Apricot Tart

I got a ton of apricots and peaches in my CSA and then the next week I got a ton more.  I tried my best but it is difficult to eat that many apricots and peaches.  I know that sounds silly but it is true!  I mean you're talking to the girl who, when living in Rome, preferred to go to the market to get a fresh peach or  nectarine every day then gelato.  Okay, to be fair I also ate a lot of gelato, but those peaches and nectarines were one of the  most delicious things I have ever eaten.  But I digress, my point is I had a lot of apricots and peaches and they started to go bad and that is just tragic.  So I made a tart.  And my co-workers annihilated it in less than 10 minutes, I am not even joking.

You may remember in my earlier post for cherry crumble where I wax poetic on almonds and stone fruit and cyanide (if you haven't read the post, you may want to or be really confused).  Anyway, the flavor combination of almonds and stone fruit (peaches, apricots, cherries etc.) is very common, such as this recipe or my nectarine galette.  The crust contains ground almonds and almond extract and was absolutely delicous.

I must admit, another reason I liked this tart so much was it was really easy.  A lot of pie and tart crusts require you to cut in the butter and keep the dough cool, which makes it flaky.  This recipe calls for melted butter and the crust is almost like a shortbread cookie.  No rolling out required, you just press it into the pan.
The custard filling also has almond extract.  And crème fraîche.  If you have left over crème fraîche, my mom made us french toast when we were in Paris, topped with crème fraîche and turbino sugar.  Oh my, that was amazingly good (although I think everything tastes better in Paris).  I have found that the recipe for honey whole-wheat bread makes awesome french toast.
This tart is going to taste delicious regardless, but if you really want to amaze, take a little time and arrange your fruit.  I am often of the school of thought that taste trumps looks but in this case it is easy to have both.  Remember the fruit will shrink a bit so make sure to overlap it.  The recipe calls for only apricots, but I didn't have quite enough apricots and also had lots of peaches.
This was a good tart to make this weekend because it looks like a sun and that was sorely lacking in Seattle over the weekend.

Apricot Tart

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 plu 1 tbsp flour
2 tbsps finely ground unblanched almonds
1/2 cup crème fraîche or heavy whipping cream
1 egg
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsps honey
1 tbsp flour
1 1/2 lbs fresh apricots, pitted and halved (do not peel)
Powdered sugar for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23cm) fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
2. Stir melted butter and sugar until blended. Add remaining pastry ingredients and stir to form a soft, cookie-like dough.
3. Sprinkle dough across bottom of pan and evenly press along the bottom and up the sides with your fingers.
4. Bake until the dough is slightly puffy and set, 12 - 15 minutes. Sprinkle some ground almonds over the bottom of the crust to prevent it from becoming soggy.
5. While the crust bakes, mix the crème fraîche, egg, extracts and honey and whisk to blend.
6. Whisk in the flour.
7. Pour filling evenly over the pasty. Starting at the outer edge, carefully arrange the apricots in two concentric circles and the remaining in the middle. The apricots should lie at an angle and overlap.
8. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet in the center of the oven.
9. Bake for 55 - 60 minutes until the filling is firm and the pastry is a deep golden brown.
10. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with powdered sugar. Sprinkle again just before serving.
Recipe from Epicurious

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