This week I bought my first apricots of the season at my local farmer’s market. I couldn’t stop eating the samples because they were sweet and slightly tender… perfection.
I took them right home and with the ones left in my bag (!), I decided I’d make my favorite tart. I have been making this tart for so many years, that I have lost track of the source. (Sorry whoever created this amazing dessert)
How to look like a Confectionery Champion
I love taking this tart to a picnic because there is nothing quite like the feeling when I pull it out of my basket. Conversation simply stops. “Did you MAKE that?” is the question I get followed by “May I have the recipe?” and that all happens before they’ve even tasted it.
So, here is the recipe for all – be a winner and take this to your next picnic (or black tie supper – it’s a perfect choice there, too).
This has to be one of the easiest tarts I have ever made. No rolling crusts, cooking fillings or any other long prep work involved. The crust comes together quickly in your food processor. It easily presses into a tart dish and only requires a 30-minute chill.
Here is how to be a confectionary champion
Blend flour, almonds, sugar and salt in a food processor until nuts are finely chopped. Add butter and cut in using on/off pulsing. Add 2 tablespoons cold water, egg yolk and extract. Blend together. It will make a ball when it is done.
Press the dough into bottom and up sides of a 9″ tart pan. I find this easiest to do with plastic wrap. It keeps my hands from getting sticky. Chill crust for 30 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, grind your toasted almonds with the sugar and spices. When you are ready to assemble, pour the nut mixture on the crust and spread out to make an even layer. Cut your apricots in half and place them skin side up. If the apricots are small, I just cut them in half. Today I decided to mix halves with quarters. I have also cut them into chunks and it works just as well.
Spread the apricot preserves over the apricots making sure to over all of the fruit.
Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees.
Make sure you bake this tart on baking sheet as it does spill over.
When it has cooled, serve it with fresh whipped cream.
- 1 cup flour
- ⅓ cup toasted and cooled almonds
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chilled butter cut into small ½" cubes
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ½ cup apricot preserves
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup toasted and cooled almonds
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- 9-10 large apricots, halved (or quartered) and pitted
- Blend flour, almonds, sugar and salt in a food processor until nuts are finely chopped.
- Add butter and cut in using on/off pulsing. Add 2 tablespoons cold water, egg yolk and extract. Blend together.
- Gather dough into a ball and press into bottom and up sides of a 9" tart pan with removable bottom. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Set rack at lowest position in oven. Preheat to 375. Stir preserves over low healt to melt. (Optional; strain through a fine strainer)
- Finely grind almonds and ½ cup sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Pour mixture over bottom of crust and spread out evenly.
- Arrange apricots, rounded side up, snugly in crust.
- Brush with melted preserves.
- Bake 1 hour or until fruit is tender.
- Cool 1 hour on wire rack.
Fun Facts about Apricots:
- In Latin, apricot means precious. It probably refers to the fact that apricots ripen earlier than other summer fruit.
- In Eastern countries, the apricot is known as “moon of the faithful,” and the ancient Persians referred to the apricot as “egg of the sun.”
- Dreaming of apricots, in English folklore, is said to be good luck.
…and then, she paused for thought.