APRICOTS AND CREAM SHORTCAKE – – Fruit:: apricots (pit removed, sliced into 6ths, 500g), vanilla sugar, For the shortcake:: all-purpose flour (130g), plus 2 tablespoons cake flour, salt, baking powder, sugar (70g), unsalted butter (chilled, 3 oz.; 90g), heavy (non ultra-pasteurized cream, 250ml), For the Crème Fraîche:: heavy (non ultra-pasteurized cream, 250ml), vanilla sugar (ground fine, 25g), For garnish:: strawberries, Combine the apricots and the tablespoon of sugar in a medium bowl, toss, and set aside for 1 hour.; Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Chill a large-size bowl and a whisk or whisk attachment or rotary blades of an electric mixer (for whipping the cream).; In a large bowl, or in a food processor, combine both flours with the salt, baking powder, and 4 tablespoons of the sugar. Stir well, or process once or twice, to mix. Add the butter and process, or cut it in with a pastry blender or two knives until it ranges from the size of coarse cornmeal to the size of a pea. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the cream all at once, and lightly mix until the dough gathers together but does not completely adhere. Be very careful not to overmix.; Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, dust it lightly with flour, and press it down with a rolling pin until it is somewhat rectangular in shape and about ½ inch (1.3 cm) thick. Fold it in thirds like a business letter, and turn it one quarter turn (90 degrees). Lightly flour it and gently press it out again until it is an even rectangle about ½ inch (1.3 cm) thick, fold it in thirds, and turn it another quarter turn. Lightly flour the dough again if necessary to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin, and roll it out to form a very even rectangle measuring 6 x 12 inches (15 x 30cm). Cut it in half, crosswise, then cut an X through each half so that you have eight triangular pieces. Sprinkle the pieces with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, leaving about ¼ inch (1/2 cm) between them. Bake in the center of the oven until the shortcakes are golden and puffed, about 12 minutes. Slide the parchment paper off the baking sheet and onto a wire rack to cool.; Whisk the cream in the chilled bowl until it holds a stiff peak. Whisk in the sugar and taste – add additional sugar if necessary.; To serve, arrange a piece of shortcake on the center of each of six plates. Top with equal amounts of apricots, and a dollop of cream. Garnish with the strawberries.; – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]
In the 14th century, a pound of nutmeg was purportedly worth three sheep and a cow; in the 17th century, the little, fragrant nut was valued higher than gold.