Monday, June 04, 2018

Frangipane Apricot Tart

The fresh apricot season is pretty short. When I spotted some organic apricots that were ripe and on sale at a local market on Monday I bought them even though I wasn't sure how I would use them. Some went on my morning cereal, but another five were used in a lovely tart for our Thursday dinner.

We had invited a friend over. He has been eating on his own for a week or so while his wife helps sort out her mother's house after her mother moved into a senior residence. Sweetie grilled some salmon and we had fresh corn on the cob and a lovely green salad. I served some seeded yeasted bread that I had made that day, too, but the tart was probably my favorite part of the meal.

I made the sweet dough for the crust in the food processor, which is quick and easy. It is sort of a cookie dough and I think there was too much of it. That made the crust a bit too tough to cut with the side of a fork. Next time I'll use less and perhaps bake it for a shorter time, too.

For the frangipane I usually use almond flour. Unfortunately I ran out and when I went to the market, they were out, too! They did have a mixed nut flour with almonds, pecans, walnuts, and pistachios so I bought that and added it to the almond flour I did have. It was great, even if the color was darker and less appealing to look at. The golden apricots really popped against that darker filling. Although the apricots were ripe, they were a little tart, but that worked fine since the mixed nut flour filling was on the sweet side and very moist. Overall it was a great dessert!

Try this yourself. Working with the crust dough is like working with kid's clay...really easy and fun. The filling goes together quickly if you have the nut flour. Blanching and peeling and pitting the apricots was the most time consuming. You could use canned apricots instead, but fresh is so much better, with an intense apricot flavor, so it is worth taking the time to prep the fruit.

If you like your tart a little fancier, you can melt some apricot jam in the microwave and use a pastry brush to paint the top of the tart, especially the fruit, with the jam. As it cools it will thicken and create a lovely shine on the tart. Sliced or flaked almonds also make a nice decoration around the edge while the jam is still wet. Of course this is optional...the tart is delicious without.

Sweet Tart Dough from Dorie Greenspan's Baking; From My Home To Yours

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. 

Scatter the cold pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. 

Stir the yolk to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses, about 10 seconds each, until the dough forms clumps and curds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that still exist in the mixture.

Gather dough into a ball, then flatten it and put it into a 9-inch tart pan, using your fingers to push the dough into the corners and flutes of the pan, while keeping the thickness as even as possible. If dough looks too thick, remove some and redistribute dough to an even layer. Use a rolling pin, rolled over the top rim, to clean the top. Gather up any leftover pieces and wrap in plastic wrap, and put in the fridge for patching, if necessary. Prick all over and freeze for at least 30 minutes, but longer is O.K.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the rack in the center of the oven.

Remove tart shell from freezer. Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray/oil and put, oil side down on the tart, pressing down to mold the foil to the tart shape.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil carefully and use the back of a spoon to gently press down any puffed crust. If necessary, use the extra dough from the fridge to patch any holes, then bake another few minutes. Let crust cool.

Prepare the frangipane filling:

3 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup almond flour or mixed nut flour
10 apricot halves, peeled and patted dry

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the filling:  Beat together the butter, salt, sugar, flour, and almond extract.
Beat in the eggs, then add the almond flour, stirring just to combine.

To assemble the tart: Spread the filling in the bottom of the crust.

Place the apricot halves in a pattern on top of the filling, pressing them down gently so the bottom of the fruit is covered.

Bake the tart in the preheated 350 degree F oven for 45 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Filling will puff up around the apricots.  Cool slightly or completely before serving. 

1 comment :

  1. That looks delicious. You can't beat a frangipane tart. Love how you kept the apricots in nice big pieces. My mum always used to serve these kind of tarts with custard after Sunday dinners :)