I have to admit to something. When these little gems arrived in my CSA that first week, I wasn't quite sure if I was enjoying peaches or apricots. A few times I asked my husband if he'd like a baby peach, then I offered an apricot to my niece. My fruit-dar was just off, and I had to check the CSA email to be sure!!
Food & Wine's Apricot, Almond and Brown Butter Tart had been peaking out of my recipe binder for months. After reading the recipe a few times, the whole vanilla bean seemed overwhelming, and while the almond-fruit-butter combo sounded delicious, I was not loving the idea of dried fruit in a tart. Dried fruit should be saved for trail mix or rest stop snacks... maybe an occasional salad.
A few modifications (e.g. horror of HORRORS, I subbed vanilla extract for the whole bean), and voila, a fresh apricot, almond and butter tart. Sure, the real-deal vanilla bean may have added more depth, and the dried apricots might have "floated" better in the finished tart, but cooking is about adapting! Regardless, our family had no problem wolfing this down mightily with a few "umms" and "ahhs" to boot.
Apricot, Almond & Brown Butter Tart
Courtesy of Foodandwine.com
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter, diced
- 5 tablespoons ice water
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 cups fresh mini-apricots, washed and halved
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until coarse. Add ice water and vanilla extract and mix until the dough forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and mold into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 15-inch round, 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the round to a 12-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom; gently form in the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Refrigerate the crust until firm (@15 minutes).
- Line the tart shell with foil and fill with dried beans, rice or pie weights. Bake for about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake for about 20 minutes longer, until the shell is cooked through. Remove and let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 325°.
- Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 6 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the wine to a boil. Add the apricots and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- In a small skillet, melt the butter, add the vanilla extract, and cook over medium heat until browned, about 4 minutes.
- In a food processor, pulse the toasted almonds with sugar, flour and salt until ground. Add the eggs and pulse until just combined. Add the browned butter and the almond extract and pulse until smooth.
- Drain the apricots and pat dry. Pour the almond filling into the tart shell. Nestle the apricots into the filling in concentric circles. Bake the tart for about 45-50 minutes, until the filing is golden brown and set. Transfer to a rack to cool.
- Serve warm or at room temperature topped with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.