This tart is an exquisite treat that combines perfectly the flavor and moisture of the fruit with the creaminess and aroma of almond cream. What I love about this dessert is that it’s super springy/ summery but at the same time it’s perfect for any season, since it can be made with many fruits such as pears, apples, strawberries or plums, and the list goes on.
Another great virtue of this tart is that even if we have the extra step of preparing the filling, when it comes out of the oven, it does not require any other additions. The process is simple and fun.
For this apricot tart, I was inspired by several pastry chefs who made it in different ways, with different fruits. But they all had one thing in common: frangipane filling.
And what is frangipane?
Frangipane is a velvety cream with Italian origins that is made with butter, sugar, eggs and almond flour. It has been used extensively in desserts for centuries, especially as fillings for pies and other sweet pastries. Almond croissant is a good example where frangipane is used as a filling.
Frangipane is definitely not so popular in my home country and I started using it in my preparations relatively recently. However, for me it feels like an excellent idea to give our desserts extra creaminess and that unique nutty flavor that almond flour gives.
I’ll dare to say this is one of my favorite pies (if it’s not my favorite) that I’ve made in my whole life.
How do you make the peach and almond tart?
The tart base is a vanilla sablée dough and we’re using the sablée technique to make it.
First, place all the ingredients except the yolks in a bowl or on the counter. The butter must be very cold and cut into cubes. Work the butter together with the dry ingredients with a scraper, like chopping the butter together with the flour. Another way is to break the butter with your fingertips, while mixing with the flour. The result is similar to coarse sand and you can no longer see bits of butter. This step can also be made in a food processor or with a mixer, with a paddle attachment on.
Then add the yolks and combine without kneading too much.
After that, shape a ball, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until the dough is cold.
After cooling, remove the plastic wrap and slightly knead the dough until soft and stretchable. Roll the dough until it reaches the size to cover the edges and base of the mold. Finally, press the dough into the mold and remove the excess dough from the edges. Don’t discard the scrapes! You can make cookies with them!
Poke it several times with a fork and refrigerate immediately, until the filling is ready.
For the frangipane, place the soft butter and sugar in the mixer with the paddle attachment on and beat until light and fluffy. This step can also be done by hand with a hand whisk. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well in between. At this time, also add the almond extract. Once everything is well combined, add the almond meal and simply beat until combined.
Assembly and baking
Once the filling is ready, remove the base from the fridge and place all the filling on top. As the dough is cold, spreading the filling on top of it should be very easy. Wash and slice the apricots in half, and discard the pits. Place the apricots on top of the frangipane with the skin side facing upwards. At this moment you can sprinkle sliced almonds on top of the tart before baking.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C or 355 °F for 35-40 minutes. The tart will be ready when it looks golden all over the surface.
Finally, let it cool completely in the mold, unmold it on a dish and brush with the apricot jam to give it a shiny top and to add some extra sweetness. Cut into squares or triangles if the mold you’re using is round.
1) Go ahead and try this recipe with your favourite fruit. If you can’t find apricots, the closest fruit would be peaches.
2) I used the sablée technique for making the dough, but it can also be made by the creaming method: cream the butter with the sugar, then mix in the yolks and the dry ingredients.
3) For the filling, you can also make almond flour at home. Just peel the almonds and blend them with a food processor or blender until it turns into flour.
4) If you don’t have or prefer not to use almond extract, you can also use vanilla extract.
5) You can replace apricot jam with any light color jam or by simple syrup made with a part of sugar and a part of water brought to a boil until dissolving.
Apricot Tart with Almond Frangipane
For the dough:
- 150 g Unsalted butter cold and cut into cubes
- 100 g Granulated sugar
- 3 Egg yolks
- 250 g All purpose flour
For the filling:
- 120 g Unsalted butter room temp
- 130 g Granulated sugar
- 2 tsp Almond extract optional
- 3 Eggs
- 150 g Almond meal
- 4 or 5 Apricots
- Chopped or sliced almonds optional
- Apricot jam for brushing
For the dough:
- Mix the flour, the sugar and the cold butter cut into cubes. With a scraper or with your fingertips, cut and mix the butter with the rest of the ingredients until getting a crumble, like coarse sand. You can also do this step in a food processor or with a mixer, with a paddle attachment on.
- Add the egg yolks and mix just until combined. Shape a ball with the dough and cover with plastic. Refrigerate until firm, for at least half an hour.
- Remove from the fridge and work lightly with your hands to soften the dough.
- Roll out with a rolling pin until reaching the size of the mold.
- Press into the base and sides of the mold, poke with a fork and leave in the refrigerator until the filling is ready.
For the filling:
- Beat the soft butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the almond extract and the eggs one by one, mixing well in between.
- Add the almond flour and finish combining.
- To assemble the tart, remove the base from the fridge and add the filling. Level the frangipane with an offset spatula.
- Cut the previously washed apricots in half. Lay the halves facing down evenly. Garnish with chopped or sliced almonds.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180° C or 355°F for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown on top.
- Let cool before unmolding. Brush with apricot jam or a fine layer of syrup.
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