Have I mentioned that I’m not a baker? Jam – I have down. Pickles – those too. The problem with being a preserver is that you get really good at putting things away and saving them for something special. We preservers thrive on delayed satisfaction. Then we end up with quarts of pickles and dozens of jars of jam that we need to use up. Of course, right about that time new exciting fruit comes into season and if you want to fill new jars you need to clear out old jars. A great way to use up the jam? Baking, of course. So I had to tackle one of the basics – pie dough.
A couple of weeks ago I discovered a great pâte brisée recipe. I made a spring tart – green garlic, last year’s put up roasted red peppers, and sharp cheddar cheese. I was surprised how great it turned out – rich and toothsome, with the right balance of sugar and salt. (Really? Me? I made this?!) Then when Shauna at Gluten Free Girl announced a pie party, I knew a sweet version couldn’t be that hard.
Cherry Apricot Crostata
One recipe pâte brisée
One half pint apricot amaretto jam (a little will be leftover)
One cup of sweet cherries
Half cup of Irish Whiskey
Two tablespoons of sugar
1. Make the pâte brisée, let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.
2. Macerate cherries in whiskey and sugar for as long as you can – they only get better – at least an hour. Once their macerating is up, cook them on medium heat until cooked down – you may need to mash them up a bit with your spoon. Strain, reserve whiskey liquid for cocktails (yum!)
3. Roll out to 1/8″ thick. Fill the middle with jam – leave a 1/2″ border around the edge free of jam. Top the jam with the cherries.
4. Fold in the crust over the jam a little, so there is about 1″ crust.
5. Bake for 45ish minutes until brown and bubbly. I had to turn my broiler on for a second because I was getting impatient. Serve a la mode.
1. Any kind of jam or fresh fruit will do, but this combination is really killer. I like the idea of using last season’s jam with this season’s fresh fruit.
2. Experiment with the crust – I have plans to add grade B maple syrup and honey to different versions.
3. Try Joel’s version with lard. I think there is pot pie in my future…