Does this photo get your attention? This is heaven on a plate. I wouldn't lie to you...
Todays' recipe comes from my cousin.. Thank you, Ursula, for showing me how to make this recipe. This will be a special dessert that I will make again and again.
My husband and I spent a day at my cousin's home in the Los Altos Hills area, near the Silicon Valley (home of Google and Apple).
Her home is a shangri la, privately nestled in the hills with a beautiful view of Palo Alto and surrounding cities. As a little girl, I used to spend a few days at Ursula's little piece of Bavaria-- swimming in her pool, anxiously waiting for her delicious food and enjoying her sense of humor. I hope to grow as young as she is, in her respectful age of 70-something. In many ways, she's far younger than I am... she walks 5 miles a day, still skiis and...would you believe this...
She trims her own fruit trees, harvest them and preserves them. She does not have a housekeeper, a pool person nor a gardener-- though she could afford it, if she wanted to! She does all of this herself!
Let's go into her kitchen and I'll share with all of you how she makes this recipe:
Isn't her Bavarian "nook" cute? Her father built it, bless his heart. As a kid, living in Germany, I adored visit him and his wife-- who was also an amazing cook and baker. They are both gone now, but not forgotten.
Ursula's recipe is hand written, in German. She gave us U.S. measurements, but she prefers to use this measuring beaker. Note to self: get one! I've seen them on King Arthur Flour and Amazon.com. You can easily convert to metric and vice versa.
First, for the crust. This is her Dr. Oetker spring form pan. It has many years of baking, and is still going strong.
First, she dumps her dry ingredients on a board, to make the crust. (Flour, butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla sugar)...
Then, she makes a well and add the egg yolks and butter...
...and she blends the wet with her dry, with her fingers (Me, I'm thinking "food processor")
With practiced hands, the dough comes together faster than I can hit "pulse" on my food processor...
This took no time for her at all! She did not overwork the dough...
Now, she rolls the dough (dontchya love her Dough Boy T-Shirt?)
She does not like being photographed, but I need to show you the face of the person whose hands are doing all the work. I love you, Ursula! You look just fine. Believe me.
Now, she pats the dough and brings the edges up a little higher (this will be filled with fruit and a cream topping, so you want the dough to accommodate that). I marvel at how fast she is at this-- less than five minutes and she's ready for the apricots.
First, she spoons a thin layer of apricot jam. She says this prevents the crust from getting soggy. I've been doing this, ever since she first showed me, and I love it! She prys open the apricots, removes the pits and cuts them into quarters-- filling the pan. She used approximately 15 apricots. (Peaches would be delicious, too, I remarked...and she agreed). She also added that blueberries do very well with this recipe.
Nature called, so I missed out on photographing her using a hand mixer to blend the sour cream, heavy cream, whole eggs, sugar and the lemon rind. Yes, I washed my hands-- in a hurry, not to miss out.
I arrived just in time to photograph her pouring the cream topping in. OMG, this looks so good! Into the oven at 350F, it went for about 55 minutes. In the meantime, I jumped into the pool for some exercise... so that I could enjoy this, guilt-free.
How beautiful is this?
This tart should be cooled for at least an hour, and then refrigerated for the cream to "set".
Here's my oldest brother and my husband (on the right) looking anxious to taste this. Okay, so was I...but I'm the photographer. Craig is also tired, because he went on a 5-mile fast hike with Ursula's daughter (who is also camera shy) in one hour!
It did not matter, one bit, that this was still warm. It was incredibly good. The vanilla in the crust and the cream topping, with a hint of lemon was so good!
Ursula chuckled every time she saw me zooming in, with my camera, to photograph her dessert. Ursula, I hope that I did you justice on how to make this.
I cannot wait to make this myself! I'm off to World Mart to buy vanilla sugar. You could make your own, but she says she substitutes 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract if she's out of the vanilla sugar. Don't skip this! This is what makes the crust go "mmmmmmmm".
From my German cousin to your kitchen-- baked with love,