Apricots came with a summer sun and are everywhere. I saw them today at the market perfect, smooth, and orange and could not resist trying them for the first time this year.
On the east coast of the United States they are available already in June and through the whole summer. In Poland, they become ripe and sweet only in August, unless July is exceptionally warm and sunny.
I have always preferred them over peaches and found easier to work with, because they are less juicy and more firm in texture. I also find them more tasty than peaches.
I have tried and made many dishes made of or with apricots: cakes, preserves, salads, different types of noodles, and meats. My favorite though, which I make most often, is an apricot tart.
The one that I make is very easy. I make double amount of crust and I keep it in my refrigerator up to two months, and use whenever perfect fruits appear on the market. I like this recipe for the crust because it does not require eggs. This is particularly good if I use eggs for the filling. This way the whole eggs consumption is kept to a minimum and their taste is not overpowering.
You will notice on my blog that I use that crust in many recipes.
Basic tart crust
(For an 11" baking tin)
2 sticks butter - 1/2 lb,
2 cups cake flour,
1/2 cup icing sugar.
1. Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and working with hands make big crumbs (see the picture) until all the ingredients are combined.
2. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour, or better overnight (you can store this dough in a refrigerator for up to three weeks).
3. Grease with butter an 11'' baking form and put the dough.
4. Working with your fingers make edges and cover the bottom of the tin.
1 1/2 pound apricots,
3/4 cup light cream,
3/4 cup sugar,
2 large organic eggs.
1. Heat the oven to 375 F.
2. Cut apricots in half and remove pits.
3. Whisk together eggs, cream, and sugar.
4. Bake the crust for about 10-15 minutes until it is not raw anymore but before it turns gold.
5. Arrange apricots on top of the crust and bake the tart for another 10 minutes.
6. Take the tart out of the oven and pour the egg mixture on it.
7. Bake for 30 minutes until the top is set and slightly gold. It may rise a little bit when it's done.
8. Take out from the oven, cool it down and serve warm or cold. It will also be excellent on the next day with a morning coffee.