By Isa Covo
It has been a year since we have been living under the cloud of the pandemic, and despite the vaccines and the progress in administering them, the promise of the end seems to be pushed farther and farther away. First they said it should be over by spring, then it was early fall, now I heard that it may end before Christmas.
I was vaccinated with both doses, and I should be safe, and thought that I would not be contagious. Not exactly, it seems: the health authorities advise to still wear a mask, keep social distancing, and get tested periodically. The bright side is that we can have a more relaxed contact with those who have also been vaccinated. It still leaves many of our friends and relatives at bay.
What have you been doing all this time? At the beginning, I thought would catch up on my reading, but after a week or so I found it hard to concentrate on books and I turned to magazines and newspapers.
I love old films, and, thankfully, there are plenty to watch on TV.
Until we can attend a live concert, there is music (recorded or live online) that helps us get through chores, and relax and reflect when one feels the need to do so.
Have you noticed that there are more ads on television for supplements to help us be more focused? Could it be because we are more distracted than before? I feel I am, but I haven’t yet tried any of those pills; have you?
My personal good news is that I did not catch COVID-19, and did not gain weight.
Stay warm and safe. We shall get through this.
Swedish Almond Tart
For the pie crust:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ cups of unbleached all purpose flour
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ½ apricot jam
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 2/3 cup of unbleached flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup finely ground blanched almonds
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup melted unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Make the pie crust: In a medium sized bowl, sift together the sugar and flour, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the vanilla and add to the flour-sugar mixture. Working with fingertips blend all the ingredients until they hold together.
- Butter a 9 to 10 inch pie pan and line it with the pie dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 325° F.
- In the small bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar, and the almond and vanilla extracts. Sift together the baking powder, the sugar, the almond powder and the salt. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture and blend in the heavy cream and the melted and cooled butter.
- Remove the lined pie pan from the refrigerator and spread on it the apricot jam. Pour the filling on top and spread it evenly.
- Place the pie in the middle of the oven and bake until the filling sets, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Prepare the topping: On top of the stove, in a small saucepan mix all the ingredients for the topping and heat over low heat, stirring, until the mixture bubbles. When the pie has set, spread it over the top evenly and return to the oven to brown, about 10 minutes.
Cool on the rack before unmolding.
Serves 8 to 10 people