August in Paris is basically no-mans-land. The streets have emptied of Parisians and the tourists are in full bloom. In my office today, the lights weren't even turned on (and it's done by a main switch), so I had to pee in the dark! EEK. Basically I'm taking this as a sign that I shouldn't be working.
I've spent my summer based in Paris, with extended hops to Montreal, Aix-en-Provence, and the Spanish coast. Next week I'm going back to Provence (my favourite place in the world), and then in the beginning of September: OLÁ BRASIL! This is my last year (fingers crossed - insert nervous laughter) as a PhD student... and I am taking advantage of my freedom before the real world comes crashing down on me.
I am also taking advantage of French apricots and peaches! This tart (which can be vegan or not) is packed with these delicious and juicy seasonal fruits. It's simple, satisfying, and perfect for summer nights with a glass of rosé.
Apricot and Peach Summer Crumble - What you need:
For the crust:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 115 grams of butter (about 1/2 cup), very cold and diced. (To make this vegan, use a vegan margarine.)
- 1-3 tablespoons very cold water (brr!)
For the fruity filling:
- 4 ripe peaches, sliced
- 4-5 ripe apricots, sliced
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- seeds from one vanilla bean
For the crumble topping:
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar*
- 1/2 cup butter, cold and diced
*It's quite tricky to find brown sugar in France. If you also have this problem or just ran out of the stuff, you can pulse 1/2 white sugar with 2 teaspoons molasses in a food processor a couple of times to make brown sugar! (That's what I did here!)
Apricot and Peach Summer Crumble - What you do:
First, make the crust: in a large bowl stir together the flour and salt. Cut in the butter until coarse crumbs are formed. You can also (like me) pulse these ingredients very roughly together via a food processor.
Next, slowly add the cold water, starting with a tablespoon. Test out the dough - it should stick together. If it doesn't, add a touch more of water. Once the dough sticks together well, wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, toss together all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. This makes an amazing sticky-sweet vanilla syrup coating for the fruits. I promise I didn't lick the bowl.
To make the crumble top, mix the flour and oats in a bowl. Blend in the sugar (I used my clean hands!). Then, using your fingertips or two knives, blend in the pieces of butter. The texture should resemble big, coarse crumbs... however my apartment is around 30 degrees celsius, so it was more of a dough. It's fine either way, it all gets baked up in the oven!
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (350F).
To make the pie, roll out the pie dough on a floured surface. Place in a pie dish and pinch together the edges.
Add the filling to the dish, and then top off with the crumble.
Bake the pie until bubbly and golden. It should take around 45 minutes. Allow the pie to cool slightly before cutting and serving. I imagine a good old scoop of ice-cream would be fairly baller.
The filling is sweet and vanilla kissed. The peaches and apricots mostly turn into a delicious ooey-gooey filling, but a few pieces keep their shape and give a nice bite. The crust is a bit crunchy and the crumble is just right. This is definitely one of my favourite creations of the year... and it's so easy!
This pie dish is from art & manufacture, a Quebec ceramics artisan. I was given this dish as a present for my birthday, and I'm fairly sure it's one of the top things I've ever received. I adore her work. I've also bought this amazing maple syrup canister... I cannot wait until it arrives and I can pour in the big maple syrup can that I've been hoarding in my room.
Baking soundtrack - tunes to inspire your inner baker:
I baked to this playlist today.