Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Apricot Tart

I made this tart over a month ago now for a girls dinner, and it was a huge hit - because it is delicious.  I wanted to make sure and get it up on the blog before all the apricots are gone, although maybe I'll just be making it next spring/summer.

The recipe is originally from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, but I found it through Orangette.  As is always the case though, I tweaked it a little.  I didn't have quite enough apricots so I added one plum to the middle, which made it quite pretty.  My other tweak was a little more daring though.  I think I actually just lucked out on the crust, because I didn't have any all-purpose flour and so used whole wheat, which upon some subsequent internet research doesn't look like it always works out.  I think the general problem with substituting whole wheat for all-purpose flour is the crust drying out, so I was just really careful about that, and made sure I didn't overcook the crust.  That being said, maybe just use all-purpose flour unless you're in the mood for an adventure and your crust maybe  flopping.

Apricot Tart, from Orangette and The Zuni Cafe Cookbook:

4 Tbsp. ice water, plus more as needed
3.4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or whole wheat, apparently)
1 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
9 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

About 1 lb. apricots
1/3 cup sugar (or to your sweetness preferences)
3 pinches of salt

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

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.  Pulse to blend.  Add the butter, and pulse until there are no pieces of butter larger than pea-sized.  With the motor running, slowly add the water/vinegar mixture, processing just until clumps form.  The dough is sufficiently processed if it holds together after you squeeze a handful of dough.  If it seems a bit dry (or you're using whole wheat flour), add more ice water by the teaspoon, pulsing to incorporate.  (I added 2-3 more teaspoons to keep the whole wheat flour crust from drying out.)

Turn the dough out onto a clean countertop, and push it all together into a rough ball shape, and then flatten into a disk about 1 1/2 inches thick.  If the edges crack, just keep pinching them together.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, continuing to form it into the disk shape, and using the plastic wrap to work out any remaining cracks around the edges.  Refrigerate the wrapped dough for at least two hours.  (It can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month.  Thaw it in the fridge overnight before using.)

Once sufficiently chilled (or thawed), preheat the over to 375 F.  On a floured surface, roll out the dough  into a circle wide enough to fit a 9-inch (removable bottom) tart pan.  Transfer the dough to the pan in your preferred method (wound around your rolling pin or gently folded into quarters).  Ease the dough down into the corners of the pan and up the sides.  Trim the excess so the dough hangs about 1/2 inch beyond the pan and then fold the overhang back into the pan to reinforce the sides.  Put the dough into the freezer while you ready the fruit.

Quarter the apricots and remove the pits.  Toss in a bowl with the sugar and salt.  Remove the dough from the freezer and place the apricots (and/or plums) into the shell, cut side up and in whatever pretty pattern you like.  Scrape any remaining juices and sugar from your bowl over the top of the fruit.

Bake the tart until the crust is browned and the fruit is softened, about 45 minutes.  (NOTE: whole wheat flour burns more readily than all purpose, so if you're using whole wheat start checking at about 25 minutes.)

Serve with your dairy product of choice, ice cream or yogurt (particularly good for breakfast).

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