We had no idea what to expect as we boarded the train to Agen. The ride was picturesque , rolling green hills, dotted with vineyards and castles tucked away. Like a fairy tale actually. Once we arrive into Agen, we grabbed a cab, which we found out later …. no one does when they come to Camont. The drive was short but our anticipation was heightened as we turned the corner, saw the rustic sign Camont and recognized the farmhouse from Kate’s site.
The welcome was warm, like family we have not seen in a long time. Bacon, Kate’s fearless companion gave us a sniff and a bark. Kate’s sister, Stephanie was visiting and greeted us with open arms. As well there was Betsy who is an old friend of Kate’s from Boulder and Erika and Chris, who are there in Camont until November. The only person missing was Kate. And our friend, Dominique. This is when we found out, no one ever takes a cab to Camont.
We spent a glorious week bonding with Kate, Erika and Chris. As well as many other’s who were in and out for the week (more to come on that). One of the many things we loved about Camont was the laughter that was enjoyed everyday. Everyone really came together as one and enjoyed each other’s company. It was nice. It was comforting. Most of all, it was loving.
(Want to learn to take a delicious photos like this tart? Details can be found here on how where to take a workshop w/Tim Clinch & Kate Hill)
One rainy day, Kate came home with a crate of fresh apricots. The first summer apricots. I have fond memories of apricots being eaten, ripe, warmed by the sun and just plucked from my grandmother’s tree. This was the next best thing … perfectly picked and ready to be devoured.
That same rainy afternoon, as the clouds were slightly parting and the sun was just peeking through, Ericka and I decided to bake apricot tarts to photograph (more on that later) as well as for that nights dessert. Erika worked her magic on the pastry crust, which was outstanding and I took over the apricots. I wanted to keep the tart simple by using what we had right there. I seasoned the apricots with a little sugar, fresh lemon juice and thyme from the herb garden outside the kitchen door. We had enough dough to make one large tart and two small ones. The larger one had a slight layer of frangipani under the apricots. The second one had a layer of fresh creamy goat cheese under the apricots with a generous drizzle of honey over the top and the third had a layer of creamy goodness made out of a deep dark brown sugar that was mixed with the left over goat cheese and frangipani, covered with apricots and more honey. Each was baked until golden brown and then finished with a sprinkling of fresh thyme. Easy. Delicious. Very Gascony!
Recipe: Apricot and Thyme Tart
your favorite pastry dough
enough apricots to cover a tart pan, washed, patted dry, cut in half and pitted
fresh thyme, handful, washed, patted dry
1 lemon, juiced
sugar to taste
1 cup almond flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
Heat oven to 400.
Butter a tart pan.
Line with pastry dough.
Combine apricots, thyme, lemon juice and sugar in a mixing bowl, gently stir and let sit.
Combine almond flour, butter, sugar, using your fingers mix to a crumble.
Add egg and stir until well mixed.
Fill the tart shell with the almond paste.
Cover with the apricot halves.
Pour and remaining sugar mixture over the top.
Bake for about 30 minutes until golden.
Let cool for about 10 minutes.