##How fabulous is Valencia during the summer? The weather is magnificent and the city has a more relaxed vibe. Awakening in the fresh light, the city is alluring, people are in their summer-fun mode and the pace is perfect. Restaurants and bars are opening again and it’s a joy to be strolling around the historic centre.
Showing friends through the Mercado Central is still one of my favourite ways to acquaint people with Spain, plus, it never gets boring when you’re the tour guide as everything is always changing. Make the most of stone fruits this season. They are perfect for pies and they’re quick and easy though, so don’t worry! I have used ready-made pastry in this recipe, which makes it even more simple.
VALENCIA SUMMER FRUIT TART
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp corn flour (corn starch/harina de maize)
1 sheet ready-made pie pastry*
* Available in the refrigerated section in most supermarkets
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/375ºF. Don’t feel you need to adhere exactly to this recipe, omit apricots if you don’t like them, or make it with only peaches or plums, it all works! Halve the fruits and gently remove the stones. Slice each half into thirds or quarters. If the stones do not come away easily, cut around it as close as you can and then proceed. Put all your cut fruit into a large mixing bowl.
Sprinkle the sugar and corn flour over the fruit and stir carefully until the fruit is well coated. Lightly grease a fluted quiche/pie pan and line with baking paper so that the edge of the paper is slightly higher than the pie pan. This will allow you to lift it out when it has cooled. If you have a pan with a removable base you won’t need to do this step. Carefully place the pastry over the pie pan and gently press the edge of the pastry into the edges of the pan. Pierce the pastry all over with a fork so steam can escape while it cooks. Cover the pastry with baking paper and fill it with pastry weights, rice or lentils. Bake in the preheated oven for 10mins. Remove the pie weights and baking paper and allow pastry to brown in the oven for a further 5 mins.
Remove the pie from the oven and arrange the fruit inside it. You can be as geometric as you wish, or just pile it in. Return the pie to the oven and bake for a further 20-25 mins. Watch for the edges of the pastry to brown and the fruit to look relaxed. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pie dish on a wire cake-cooling rack. When the pie has cooled (you don’t have to wait if you want to serve it hot), lift it out of the pan and serve on a cake plate. Perhaps some raspberry sauce and some thick cream or ice cream is all you need now.
Take care and enjoy soaking up the rays of Valencia summer sunshine.