Last month I received an email from Julie Upmeyer in Istanbul who was asking whether I would like to contribute a tart filling recipe for her project called Two Times Tart. The project was a trans-cultural culinary exploration of tastes and geographies, created from the contributions of 9 individuals from Turkey, and its eight neighboring countries -Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Syria, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq and Armenia.
Julie created half-circle shells in collaboration with the local bakery in Istanbul. These shells held the 9 sweet fillings, made from recipes submitted by the participating individuals. The idea behind was that two half tarts (each 4.5 X 3 cm) were eaten simultaneously. At the tasting ceremony, the combination was chosen by the eater, who decided his/her own pair of flavors and geographies.
I was to represent Azerbaijan with my recipe. Since we do not have open tarts and therefore a filling for them, I had to come up with something of my own. I did not want to deviate much from the ingredients we use in Azerbaijan, so I used the familiar apricots and walnuts. The result? Creamy Filling with Dried Apricots and Walnuts. I encourage you to look at the recipes from other contributing countries too.
The project was fun and every time Julie sent a reminder about the venue and the time of the exhibition and the tart tasting, my mouth watered and I wanted so much to be in Istanbul and taste those tiny tiny pastry shells with “multicultural” fillings that held so much more in them than just a taste!
Thank you, Julie!
And here is Julie, tasting the tarts:)
Note: All the pictures on this posting are from the project’s web site.