Recently during a weekend visit with good friends, I sampled a fabulous apricot tart.
I was intrigued by the description of the recipe. It was not the typical fruit tart baked in a pan with removable sides, but rather a rustic version. My creative friend added an unexpected ingredient: almond paste. I couldn't wait to sample this sweet confection, and after the first bite, I knew it was a winner.
Betty Rosbottom writes for Tribune Media Services.
EMILY'S RUSTIC APRICOT TART
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup flour
5 tablespoons yellow cornmeal plus extra for the baking sheet
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and diced into 1/2 -inch pieces
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
7 ounces almond paste (see note)
1 1/2 pounds fresh apricots, rinsed and dried, but unpeeled
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter for dotting on top of tart
confectioner's sugar for dusting, optional
1 pint vanilla ice cream or 1 cup heavy cram, whipped and sweetened, optional
For crust, combine flour, cornmeal and salt in a food processor. Add butter and process, pulsing machine, until mixture resembles coarse meal. With machine running, slowly add 3 tablespoons water. Stop machine to see if dough can be gathered easily into clumps. If dough is dry, add up to 1 tablespoon additional water and process a few seconds. Remove dough, gather into a ball, and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill 30 minutes.
For filling, press almond paste into a disk, place between two sheets of waxed paper, and roll into a thin 8-inch round. Remove waxed paper, then place round on a plate and refrigerate uncovered.
Halve apricots lengthwise, and pit. Cut halves into 3/4 -inch wedges and place in a large bowl along with sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Mix well.
Place chilled dough between two sheets of waxed paper; roll into a 12-inch round. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cornmeal on a large unrimmed baking sheet. Remove one sheet of waxed paper and place dough (paper side up) on baking sheet. Remove other sheet of paper. Place almond paste on center of dough. Arrange apricots over almond paste and spoon any juices in bowl over them. Fold outer 2 inches of dough up over filling to partially cover. Dot apricots in the center with the tablespoon butter. Chill 1 hour.
Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake until crust is golden and apricots are bubbly, about 35 minutes. Remove and cool 10 minutes. If desired, sprinkle tart with sugar and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
Note: Almond paste is available in the baking section of most supermarkets. Odense, which comes in a 7-ounce tube, is one I use often.
Per serving: 391 calories, 6 grams protein, 20 grams fat, 9 grams saturated fat, 49 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 151 milligrams sodium, 34 milligrams cholesterol. Analysis provided by registered dietitian Jodie Shield.