On the way to visiting friends this weekends on the East End of LI I stopped at the Citarella on 75th and Broadway. Citarella's produce is consistently better than its next door neighbor Fairway, and on Saturday Citarella had what is for me one of the greatest pieces on fruits to be found on this earth, white apricots.
Some of you might remember the John Seabrook piece on the fruit detective, David Karp, which mentioned white apricots.
I know white apricots are not local (they're grown in California), but man are they delicious. They're sweet and juicy and have the most intense apricot flavor.
I bought eight (they're small), ate one immediately upon exiting the store, and after shopping at Fairway for some phenomenal cheeses and some lomo (more about these in another post), I decided to buy eight more. Because I was in a hurry I just put one bag of the apricots on top of the other instead of combining them. Big mistake. When I checked their condition two hours into the train ride I discovered that most of them had fallen apart. I had unwittingly created chunky white apricot puree.
When we arrived at our friends' house our host Joan tasted one and declared them to be apricots from the gods. We decided that she would bake a French tart crust and then place the broken apricots in the crust uncooked with a little lemon verbena from her garden. Brilliant! I suggested a little Haagen Dasz vanilla ice cream would complete this masterpiece. One bite later, and Joan's brilliance was confirmed. Nobody, not Alice Waters nor Nancy Silverton, could have improved upon this creation.
So if you can get your hands on some white apricots (they have a very short season, so definitely go to Citarella this week), try to follow Joan's method. And if you don't want to bake the tart crust, just serve them with vanilla ice cream. White apricots will change your life. Mark my words.