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Apricot and Almond Tart

November 12, 2013

This is my 200th post on this blog – can you believe it?? I started blogging my food back in January 2011, mostly because friends had been asking me for recipes for the pictures I was posting on Facebook. Then I decided that since I was blogging, I would make it a goal to improve my writing and photography skills in the process. I’m not sure how well I’ve done with the writing (it’s not fantastic and still as slow as ever), but I think I’ve learned a lot and done okay with the photography! I know I still have much more to learn, and I’m often challenged by the time of day that my food is prepared. Suppers in the fall and winter will always be photographed in artificial light, there’s no way around it. Given that, my goals for the next 100 posts are: 1) learn artificial light techniques beyond bouncing a camera flash off the ceiling/wall, and 2) improve my composition/garnishing for food. Items like the apricot tart below are easy – they’re attractive on their own and other objects in the photo would be distracting. But foods like soups/stews, pastas, casseroles, etc. usually need something “else” in the photo to make the dish look complete and attractive. Given my time limitations, I know not every photo is going to be magazine-quality, but I’m going to do the best with what I have!

Speaking of magazine photos, it was a gorgeous photo in Saveur magazine that initially prompted me to make this apricot tart. The crust is a bit unusual as it contains potato flour and baking powder. The potato flour supposedly adds tenderness to the crust, but I’d be curious to do a taste test and see if there was actually a detectable difference. Despite the leavening agent, the rest of the crust was made like a regular pie crust, with butter cut into the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients mixed in last. The crust came out extremely fragile; it broke in several places when I rolled it out. Fortunately tarts tend to be more forgiving than pies, and the broken sections were easily pressed together in the bottom of the pan (and later covered in apricots). The original recipe in Saveur calls for the tart to be baked 20-25 minutes in a 425 degree oven, which seems awfully hot for this type of baked good. The crust definitely started getting brown quickly, and I think I removed it from the oven around 17 minutes into baking. If I were to make this again, I would decrease the oven temperature to 400 degrees to prevent overbrowning of the crust edges. (I also over-toasted my almonds a little, but that was my own fault!) The final result was beautiful and tasted good, but I actually enjoyed the flavors of my apricot-raspberry croustade better. I just wish I could have gotten a prettier picture of that one! :) If you do make this apricot tart, please let me know your thoughts!

Apricot and almond tart

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup potato flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 9 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 10 apricots, halved and pitted (or more, if on the smaller side)
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, lightly toasted, for garnish

Directions

  1. Pulse flours, sugar, butter, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until pea-size crumbles form. Add egg and 2-3 tablespoons ice water; pulse until dough comes together. Form dough into a flat disk; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 10-inch circle; press into a greased 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom set over a baking sheet. Chill for 1 hour.
  3. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread almond meal evenly over dough; arrange apricots over top. Bake until the crust is golden brown and fruit is tender, 20-25 minutes. Transfer tart to a wire rack; let cool.
  4. Heat preserves in a 1-quart saucepan until warmed; pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Brush top of tart generously with strained preserves; sprinkle with almonds. Let cool completely before serving.

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