies and sardines—too bony to be worth the bother. One of these is the jurel, also known as chicharro  (“horse mackerel” or “scad” in English).

But when I spied these larger specimens, impeccably fresh, I decided to give jureles a try. They were cheap enough and local women were buying them up. 


Jureles are horse mackerel.

Small jureles—about the size of sardines—are usually simply floured and fried. The village ladies who were buying the larger ones said they would prepare them al horno, baked with a layer of potatoes, onions, peppers and tomatoes. The vendor suggested escabeche. (See at the end of this post for links to those recipes.)

I bought two jureles, each weighing about 1 pound. The fish vendor cleaned them and removed the heads. The cleaned fish each weighed about 12 ounces. I figured on a whole one—on the bone—per person. Not everyone is willing to tackle a whole fish, but, with practice and some patience, it is a rewarding experience.

Looking for some guidance with a fish I hadn’t cooked before, I pulled out my reference books—Alan Davidson’s The Tio Pepe Guide to the Seafood of Spain and Portugal (Santana Books); Seafood, A Connoisseur’s Guide and Cookbook, by Alan Davidson with illustrations by Charlotte Knox (Mitchell Beazley), and Manual del Pescado by José Carlos Capel (R&B Ediciones).

All seemed to indicate that the horse mackerel, which belongs to the jack family, is not especially esteemed. The horse mackerel belongs to the fatty, bluefish group (presumably, that means healthful omega-3 fatty acids). It’s a silvery fish with a greenish-gold streak on its side, not to be confused with the true mackerel (caballa), a silvery-green fish with blue-black markings.

The Capel book suggested a recipe by Basque chef, José Castillo. I pulled out my battered copy of Manual de Cocina Económica Vasca (Manual of Economic Basque Cooking) by José Castillo (Editorial Icharopena; 1970) and found fully six recipes for chicharros!

I decided on fish roasted a la vizcaina, or Biscay style. This usually means the dish includes red choricero peppers, but in this recipe, pimentón (paprika) stands in for the peppers. In this case it is regular sweet pimentón, not smoked.

Whole fish are roasted with a topping of garlic, parsley, pimentón and crumbs.

For the fearless, not put off by bones--a whole fish.

Or, fillet the roasted fish in the kitchen and plate it for guests.

Horse Mackerel, Biscay Style
Chicharro a la Vizcaina

Any whole fish may be prepared in this manner. Try it with true mackerel (caballa), sea bass (lubina) or gilthead bream (dorada).

Chop garlic, parsley in mini-processor.
Serves 6 or more.

6 (1-pound each) horse mackerels, cleaned
Salt and pepper
12 tablespoons olive oil
12 (or more) cloves garlic
2/3 cup chopped parsley
4 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon pimentón (paprika)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ cup white wine or dry cider
Lemon slices to serve


Cut two deep slits in the top of the fish. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Crumbs and pimentón to parsley.
Finely chop the garlic and parsley in a mini-processor. Place in a small bowl and add the breadcrumbs, pimentón and lemon zest.

Preheat oven to 475ºF.

Oil a shallow roasting pan or baking sheet and place the fish in it. Pour half of the oil over the fish. Spread the garlic-parsley-crumb mixture on top of the fish. Drizzle the remaining oil over the fish.

Ready for the oven, with a topping of parsley, garlic, pimentón and crumbs.

Roast the fish for 10 minutes. Remove and pour the wine or cider over. Roast 10 minutes more. Serve with lemon slices. 




More fish recipes for using horse mackerel:

Saturday, June 17, 2017

EGGPLANT DOES DOUBLE-DUTY



Eggplant (also known as aubergine) may be my favorite summer vegetable. It’s so incredibly versatile—fry it, roast it, stew it, pickle it. Eggplant pleases me, too, because it has a meaty umami-ness that makes it a good main ingredient for meatless meals. Think eggplant parm or eggplant stuffed with rice and pine nuts.


Sometimes I just want an easy side dish to go with roast chicken or grilled meat. This roasted eggplant with cheese does double-duty—as a side, it bakes alongside a roast and, for another day, becomes the main attraction, accompanied by rice or cous cous, for a vegetarian meal.

The blend of spices gives the eggplant a subtle, exotic flavor. Known as Mudéjar style, for the Moors who opted to stay in Spain under Christian dominion after the Reconquest in 1085, the spice blend includes cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg and coriander.

