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Apricot Almond Tart
Ingredients
Directions
For the Almond Crust
0.33 c
sliced natural almonds
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2 tbsp
sugar
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1 c
all-purpose flour
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0.25 tsp
fine sea or table salt
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0.5 c
cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/8-inch slices
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1 lg
egg yolk
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0.5 tsp
almond extract
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For the Filling
2 tbsp
sugar
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8
ripe apricots, pitted and quartered, but unpeeled
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1 tbsp
unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
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For the Glaze and Topping
0.5 c
apricot preserves
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2 tbsp
apricot brandy or water
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2 tbsp
sliced natural almonds, toasted
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Apricot Almond Tart

Apricots are one of spring’s last flings, and their availability lingers into midsummer in the northern reaches of our country. But their season is always relatively short, so enjoy the sweet-tart morsels while you can.

My favorite way of using apricots is in a luscious tart inspired by the type you might see in a French patisserie, the fruit quarters tipped with brown glistening with glaze. I’m going to share my favorite tart with a lovely almond flavor—and it doesn’t even need to be rolled out.

Note: There are three easy ways to toast almonds. Regardless of the technique, immediately transfer the toasted almonds to a plate to cool so they don’t overcook.

Skillet: Heat a small empty skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.

Oven: Toast the almonds on a second baking sheet on a separate rack in the oven at the same time as the tart. Stir the nuts occasionally until they are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. This method gives the almonds a more even browning than the skillet.

Toaster Oven: A toaster oven, preheated to 350°F, works well too, and has the advantage of not needing to open the oven door. For the toaster oven, use the small oven tray to hold the almonds and watch them carefully, as the heat source is closer to the nuts than in a regular oven. They should be toasted in about 4 minutes.

6-8 servings

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
  2. To make the crust: Pulse the almonds and sugar in a food processor with about 8 1-second pulses until the almonds are very finely chopped into a powder. Add the flour and salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse about 8 times until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-sized pieces.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the yolk and almond extract. With the food processor running, add the yolk mixture through the feed tube, and pulse just until the dough begins to clump together. Do not overprocess.
  4. Gather up the dough into a mass—it should be moist and malleable. (If too dry, add a teaspoon of water and pulse a few times.) Crumble the dough into the pan. Press the dough firmly and evenly into the pan, being sure that the sides and bottom meet at a sharp 90-degree angle (think of how a floor meets a wall). Press and trim off any dough extending above the pan edge with your thumb. Return the dough trimmings to the pan and press them into the dough. Pierce the crust all over with a fork. Freeze uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Line the pan with a sheet of nonstick (or lightly buttered) aluminum foil, nonstick (or buttered) side down. Fill the pan with pastry weights or uncooked rice. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the crust looks set and no longer “raw,” about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue baking just until the bottom crust surface is dry, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven.
  6. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange concentric circles of the apricot quarters, cut sides up, in the shell. Chop any remaining apricots and use them to fill in the empty center area of the tart. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and dot with the butter.
  7. Bake until the apricots are barely tender when pierced with the tip of a small sharp knife and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  8. To make the glaze: Bring the preserves and brandy or water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until the last drops clinging to the spoon are very sticky and large, about 2 minutes. Strain the glaze through a wire sieve over a small bowl, pressing hard on the solids; discard the solids in the sieve.
  9. Drizzle and brush the glaze over the apricots. Sprinkle with the almonds. Let cool completely. Slice and serve.

Recipe by Rick Rodgers

Rick Rodgers

Rick Rodgers is an award-winning cooking teacher and the author of over 40 cookbooks on a wide range of subjects, including The Big Book of Sides (Ballantine). In addition to writing the TasteBook.com column ‘”Tips from the Test Kitchen,” Rick works with entertainment figures, corporations, and celebrity chefs on their cookbooks. His clients include Tommy Bahama, Frankie Avalon, Patti LaBelle, and Williams-Sonoma. See more of his work on www.RickRodgers.com.