Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Treat

A few weeks ago I was so bewitched by Molly's beautiful rendition of the Zuni apricot tart that I decided to see if I could find some locally-grown apricots and duplicate her success. It's not surprising I would be sorely tempted; I've been drooling over apricot posts all summer, and Molly's was most tempting.

I went on my mission and discovered there were actually some apricots grown in New York State - and they were available. But before I committed myself to this flighty endeavor, I checked the source out online. High five! Spike the ball! I felt I had struck gold. These would be just what you want apricots to be - fragrant and juicy and oh-so-scrumptious that you would be longing for apricot season to return the minute it was over. And they were grown in my own backyard, so to speak.

When I found them, they were beautiful to look at in their little basket, all nestled together waiting to be plucked and eaten one by one, or turned into jam, or made into compote - or baked in a tart. I remembered there's a reason apricot is a color. It's happy and sunshine warm; guaranteed to brighten even the gloomiest winter day. And I scoo
ped up that little basket without a second thought and went on my merry way.

You are probably beginning to suspect how this story ends.
What was I thinking? I must be reading too much Harry Potter. It turns out that having perseverance, being on the side of right, and counting on some luck doesn't always work. These were the kind of apricots you would expect from Jardin de Voldemort. They were mealy and tasteless, and instead of ending up in a tart, they ended up on the compost heap.

However, this did make me realize that I hadn't yet made any desserts from Zuni, and I decided it was about time to rectify that lapse. So I turned to the desserts section, where on Page 456 Judy Rodgers says
Dessert has the interesting duty of teasing out the last gasps of your appetite. For me, the best dessert is simple and bright, and often overtly sensual.
Of course, I was hooked. Lots of sweets tempted me, but after my frustrating experience with the apricots, I thought I would go for a sure thing. I decided to make the second most famous recipe in the book.
Chocolate Pots de Crème
Desserts & Pastry, Page 499

Say Hey to Sylvano


EB said...

Oh man! Mealy apricots are the worst!!! Buuuut if they lead you to glorious chocolate... then maybe they're ok.

Hey Syl!

Liz C said...

Oooo... Callebaut bittersweet is my drug of choice. I'll definitely be making these.. in the 2 oz size.

Ai Lu said...


I am glad to see that you are still cooking out of Zuni. Now that I have returned to NYC, as soon as I have a free minute I'm going to seek out the wonderful tome at Borders or the Strand...

I also love individual chocolate desserts! Julia Child's chocolate souffle is marvelous when cooked up in little ramekins, but I may give your little pots a go, too.

I'm not sure if I'm doing you a favor or not...but let me add to your apricot-reading pleasure and point you to my post on apricot clafoutis:
I am planning on using the same recipe today to do away with some plums that are ripening on my counter as I write...

Ai Lu

Michelle said...

Smooth chocolaty desserts are the best. Also, love the cat!

Julie said...

Hi Syl.