A blend of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander and pepper seasons the eggplant.

Melted cheese tops the slow-roasted eggplant.

Serve the eggplant as a side ---

--or as the main dish for a vegetarian meal. Don't those look like cutlets?



Roasted Eggplant with Cheese
Berenjenas con Queso al Horno

Serve eggplant hot or keep it for another day and serve it room temperature.

The spices and wine make candy of the slow-roasted eggplant. The eggplant skins are like a terrine, with roasting they become tough and are not meant to be eaten. While authentic Manchego cheese (a sheeps’ milk cheese) is best, you could substitute Parmesan, Gruyere, or pecorino.

I’m thinking the eggplant would work on a grill, too. Spread the halves with spices and oil and wrap them in foil. Once they are tender, unwrap and cover with cheese. Let it melt on the grill.

Serves 6 to 8 as a side; 3 or 4 as a main.

4 medium eggplant (2 ½ pounds)
Salt
¼ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch cloves
Pinch ground ginger
Pinch ground coriander
Grating of fresh nutmeg
Pinch dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
6 ounces aged Manchego cheese, grated (2 cups)


Cut off and discard stems and leaves. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. With a sharp knife, make deep cuts in the flesh lengthwise and crosswise. Salt the eggplant and leave them, cut side down, to drain for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Score eggplant and sprinkle with spices.
Rinse the eggplant in water, drain well and pat dry with paper towel. Place the eggplant halves, cut side up, in a single layer in a baking pan. Drizzle with the olive oil. Combine the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, coriander, nutmeg, oregano, and pepper. Sprinkle the spices over the eggplant. Bake 15 minutes.

Pour the wine over the eggplant. Return to oven for 15 minutes. Turn the eggplant cut-side down and bake 30 minutes longer, or until they are fork tender.

Spread grated cheese on top, return to the oven to brown.


Turn cut side up again and spoon pan juices over the eggplant. (If pan is dry, add about ¼ cup of water.) Spread the grated cheese on top of the eggplant halves. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted and lightly browned, 12-15 minutes.  Serve hot or room temperature.




More recipes with eggplant:

Pickled Eggplant.
Eggplant Tortilla.
Aubergine (Eggplant) Terrine.
http://mykitcheninspain.blogspot.com.es/2015/09/recovering-summer.html
Eggplant Timbale.
Fried Eggplant and Cheese Stacks.
Grilled Eggplant and Peppers (Escalivada).
Eggplant Pisto with Mackerel.
Microwave Baba Ghanoush.
Eggplant-Vegetable Medley (Pisto).

Saturday, June 10, 2017

THE APRICOTS ARE FALLING!

The call came on a Sunday morning. “They’re falling!” said my friend Charlotte. Not the sky, but apricots, were dropping from the tree in her garden onto a cushion of grass. 


Charlotte picks the fruit off the ground twice a day. It piles up in heaps in her kitchen, awaiting cutting up. Her freezer is packed with fruit and, soon, pots of jam are simmering on the stove. Jars of apricot preserves line her pantry shelves.

Finally, overwhelmed, she invites me and other friends to come pick as much as we like. I usually take away enough apricots to provide months worth of fruit for luscious desserts.

Tree-ripened apricots, pits removed, ready for making jam or desserts.

In my kitchen, I wash the fruit, pit it and cut away any bruised bits. A free-stone variety, these apricots are easy to pit, just cut around the circumference, twist the halves to separate them and lift out the pit. I sprinkle the cut-up apricots liberally with lemon juice to prevent their darkening.

At this point, the apricots can be packed in plastic bags and frozen raw or lightly stewed first, which reduces their bulk, then bagged and frozen.

Apricots, which are native to China, were cultivated by the ancient Persians, who called them “golden eggs of the sun.” Though the Romans knew apricots as an imported delicacy, they weren’t grown in Europe—except in Spain—until after the Crusaders brought them back from the Middle East. In Spain, the Moors, gardeners and volupturaries, were growing and eating apricots much earlier. Spain is, today, one of the world’s largest producers of the fruit.

Unlike most market fruits, the apricot is extremely fragile. It must be picked when completely ripe, for it won’t ripen further afer picking. Because the fruit doesn’t travel well, it is found in the markets for only a short time. The bulk of the commercial crop, which comes primarily from Murcia (eastern Spain), is conserved or dried.

