When I think of Mirabelle, I imagine green orchards and a comfortable warm summer breeze tickling tree leaves, all this in an other time. The Air is fresh, the world seems sleepy and so very peaceful! Maybe I see some kids playing down the river or even 2 girls sitting and reciting popular poems, good laughs and sweetness are ever so present. An enchanting, mesmerizing deep lucid dream…
In our homes in Austria and France, a Mirabelle Tart is a common sight, especially in the summer months, since we own a Mirabelle plum tree. I, and many others will nod in agreement, that this yellow prune is truly natures master work! The flesh is juicy, middle soft, yellow, sweet, emitting a pleasant fruity fragrance. All that might just sound like an other fruit between so many other type of fruits. Here, however it’s like as if the angels themselves came down to share with us a memory of heaven.
In Austria, precisely in Salzburg, a palace of the former empire is known as “Schloss Mirabell”. It was build by a archbishop for his secrete beloved around 1600. First it was called “Altenau” which they changed later into Mirabell. The word Mirabelle (mirabilis) originates from Latin, meaning “wonderful” or even “beautiful to look at” and in Italian it is a common girls name.
Some years back I had the chance to visit the city owned palace and its gardens with my family. Unfortunately, though I don’t have any photographs to show you of that trip, but anyway that’s not the point here.
Since I had visited this palace, I had associated the delicate yellow prunes with the palace gardens. Sitting there I imagined an other time and it’s people, a world where everything seemed to be simpler and still so mysterious. For some time I kept on observing the garden, listening sharply and waiting for the nightingales song. I couldn’t here it, instead I rather heard the rattling leaves of a chestnut tree and a cuckoo bird near by.
Nevertheless, this nice warm day comes back into my memories whenever I see or perceive the fragrance of a Mirabelle plum. At that moment I get absorbed by my imaginations and I literally see myself in a wonderful Rococo dress and nightingale near by sitting on a heavy Mirabelle tree branch with lots of fruits. Or sometimes I simply see the previously mentioned green orchards and village kids down the river. Or maybe I even get to remember the Mirabelle vendor in “The Perfume” with her basket and the fresh fruits.
When I take a bite of our home made Mirabelle Tart, I get immediately further absorbed as if every time I would sink deeper into this world, as if I was time traveling! I discovered a way to time travel and then too merely by recreating a tart. Well, in fact it’s not just any tart, it is a complete inspirational masterpiece of a baked tart, my families home recipe, an other sophisticated french pastry, which everyone should have experienced in their lives. Maybe then you will be able to cross the gates between the worlds and let yourself go into the eternal imaginary bliss….
Do you have a food, which makes you dream?
- 200 g White flour
- 100 g Butter
- pinch Salt
- Luke Warm Water
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Tbs White flour
- 50 g Soft Butter
- 80 g Brown Sugar
- 100 g Almond flour
- 1 kg preserved Mirabelle or a couple of fresh Mirabelle plums
- Mix all the ingredients to make the short crust pastry. Work the dough well out and smooth and let it stand for at least 1 hour in a cold room.
- Take a Tarte form and place it on a baking paper. Draw around the form on the paper with a pencil and cut it out. We will need it later!
- Butter the Tart form and dust it well with flour. That will prevent the dough to stick on the form while baking.
- Take out your dough and roll it out to approximately ½ cm thickness. Turn the baking form and place it on the dough. Calculate 2 cm more from the form and cut out all around. 2 cm more are required or your dough will be too short to fit into the baking form.
- Place the cut out dough into the buttered form and poke with a fork a few fine wholes into it. Add the previously cut out baking paper on top with some weight such as a handful of beans or lentils. That will prevent the dough to blow up in the center and to stay even. Bake the dough by itself for 15 mins at 180 C.
- In the meanwhile prepare the paste. In a bowl mix Butter, sugar smooth. Add the Almond flour, flour and Eggs. Mix it all well so that no lumps are left.
- Once the dough is finished baked, take it out and remove the baking paper with the beans/lentils. Fill into the short crust pastry the almond paste mix and arrange the preserved mirabelles on top. Bake the Tart for 1 hour at 180 C.
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