Saturday, July 18, 2009


We've had several chilly days lately, so rather than securing a sweater around my heftier-than-I-would-like torso and heading outside for some exercise, I've found myself puttering about in the kitchen. A non-baker wouldn't understand this, but there are times when the most unsuspecting ingredients find themselves together with the perfect recipe--and the planets are in alignment and all is right with the world. This happened to me this week....

A bin of fresh apricots was calling my name at the grocery store. I've never much bothered with the fresh ones; they're so little, and the canned ones taste just fine. I'm also suspicious of them--are they often as heartbreakingly "woody" as approximately 90% of the peaches I buy? (Or formerly bought, as is the case now, after cruel experience.) I threw caution to the wind and picked out what I thought to be the 14 (!) most superior specimens, announcing that I was going to make an apricot tart. When you announce something like that, you are well and truly committed, or you will be responsible for much familial disappointment around the house.

The second cosmic ingredient? Raspberries! Later the same day, we were over to a friend's house for dinner; he gave me a quart of plump, red raspberries from his little patch that is apparently threatening to not only snare him within its confines, but to pretty much overtake the back side of his house. I was happy to assist him!

Fresh apricots and fresh raspberries....this could only mean PIE!

I've never combined the two before, but these flavors, along with a little touch of almond for good measure, were heavenly. Yes, the stars were definitely in alignment!

I will close with a quote from Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1877). I couldn't agree with him more.
“The natural term of an apple-pie is but twelve hours. It reaches its highest state about one hour after it comes from the oven, and just before its natural heat has quite departed. But every hour afterward is a declension. And after it is one day old, it is thence-forward but the ghastly corpse of apple-pie.”

This problem rarely presents itself at our house...who still has pie left after 24 hours?!
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