APRICOT FRANGIPANGI TARTS
(the tartlettes were dazzling in the late sunshine)
(I think the pistachios make the tarts)
I have been on an apricot KICK lately, wow. I cannot get enough of their smooth, supple skin and slightly dryish interior. I love a great peach, sun-ripened with the juices dribbling down my arm, but it is the apricot -- its small perfection and lady-like un-messiness that I lust after. Especially when paired with pistachios. In Turkey and France, they were very into this colorful flavor pairing -- if looks defined taste, this duo would be an 80s baby-sitter who let me eat Lucky Charms by the fistful. Thankfully, this isn't the case -- the apricot and pistachio flavor are an elegant compliment to each other. REALLY GOOD. I brought these to a party and someone said, "You brought the tarts? THOSE WERE F*IN AWESOME! YEAH! PARTY."
You know you're in like flint when 2 am rants go into effect about your sassy little pies.
The recipe is from Epicurious, it rocks. I basically didn't change a thing except for the fact that I didn't have almond extract and they still turned out swimmingly.
Note on the title -- I read the words "apricot frangipane tart" and I made it "frangipangi" in my mind by accident, and reported it in all seriousness to my fellow party-goers as such. It was a mistake on my part, but I quite like my version better. Try saying it -- FRANGI-PANGI -- one of the funnest words by far.
Apricot Almond Tart
Gourmet | January 2006; originally published 1986
yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings
active time: 35 min
• Pastry dough (enough for one bottom-layer crust)
• 18 to 20 apricot halves
• 1 cup whole blanched almonds (5 oz)
• 6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
• 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I didn't have this -- fine without!)
• Special equipment: an 11- by 1-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom
Make tart shell:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 14-inch round and fit into bottom and side of tart pan, then trim flush with top of rim. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Lightly prick bottom of shell all over with a fork, then line with foil and fill with weights. Bake until pastry is pale golden along rim, and set underneath weights, 18 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake shell until bottom and side are golden, about 10 minutes more. Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 30 minutes. Leave oven on.
Fill and bake tart:
While shell cools, roast apricots in 1 layer, cut sides up, in a 13- by 9-inch baking dish 30 minutes, then set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Pulse almonds with 2 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor until finely ground.
Beat together butter and 1/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in almond mixture, vanilla, and almond extract until just combined.
Spread frangipane evenly in tart shell. Arrange apricots, cut sides up, on top of frangipane. (Frangipane will puff up around apricots when baked.) Bake until frangipane is golden brown and just firm to the touch, about 45 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Sprinkle top of tart with remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and broil about 6 inches from heat until sugar is melted and top of tart is browned, 1 to 2 minutes (watch carefully). Cool to warm or room temperature in pan on a rack, at least 30 minutes.
Cooks' notes: · Apricots can be roasted 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Tart can be baked 6 hours ahead and kept at room temperature.
* I dotted my tarts with pistachios, just like we saw at our favorite bakery, Kens.