July is apricot season. Whether you say it with a long or a short a (growing up with a whole orchard of them we said a long A) they are wonderful to eat out of hand or in a pie. I didn’t have enough for a pie but there appeared to be enough for a tart. These beauties were very large and perfectly ripe; not mushy though. I got them from the produce store that just closed on Main Street. I will miss their excellent produce……
I created this tart recipe to showcase these juicy golden fruits of summer’s height. My family absolutely adores apricots so I was pretty sure this would go over great.
The crumb topping was already made and stored in my fridge so I just needed to make the shortbread cookie tart crust and it went together very rapidly. I think it looks fancy but in reality it is very simple to put together; no pie crust rolling either! My version isn’t overly sweet; you can add a couple tablespoons of sugar; toss the apricot halves in it before you lay them on the crust. I like it tart because apricots are tart and I wanted to taste that essential apricot flavor and recreate my memory of the zingy apricot pie my mom made many July’s ago. The almonds add to the crunch and they pair perfectly with apricots. It was a memorable dessert this past weekend.
Sweet Cookie crust
Place the following in a stand mixer bowl and combine
1 cup GF flour (recipe below)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp. cinnamon
Add 5 tbsp cold butter, cut into 6-7 chunks. Mix on low until the butter is all blended in leaving just crumbs.
Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 tbsp water. Blend well. I have left out the vanilla and it is fine that way as long as you put in the cinnamon.
Pour the crumbs evenly into a 14×4 inch rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom or a nine inch round tart pan – sprayed with cooking spray. Spread it up the sides a bit. Press in gently so it is a cohesive crust but do not push really hard or it will be like concrete when you finish baking it! I like my rectangular tart shape; it gives the result a fancy, almost professional look. And it’s shape makes it so easy to slice for serving.
Brown Rice Flour Mix [makes 3 cups]
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)
2/3 c potato starch – not potato flour
1/3 c tapioca flour
FYI: this mix is identical to the King Arthur GF all purpose flour but much cheaper if you make it yourself
¾ c brown rice flour mix
½ c granulated sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks
Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until fat crumbs form. For this recipe they can be somewhat bigger crumbs: let them get the size of big peas but don’t over-mix or you will be stuck with a squishy dough; not a good thing…
8 to 10 large ripe apricots
1-3 tbsp sugar
¾ cup crumb topping
¼ tsp. almond extract
¼ cup sliced almonds
Directions: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the crumbs with the almond extract and sliced almonds; I did it in the slightly dirty bowl I made the crust in. Cut the apricots in half, pit them. Lay the apricots cut side down; in pairs down the top of the crust. I left very little to no space between them. If you do a round tart you can just space them out to fill the circle nicely. If your apricots aren’t large you may well need 4 to 6 more to fill the space. If you desire extra sweetness gently stir them to coat with 2-3 tbsp. granulated sugar first. I didn’t use the extra sugar, tart is my preference.
Then sprinkle the crumb topping all over the tart. Try to keep it in the tart: Finally, sprinkle one tbsp. granulated sugar over the tart. Bake for 50 to 60 min until bubbly and the crumbs are getting light brown. Place on a wire rack and cool before slicing.
I think it would be fantastic with vanilla ice cream if you go in for that sort of delightful excess! I don’t think it will keep more than two days. I doubt it will last that long at my house. Too delectable for we Drakes; like a siren song; the call of an apricot tart….