When I look out of my kitchen window, my tiny front garden is dotted with yellows and oranges; half-eaten orbs left by the birds or abruptly pulled from the tree by the blustery monsoon rains we’ve been getting every afternoon in Santa Fe. Sweet apricots are everywhere.
I’ve been doing my best to keep up (there are about 30 ready for something in my windowsill as I type this) but inevitably, I’ve fallen behind. As I’ve mentioned a few dozen times before, I love apricots, but I’ve been rushing here and there, to and fro, signing and selling books, and I’m just not in the kitchen as much as I’d like to be. Luckily for me (and for all of you), I have just the recipe to transform apricots (or any other fruit that’s filling up your yard) into a quick and easy dessert that I’ve found makes a perfect breakfast snack, too.
There is fruit involved, after all.
I’m off to another book signing today in Albuquerque, at Bookworks, so I’ll deal with the rest of those cuties when I return. Then again, I may just take them along for road snacks…
Apricot Croustades with Basil Ricotta Crème
Makes 2 medium-size croustades
- 1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons of sugar, divided
- a pinch of sea salt
- 1 stick of cold butter, cut into cubes and popped into the freezer beforehand
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of ice water
- 1 cup of ricotta
- 2 eggs, divided
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon of chopped fresh basil
- ¼ teaspoon of lemon zest
- about a dozen apricots, pitted and torn in half
1. Put your flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and salt in a food processor, and pulse a few times to combine.
2. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas or pebbles. Now, slowly add the ice water, and pulse just until the dough begins to come together. You don’t want to over-blend or over work the dough. Put the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a large rectangle about 2 inches thick and pop into the fridge for an hour.
3. Whisk together the ricotta, 1 egg, vanilla, basil, and lemon zest. Place back in the fridge until you’re ready to make the croustades.
4. When you’re ready to make your croustades: Cut the dough in half, and pop one piece back into the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough till it’s about ¼-inch thick. Don’t worry about how it looks. The crusts don’t need to be too thin or perfectly shaped — in fact, part of the charm of the croustade is its odd shape. Once both pieces are rolled out, place them on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and pop back into the fridge until you’re ready to assemble.
5. Preheat your oven to 450°F. Take your dough out of the fridge and spread each piece with half of the ricotta mixture and the apricots, making sure to leave about 3 inches around the edges. Fold over the edges, brush them with the other egg mixed with a little water and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.