It's going to be such a fun event and I hope to see some of you Southern California residents there! And of course if you have any questions about the event feel free to post a comment here or email me any/all of your thoughts about it.
Now, to the galette! After a very long wait, I finally started to see my little friend the apricot appearing in grocery stores and farmer's markets last week. I feel like apricots often get left behind in the hype of spring; in my head I always imagine a little parade of spring fruits and vegetables, with apricots struggling to catch up to ramps and rhubarbs, silently shuffling behind. Apricots have a very short season and are only available fresh from late spring to early summer, so its best to take advantage of their unique peachy and mildly tart flavor while you can! Make sure to squeeze them gently when purchasing to get ones that are slightly soft. You don't want them to be mushy, but you also don't want them to be hard (unless you don't plan on eating them for another week), and make sure to give them a good sniff; the riper they are, the better and fruitier they'll smell.
This past weekend I used them to make this galette and a jam (I'll be posting about the jam soon!), and now I am thinking about making some sort of roast chicken dish with them (I have an inkling that apricots would taste just amazing in a poultry glaze). But for this recipe I paired them with the flavorful and ever-popular rhubarb to create a sweet and slightly tart spring-tastic filling. For the crust I used Walkers' Pure Butter Shortbread Fingers. These are the tastiest, richest shortbread cookies I've been able to find on market shelves (I used to get these all the time in college as a comfort food during finals week.) They're made in Scotland and are wonderfully dense and SOOOO buttery, which makes for an amazing treat when ground up and incorporated into the crust (also makes for an amazing treat pretty much all the time. I love dipping mine in a hot mug of tea!) I'm also a fan of Walker's because their shortbread is only made with sea salt, cane & beet sugar, unbleached flour, & butter from cows not treated with any growth hormones or antibiotics. No lengthy preservatives or artificial colors in these tasty cookies. If you want to purchase some, Walkers' Shortbread is offering a coupon for use on their website. Just use the code #ACSPRING at checkout to get 20% percent off your order, sale items excluded. Very kind of them! The shortbread crust came out beautifully; nice and flakey with that signature buttery Walkers' flavor and a beautiful deep golden hue. It paired perfectly with the sweet and tart apricot and rhubarb filling!
Also, for this post I took all the photos outside for the first time! I wanted to challenge myself a bit and try something different, and it was definitely trickier because the sun kept moving throughout the day so I had to keep scooting my table to keep it in the shade. It was also difficult to frame the shots without the sun completely blowing out the background, but I feel like I learned a lot from it and really like the cozy picnic-y feel the photos ended up with. And on a fun personal note, after seeing Carey's awesome photos after her Canon 5d Mark II purchase, I couldn't put off getting one any longer and finally broke down and splurged some of my savings on one. I haven't had a chance to shoot any posts with it yet, and still have a few posts from my Canon T2i that I was shooting with, so the next few posts won't have the new camera yet, but soon! Soon my friends!! Anywho, I am just ridiculously excited about it. I hope you are all having a lovely spring and highly recommend making this galette to enjoy the fruits of the season!
Apricot Rhubarb Filling
1 lb Apricots, cut in half and pitted
2 Stalks Rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoons Honey
2 Teaspoons Corn Starch
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
(1) 5.3 Oz Package Walkers' Pure Butter Shortbread Fingers
2 and 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Butter
4-6 Tablespoons Water
1 Egg, whisked, for brushing
First, make the crust. In a blender or food processor, pulverize the Walkers' shortbread fingers until they turn into fine crumbs. In a large bowl, mix the shortbread crumbs with the flour, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt until well blended. Cut the butter into pea size pieces over the bowl or use a dough scraper to chop the butter up in the bowl with the flour. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough just sticks together when you squeeze it. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and pat it out into a rough circle on a well-floured surface. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll it out to a 1/2 inch thick circle. Transfer the circle onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Empty the fruit filling into the center of the circle, spreading it out a little bit so it's not all in a tall heap, and fold the edges of the dough over the filling to create a 2-3 inch deep crust. Brush the exposed crust with the whisked egg and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the crust is deeply golden and the filling is soft. If you find the crust is browning too quickly, tent the galette with tinfoil. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.