All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Thursday, June 6, 2013

the seduction of fresh apricot tarts

I am not sure what happened to me in the supermarket, but when I saw the rosy blush of fresh apricots, I was lost.  Small, plump apricots, smooth and enticing, totally out of season - apricots, as far as I know, are not local to New Hampshire, at least not in June.   I know, I know.  I was seduced.

And so, I bought three, and made a delicious pair of tarts, puckery and overlaid with the sweetness of our beautiful local honey, sprinkled with toasted pecans and a pinch of nutmeg.  Perfection.

I used Orangette's tart dough recipe, and was very pleased with it, and tossed the apricots with a bit of orange juice, honey, nutmeg and salt, and a tablespoon of sugar, then drizzled them with our wonderful local honey, all good, all pleasing, and the end result?  A lovely dessert, missing only a tablespoon of whipped cream, because I had none, but it would have been the perfect ending.  

For the dough:

For crust:
4 Tbsp. ice water, plus more as needed
¾ tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
¾ tsp. salt
9 Tbsp. (4 ½ oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

To prepare the crust:

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine 4 Tbsp. ice water and the cider vinegar. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to blend. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal; there should be no pieces of butter bigger than a large pea. With the motor running, slowly add the water-vinegar mixture, processing just until it forms a ball. If the dough seems a bit dry, add more ice water by the teaspoon, pulsing to incorporate.

Turn the dough out onto a wooden board or clean countertop, and gather it until it just holds together. Shape it into a disk about 1 ½ inches thick.   Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for two hours. 

Butter two four or five inch tart forms ( with removable bottoms) well.  Remove the dough from the fridge,  and cut the dough in half, storing the other half in the freezer for later.  Roll out the dough and press dough into tart pans, firmly pressing down into the tart pans, trimming off the excess.  Firm again with your fingertips.  Set aside, and preheat oven to 360F, then prepare the apricots.

For the fruit:

Three or four small apricots.
Cut the apricots in half, remove the stone, and cut each half apricot into 5 or 6 pieces.
Toss with :
1/4 cup white sugar
big pinch of nutmeg or mace
big pinch of kosher salt
3 T. orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped pecans

2 tablespoons local honey to drizzle

Toss the sugar, nutmeg, salt, and orange juice with the apricot slices.  Arrange the apricots in a circular fashion around the tart form.  Top with pecans.   Drizzle with a tablespoon of honey on each tart, and set in the oven for 40 minutes or so.  Remove to cool for 30 minutes, remove from tart pans,  then cut into halves and serve as is, or with whipped cream.  Serves four.

Total bliss.  Enjoy!


La Table De Nana said...

Too pretty also to not try..never heard of apple cider vinegar in a crust..vinegar ..yes..Thanks Katrina.

katrina said...

Nana - I have often picked up a frozen pie crust ( Shocking, I know:) that included apple cider vinegar in the ingredients. Maybe it's a New England thing?

Barb said...

Ripe apricots??? Fruit for the Gods, I would say. IF I can find fresh apricots, they are generally rock hard and then seem to bypass the ripe stage and just turn bad. Who can blame you for buying a few and turning them into those jewel-like tarts! Heavenly, I am sure!!!

katrina said...

Well, Barb - I was lucky, wasn't I? They were firm, but not rock hard when I bought them, and perfect in another day. I was surprised to find they were quite tart before I added sugar, though they were ripe. I kept comparing them to peaches, I think.