I have been away from this space for a very long time. Not without reason though. Everyone that follows my journey knows that I have been away to Mumbai. When the opportunity came it was a one in a lifetime for me. I was asked to be the behind the scenes photographer on a Bollywood film. My first reaction was one of extreme excitement and I knew I could not say no.
As time went by, it dawned on me that I would have to be away from my baby for two and a half months. Not an easy decision but one that just had to be made. Sedentary life was thrust upon me in Holland. To work on my own in solitude is not something I chose to do. And it is not something I have mostly been happy with. My true nature is that of a workaholic. You could work me 12 hours a day. It makes “me” happy. When I have a new project I usually immerse myself in it. Not thinking of anything else. So the Mumbai thing was not easy because it meant being away for a fair amount of time. But, talking it over and over with myself, I could not say no.
So I went. And boy am I glad I did. I went from a clinically clean and systematic environment to one where not one thing made sense. Except for the warmth of the many people I met there. That level of love I received is invaluable. Now I’m not an easy person and I don’t make friends so easily, but I have come back with a chest full of friends. Thanks to them I can safely say I have never laughed as much as I did. From the famous people to the ones like me on the set, I can tell you that I did not meet a single person that I did not like. It also brought many emotions to the fore. Mumbai is not an easy city to live in. It is extremely expensive and parts of it are so poor. It made me realize what I have. Whether little or big I appreciate it. It is still hard to be away from your home country and it is still not easy adjusting back to the quiet of Holland, but it still fills me with some sort of peace. Its a contradiction, this constant turmoil between being here or there. But I am at peace with it. After all what do I have to complain about, when I have people that love me in both places.
On my days off in Mumbai, I explored the vegetable markets around the area where I lived. What produce my word! I have never been happier in my environment as I was in Mumbai. But like I said I am also so glad to be back. Back with the people I love and ever exploring the wonderful produce here.
This tart was made with fruit got at the farmers market in Rotterdam and they were delicious. The recipe is adapted from Vogue Australia. It is a stunning tart and if I were you I’d go running out and make it before summer leaves us. Best part, its vegan!
- For the Crust
- 3 tbsps coconut oil
- 90 grams toasted almonds
- 1⁄4 cup regular rolled oats
- 1⁄4 tsp sea salt
- 2⁄3 cup whole spelt flour
- 3 tbsps maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the Filling
- 300 grams fresh apricots, deseeded, and halved
- 2 tsps coconut oil
- 2 tsps maple syrup
- 3⁄4 cup + 1 tbsp apple juice
- 3⁄4 tsp agar flakes
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 grams fresh raspberries
- For the crust, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly oil the sides of a pie form.
- Grind half of the almonds, the oats and salt in a food processor until coarsely ground, about 20 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and stir in spelt flour. Roughly chop remaining almonds, add to bowl and mix well. Drizzle in coconut oil and mix with your fingertips until all flour is moistened. Add maple syrup, vanilla; mix until evenly incorporated. Pastry should be moist but not sticky. Press pastry evenly into prepared tin. Prick bottom of tart several times with a fork and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Raise oven temperature to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Add the halved apricots cut side up and drizzle with coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup; toss gently to coat. Roast for 25 minutes or until they begin to caramelize and soften. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Combine 3⁄4 cups of the apple juice and agar flakes in a small heavy- bottomed pan and bring to the boil over high heat. Whisk, cover pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until agar has completely dissolved. In a small bowl, dissolve corn starch in remaining tablespoon of apple juice and slowly drizzle into hot agar mixture, whisking constantly until mixture returns to a simmer and has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining tablespoon maple syrup and vanilla. Set aside, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened a little but not begun to set.
- Place roasted apricots in a bowl and pour in warm agar mixture. Stir gently with a rubber spatula or with your hands to combine. Add raspberries and toss gently until evenly distributed.
- The next step you need to work quickly. Transfer mixture to the baked tart shell and carefully spread out filling in an even layer. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes or until filling is completely set. Serve with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.