I enjoy fruits in whatever season, but there is just something about summer fruits that sets my baking heart singing. These gorgeous apricots were in the market and immediately I knew what I was going to make for Shabbat dessert.
Apricots pair beautifully with almonds – as do many fruits. And having always been a sucker for marzipan and frangipane, I knew what I had to do. So I looked up a few different recipes and then came up with this lovely tart.
Putting a Recipe Together
The pastry comes from Valerie Bertinelli and is an all-butter crust. It is very easy to prepare and even easier to work with. While you could use this dough any time you are making a pie, sweet tart or galette, feel free to use any favorite pastry crust you prefer, including a vegan crust. There is no need to be afraid of making your own pastry, but if you must, you can use a good store-bought pie dough.
Almond paste (which is different from marzipan) can be purchased and used instead of the frangipane here. However, the frangipane will give you more of a custardy filling. I have several frangipane recipes, and lots of almond flour in my freezer. In the lead-up to Passover, I always go a bit overboard in stocking up and then search for ways to use up the extra nut flours for months! After checking out David Lebovitz for a summer galette, I tweaked his frangipane recipe, which didn’t have enough oomph for me after trying it out with a blueberry galette.
Don’t get scared off by the length of the recipe. The different pieces can be made ahead or at different times. No single piece of the recipe is difficult. And the actual assemblage is fairly quick. The frangipane prevents even juicy fruits from reducing your crust to a soggy mess.
Changing it up
This Apricot Frangipane Tart is perfect. But use it as a jumping off point to experiment. Switch out the apricots for cherries or blueberries or apples or pears in the fall and winter. Make a free-form galette instead of the slightly more fussy tart. The point is that you too can learn to look at recipes to create your own signature desserts.
Yield: One 9 or 10-inch tart or galette
For the pastry
1.5 cups of all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon distilled or apple cider vinegar
4-5 Tablespoons of chilled water (I always have used 5 Tablespoons)
For the frangipane
3/4 almond flour
4 ounces room temperature almond paste (Left-overs can be wrapped well and stored for another use)
1/4 (4 Tablespoons) cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose, unbleached flour
Generous pinch of kosher salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 large or extra large egg
For the topping
About 1.5 pounds of apricots, halved and pitted
3 Tablespoons apricot jam, melted
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon almond slices (optional)
For the pastry
Pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in a food processor. Add the butter cubes and give 10 quick pulses. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs with some lumps of butter. Drizzle in the vinegar and 4 Tablespoons of the water. Pulse just until the dough comes together and begins to ball up. If necessary, add up to 1 more tablespoon of the water but use as little as possible. Gather the dough into a ball on a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Flatten into a thick disk and refrigerate for at least one hour but up to 3 days.
For the frangipane
In a small bowl, using the back of a spoon, smush the almond paste until it is softened. Add the almond flour, 3 Tablespoons of the sugar, softened butter and the flour. Mix it as much as possible and then add the egg and almond extract. Mix through until you have a fluffy, creamy product. If you wish to make this ahead you can refrigerate it. Bring it to room temperature when you are ready to assemble the tart.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment to catch any drips and to make clean-up easier.
If you are using a tart pan with a removable bottom, roll out the dough to about 1 to 2-inches larger than the pan. Roll the dough back onto the rolling pin and unroll it into the pan. Fold over about 3/4-inch of the excess dough and either smooth the top or slightly flute it. There are many places online where you can see how to prepare pie/tart dough if you have never done it before.
Using a spatula, spread the room temperature frangipane across the bottom of the tart shell. Then depending on the size of your apricots, either place halves, cut-side down nestled on top of the frangipane, or cut the halves into quarters or thickish slices. You want the fruit to pretty much completely cover the top of the frangipane. You can also add cherry halves in the spaces in between if you like.
Dot the apricots with the butter and sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar over the fruit.
Bake for about 50 minutes or until the pastry is browned and the fruit is cooked. Allow the tart to cool for about 10 minutes. Then using a pastry brush, carefully brush the fruit with the warmed apricot jam. Scatter the almond slices over the top, if using.