Of the several varieties of apricots, some are almost white, others deeply blushed with orange, yet others almost pink. The pale colored, sweet-fleshed ones seem best for eating raw, while the firmer, tart-sweet varieties are prized for sauces, glazes and desserts.

Store fresh apricots refrigerated and use them promptly. They are extraordinarily rich in pro-vitamin A as well as other vitamins and minerals.

I use most of my frozen apricots for making ice cream—actually, no-sugar frozen yogurt (a link to that recipe appears below). But to celebrate Charlotte’s fabulous apricot crop, I’ve made a luscious mousse that can be used as filling for a pie shell, spooned into dessert cups or placed in a decorative mold and frozen.

Creamy apricot mousse fills a pie shell of ground almonds.

The same mousse can be served in dessert cups.

Apricot Mousse
Mousse de Albaricoques

Apricot puree and whipped cream are soft-set with gelatin.


Mousse is an easy make-ahead dessert.

Gelatin and whipped cream give the mousse a dreamy soft-set texture. Prepare the mousse at least 12 hours before serving so it has time to chill and set. The apricots make a very pale-colored puree.

The quantities given make enough mousse for a large (10-inch) tart shell or 6 to 8 dessert cups. I used a 9-inch pie shell (recipe for almond pie crust is below) and had enough mousse to fill 3 dessert bowls as well.

Have the whipping cream well-chilled. Chill the mixing bowl (preferably metal) and beaters before whipping the cream. 

I don’t use sugar, so I sweetened the apricots with liquid stevia, a non-caloric sweetener. I’ve listed both sugar and stevia in the ingredients, so you can decide which you prefer.

1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
¼ cup water
2 ½ cups apricot puree
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ cup sugar OR 2 teaspoons liquid stevia (divided)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream, chilled


In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Allow it to soak for 5 minutes.

Combine the apricot puree with lemon juice and ½ cup sugar or 1 teaspoon stevia sweetener. Stir in the vanilla.

Melt the gelatin in a microwave on High for 20 seconds. Stir it to dissolve completely, then whisk it into the apricot mixture. Chill the apricot puree for 30 minutes until it begins to thicken.

Whip the chilled cream until it holds soft peaks. Beat in ¼ cup sugar or 1 teaspoon stevia sweetener.

Fold cream into apricots.
Whisk a quarter of the cream into the apricot mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold in the remaining cream.

Ladle the apricot-cream into individual dessert cups, a baked crumb crust pie shell or, to freeze, a decorative oiled mold.

Chill (or freeze) the mousse at least 12 hours. Keep the mousse or pie refrigerated until immediately before serving.



If desired, top the desserts with sliced apricots.


Almond Crumb Crust
Pastel de Almendras para Tarta


Apricots and almonds are a match made in heaven. This crust starts out crisp, but after setting with the mousse mixture, it becomes cake-y in texture. Use a mild extra virgin olive oil, such as the Arbequina variety, to make the crust.

Unsweetened ground almonds.
¼ cup mild extra virgin olive oil
2 cups (unsweetened) ground almonds
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 egg white
2 tablespoons cold water


Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Dip 2 fingers into the oil and grease a 10-inch pie pan or tart pan.

In a bowl, combine the ground almonds with the salt and sugar, if using.

In a small bowl, combine the egg white and water and stir to combine.

Add the oil to the almonds. Add the egg white to the almonds. Use a fork to stir until combined.

Press almond mixture into pie pan.

Spread the almond mixture in the oiled pie pan and press it firmly in the bottom and part way up the sides of the pan.

Bake the pie crust until golden, about 20 minutes. Let it cool before filling with the apricot mousse.


Bake crust until crisp.













Oh look! Apricots are finished, but the nectarines are starting! My tree is loaded with fruit this year. Time to start gathering them, some to eat out-of-hand, most to cut up and freeze. The apricot recipes work equally well with nectarines or peaches.

Here are more recipes for using apricots and similar fruits:

Cheese Custard Tart with Fruit.
Fruit Ice Cream.
 Nectarine Mousse with Yogurt.
Loquat Mousse.
Figgy Fritters.
Dried Apricot Bars.
Pork Chops with Apricot-Vinegar Sauce.
Apricot Barbecue Sauce.