Saturday, June 4, 2011

a delicious summer treat.

As a warning before you read on, I'm writing this post in the process of baking this recipe so I have absolutely no guarantees.

I think I mentioned in my last post that my mom brought over a ton of food for the two of us upon my discharge from the hospital. Included were some reeeeally yummy looking fresh apricots...even in my drug induced state I knew I wanted to make a tart, is that sad?

I'm waiting for my dough to chill at the moment. A note about this recipe: if you decide to make it - it says to add 1/8 -1/4 cup of water. I at first added the 1/8 cup, let the dough chill, and then took it out to roll and it crumbled everywhere (sad). So...this is round two of my dough chilling, because I added about another 1/8 cup and stuck it back in the fridge. I have absolutely no prior tart experience and I have no idea if this is going to totally ruin the tastiness that I have such high hopes for.

Okay, fast forwarding...

I think it turned out!

Anyway, here's the recipe!

Apricot Tart (from here)

Short Crust Pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water

Apricot Filling:
1 1/2 pounds fresh ripe apricots (8 large or 14 small apricots)
1/3 - 1/2 cup granulated white sugar (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup chopped pistachios or almonds

Short Crust Pastry: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/8 cup water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube until the pastry just holds together when pinched. Add remaining water, if necessary. Do not process more than about 30 seconds.

Turn the pastry out onto your work surface, gather it into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour to chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax.

Once the pastry has chilled, remove from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 13 inch square. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness). Transfer the pastry to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the apricots.

Apricot Filling: Wash the apricots. Cut the apricots following the suture from stem to blossom end and then up the opposite side. Gently twist the two halves of the apricot and it should easily separate. Remove the seed and cut each half into two or three wedges (depending on size). Place the wedges of apricots in a large bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Then add the granulated white sugar and toss gently to combine. Arrange the apricot wedges evenly on the pastry (cut side up), leaving about a two inch wide border. Scrape any remaining sugar from the bowl and sprinkle over the apricots. Gently fold the edges of the pastry up and over the apricots, pleating as necessary. Make sure to seal any cracks in the pastry.

Bake the tart in a preheated 405 degree F oven for about 35 - 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Garnish with chopped pistachios or almonds. Best served warm, with vanilla ice cream.

Makes one - 11 inch tart

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