We have these enormous escalators in DC. If you’ve ever visited the city you know I’m not exaggerating. Not all of them are massive but the ones that are big are completely ridiculous. It can take 3-4 minutes to ride from one end to the other. It’s this steep, slow, mechanical climb that I find absolutely torturous.
It just so happens that I live near a metro stop with one of these monsters. When we first moved to the area I refused to ride it, instead opting for the looooong elevator ride. I don’t simply feel fear on these escalators; I experience vertigo. I feel like I’m falling. When I first step onto the downward escalator, I feel like I’m about to go over the hill of a roller coaster. My legs turn to jello, my stomach drops and my knuckles turn white. I become paralyzed with fear.
Going up is even worse. At least when I’m going down I feel like it gets progressively less terrifying as I see the ground approaching. But when I take the ride upward, I am uncomfortably aware of the empty space expanding behind me. I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of a cliff and a sudden unexpected movement from a stranger might send me plummeting to my untimely death.
Not long after we moved to the area, our elevator was shut down for construction. For 8 months. During that time I have no choice but to take the escalator ride every time I needed to go into the city. People told me that if I kept doing it, it would get easier. They were sort of right. It got a bit easier. The panic attacks weren’t quite as severe by the end of 8 months. But I never got used to it. The day that elevator opened back up for business I was first in line. To be completely honest, the ride never really got much easier.
But I did it anyway.
- 1 cup (5 ounces) all purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped and cold
- 2-3 tablespoons ice water
- 3-4 red plums
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
- fresh ground black pepper
- Add the flour, salt and rosemary to a food processor. Pulse several times to chop the rosemary and combine the ingredients. Add the cold butter and continue pulsing on and off until the mixture is crumbly. Slowly add the water with the machine running just until the dough forms a ball. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle about 9 inches in diameter. Use a knife or pizza cutter to even the edges and move the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator.
- Line a plate with paper towels. Slice the plums in half and carefully remove the pits. Take one of the halves and cut it into thin slices and then place on the paper towels to drain excess liquid. Repeat with the remaining plums.
- Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and spread the mascarpone cheese evenly onto the dough, leaving an inch border all the way around. Layer the plum slices in a decorative circular pattern, starting with the outer layer and finishing with an inner layer. Fold the excess dough on top of the plum in a circle, until you have a tightly formed tart.
- Place in the oven and cook for 22-25 minutes, or until the dough is cooked and center is bubbly. Toward the end of the cooking time, place the apricot jam in a small ramekin and microwave for 30 seconds to thin it out.
- Carefully remove from the oven. The center may appear to have a lot of liquid but will firm back up as the galette cools. Use a pastry brush to dab the apricot jam evenly over the top, taking care not to disturb the shape of the plums.
- Use a pepper grinder to add a light sprinkling of fresh ground black pepper evenly over the plums.
- Allow the tart to cool until it's lukewarm or at room temperature before serving.