Fruit

Verlet’s Apricot Tart

French tarts and I go way back to my college days when I visited the restaurant chain La Madeline from time to time. Something about that pastry crust and not-too-sweet filling, made tarts a favorite treat of mine. This recipe from Epicurious is dangerously delicious. After devouring nearly half of it by myself, I lovingly asked demandingly (is that a word?) forced my husband to throw it away. It’s that good.

VERLET’S APRICOT TART

For pastry

  • 8 tablespoons (that’s one stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground unblanched almonds

For filling

  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or heavy (whipping) cream (I used hwc)
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons full-flavored honey, such as lavender (I just used regular raw honey)
  • 1 tablespoon superfine flour, such as Wondra (just used regular all-purpose flour and didn’t have any issues)

  • About 1 1/2 pounds fresh apricots, pitted and halved (do not peel) (I only had about 4 apricots total which came to less than the 1 1/2 lbs, but it still worked great)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F 
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Set aside.(I don’t have a fluted tart pan so I used a removable bottom cheesecake pan.
Make the pastry:
In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and the sugar, and using a wooden spoon, stir to blend. Add the remaining ingredients (other than the ground up almonds) and stir to form a soft, cookie-like dough. Transfer the dough to the center of the buttered pan. Using the tips of your fingers, evenly press the pastry along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. The pastry will be quite thin.
Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake until the dough is slightly puffy and set, 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle the ground almonds over the bottom of the crust. (This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.)
Meanwhile make the filling:
In a medium-size bowl, combine the crème fraîche, egg, extracts and honey and whisk to blend. Whisk in the flour.
Pour the filling evenly over the pastry. Starting just inside the edge of the pan, neatly overlap the halved apricots, cut side up, at an angle. Arrange in two or three concentric circles, working toward the center. Fill in the center with the remaining apricots. (I just kindda did my own thing here. I cut my fruit into smaller wedges and arranged on their sides)
Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and bake until the filling is firm and the pastry is a deep golden brown, 55 to 60 minutes. The apricots will shrivel slightly. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Place the tart on a rack to cool. Sprinkle again with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.
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