“It was only the spring twelvemonth before Mr. Norris’s death that we put in the apricot against the stable wall, which is now grown such a noble tree, and getting to such perfection, sir,” addressing herself then to Dr. Grant.
“The tree thrives well, beyond a doubt, madam,” replied Dr. Grant. “The soil is good and I never pass it without regretting that the fruit should be so little worth the trouble of gathering.”
“Sir, it is a Moor Park, we bought it as a Moor Park, and it cost us–that is, it was a present from Sir Thomas, but I saw the bill–and I know it cost seven shillings, and was charged as a Moor Park.”
“You were imposed on, ma’am,” replied Dr. Grant: “these potatoes have as much the flavour of a Moor Park apricot as the fruit from that tree. It is an insipid fruit at the best, but a good apricot is eatable, which none from my garden are.”
As a great fan of Jane Austen, I have been determined to grow a Moor Park apricot tree. The first tree was planted about thirteen years ago, but suffered a collision with a trailer, and is still struggling to get past that challenge. I planted another pair of Moor Parks in front of our cottage/office and one succumbed to insect damage at its base. But small victories do sometimes occur and mine was to feast yesterday on my very own juicy Moor Park Apricot.
I have to disagree with Dr. Grant. It is sweet and honeyish with just a hint of tartness. And for this tree’s first crop it produced enough to make an apricot tart. Here is how we did it.
2 packages of cream cheese
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups pastry flour
1/4 confectioners sugar
Combine all ingredients into dough and roll or press into a large tart pan or two medium. I made a large tart and had enough left for 8 little tart shells.
10 oz jelly, preferably apricot or peach. I used Crofters Blood orange jelly because it’s what I had and its tastes wonderful.
8 oz water.
Combine both in thick bottomed pan until a nice rolling boil. Turn off heat and reserve.
Wash apricots and cut each into quarters. Arrange decoratively in your tart shell. Spoon the glaze over the apricots pieces.
Bake in a 375 over until apricots have softened and the crust has developed a golden brown color, approximately 55 minutes. this time varies greatly depending on the size tart you are baking. The little tartlets bake in approximately 30 minutes, for example.
I suspect even Dr. Grant would eat this.