We’ve been a bit absent here at Possum Kitchen for the past few months. We ended our time of travelling together and have gone separate ways, diving into separate projects. Neither of us has had a kitchen for a while and these new projects have been a wee bit consuming. But I have a kitchen being built for me while I type, and we can’t stay away from our foodie dreams for that long so here is a little tale for the summertime.
In beginning my own grand new project I’ve found myself living in the whole new world (for me) of temperate Australia; Tasmania, to be specific. As a child of the tropics and sub tropics temperate climates provide an exotic wonderland of new foods in abundance, most notably, in the summertime, stone fruit. Peaches, plums, apricots, cherries. Driving home from the surf the other day I stopped beside the road and bought an enormous box of slightly overripe apricots from a lovely old fella because I am a sucker for seasonal fruit and damn it was a bargain!
I’ve been eating apricots fresh with yoghurt and muesli, freezing them and making them into smoothies but the box doesn’t seem to be getting lighter. The dear man building my kitchen is a self-professed glutard (with coeliac disease, so it’s the real deal) with a healthy sweet tooth so I made gluten-free pie crust, filled it with apricots and put it in the oven. I’ve never seen him so content. Gluten free short crust pastry is super easy and baked apricots make the most delicious, rich, tangy, sweet mess you can imagine.
1/2 cup fine brown rice flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup sugar (rapadura, raw…whatever you have)
125 g cold butter cut into 1 cm cubes **
1 large egg ** (I used a duck egg because I have a very happy caramel duck who hides caches of eggs in the jungle of the chook pen; a chook egg will do fine)
fresh apricots, around 1 kg
If you have a food processor process all the dry ingredients so they are well mixed, then add butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly like bread crumbs. Add egg and pulse until it is just mixed through. If, like me, you don’t have a food processor you can do it all with your hands. Mix your dry ingredients together and then add the butter. Using your fingers rub the butter into your flours until it is crumbly. Add the egg and keep mixing until the egg is somewhat evenly mixed through.
Now this is the bit where I get lazy. Proper pastry people will chill their pastry for half an hour in the fridge, then roll it carefully, chill again and arrange the rolled sheet in the pie dish before baking it. You are welcome to do this but I’ve always found pastry is delicious done my way. I do chill it for a little bit once it’s all mixed together, 10 – 15 min in the fridge. During that time I preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a pie dish (I don’t actually own a pie dish, so instead I grease a 20-something cm diameter spring form pan; pie making doesn’t need to be an exact art.) Instead of rolling my pastry I put into all into the ‘pie dish’ and squash it out with my fingers until it is of even thickness across the base and a few cm up the edges. Perhaps if I had a rolling pin I would roll it but this way is super easy and fun, and always seems to make beautiful pastry. Bake this for 10 minutes or until it’s golden at the edges.
The filling is nothing but apricots. Cut them in half and remove the stones, then layer them into the pastry shell until it’s full. Bake the pie for 30-40 min until the apricots are soft and the top layer has started to darken a little.
Serve hot with cream or icecream. And then cold for breakfast if you don’t eat it all at once.
** If you want a vegan pie replace the butter with cold coconut oil and the egg with a tablespoon of chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup of water and then blended until it resembles beaten egg.