Fruit tarts are one of my favorite desserts because there are so many variations and wonderful ways to prepare them. For me though, it seems they almost always go something like: basic tart dough, creamy filling, and fruit layered on top. Don’t get me wrong, I love all those variations and I have a long list with many more I’d like to try, but this apricot almond tart was a nice step away from the ordinary. It’s also very simple. You still use a basic tart dough, add the fruit, top with an almond cream, and bake.
Personally I would have preferred a slightly sweeter tart dough, but Ben loved this one the way it was. What I really did love was the almond cream, and the juicy baked apricots, and the combination of the two was delightful. Warm out of the oven, this was a wonderful treat. Ben said this was a very French dessert and I couldn’t help but laugh because this is a family recipe of Helene’s and she, in fact, is French! Another small perk of this tart is the convenience of apricots. They don’t require peeling and the pits are so easily removed – a definite benefit compared to baking with some other stone fruits.
Apricot Almond Tart
For the crust:
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2-4 tbsp. ice water, if needed
For the filling:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup honey
1 cup ground almonds (blanched or slivered)
2 large eggs
¼ cup heavy cream
8-10 apricots, halved and pitted
To make the crust, in the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the salt. Mix in the flour just until incorporated. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on low speed, just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and position a rack in the center. Once the dough is well chilled, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and roll out to fit your preferred tart pan. Transfer the dough to the tart pan and line the pan, pushing the dough into the fluted edges. Trim off the excess dough and patch any holes as needed. Line the pan with a piece of parchment paper or foil and fill with baking beads (rice or dried beans will also work). Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is almost completely baked. Carefully remove the parchment or foil and baking beads.
To make the almond cream, combine the butter, honey, ground almonds, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until well blended and smooth. (This can also be done in a food processor.) Gently fold in the heavy cream with a spatula. Arrange the apricot halves in the partially baked tart dough. Pour the almond cream over the fruit so it fills the tart pan evenly. Bake 25-30 minutes until the almond filling is a light golden brown. Serve warm with a drizzle of honey, if desired.
Source: barely adapted from Tarlette