Apricots again? Have I lost my ability to write about anything other than apricots? Apricots have indeed taken over my brain, but as far as obsessions go, this one seems rather harmless and quite delicious, so I’ll keep indulging it.
These last few weeks of feasting on apricots I’ve come back, over and over, to this tart. I can’t get enough of it. I like it any time of day, for breakfast, for dessert after lunch or dinner, with a cup of tea in the afternoon. When it comes to making dinner, unfortunately, I have a very strong taboo against unbalanced meals. And I say unfortunately because this tart has recently caused many a late dinner in my household. Take yesterday, I came back home from the garden at about seven, and set out to make dinner. It’s a little late, I’m hungry. First thing I see when I open the fridge, a bowl of apricots. The last ones left from that last basket I picked Monday. Of course, I need to make my beloved apricot tart. But I can’t just eat tart for dinner, I need a balanced meal. So, after the tart is in the oven the real meal needs to be fixed, greens, meat, salad… Dessert is not a meal. We sat down for dinner at nine, starving. We enjoyed every bit of it, and I specially loved the dessert.
The dough for this tart has a fair amount of egg in it and not a lot of butter. It turns out somewhat bread-like, not at all flaky like pastry dough, so it absorbs the juices of freshly picked apricots without getting soggy. I found it in Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets, a great resource for ideas on cooking from our garden’s bounty. Over time I have modified Madison’s recipe to better suit my taste and needs in the kitchen. Here you have my adaptation of her recipe.
For a 10 inch tart pan you will need:
- 1 cup + 2 TBSP all purpose flour (185 grams)
- 1/3 cup sugar (67 grams)
- A little pinch of salt
- 4 TBSP butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 TBSP milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- A bit more butter and sugar to glaze the tart
Butter the pan and preheat the oven to 375°. You can do the mixing by hand or use a food processor.
- Cut butter into little squares.
- Mix flour, sugar and salt.
- Mix in butter until you get a coarse texture.
- Lightly beat eggs, add milk and vanilla extract.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.
- Mix until you get a sticky batter.
- Dump the batter on the prepared tart pan, and with well floured fingers, spread it to cover the entire pan and go a little bit up the sides. You may need to sprinkle flour on the surface of the dough to be able to spread it if it gets too sticky.
- Arrange apricot halves on tart dough in a spiral, concentric circles, or any other pretty pattern of your choice. If you are feeling indulgent or your fruit is very acidic, sprinkle sugar over the fruit and melt a little bit of butter and distribute it with a spoon or brush over the fruit.
- Put in the preheated 375° oven for 35 minutes. Take a look, if you think it needs a bit more time, leave it for some 10 more minutes inside the oven with the fire off. If you don’t like the edges of the fruit to get a little burned, like you see in the photo above, you’ll need to keep an eye on your tart as it bakes and cover it with aluminum foil when you see it reach the level of “toastiness” that you like. If covered, I would bake it for 45 minutes.
- Cool the tart on a rack for 5 or 10 minutes. You can then take it out of the tart pan, or you can leave it there until it is time to serve it.
I am now going to cut a slice of yesterday’s tart to have with my afternoon tea. I also had a slice of tart for breakfast. As I say, this summer I am loving this apricot tart.