Apricot & pistachio tart

Apricot & pistachio tart

Sometimes I think my fun-O-meter is broken. Lots of things I’m supposed to think are fun make me anxious, and things that other people dread as chores (making dinner!) are what I live for. For me, tonight was a fun night! Hooooo boy. First of all, we made vegan veggie burgers that were grillable! They got brown on the grill, they didn’t fall apart!! We made them from scratch! We grilled flatbreads, which we made from scratch as well! I’ll tell you about them eventually, with recipes and everything, but for now let me say that I felt so happy about it, and had so much fun doing it that it was just ridiculous. Then we went for an after dinner walk on the towpath (love it!) and we played tag. But not the kind of tag where you have to run all the time, because that wasn’t an option (sooooo full of grilled veggie burgers). The kind of tag where you could hold hands with someone, or give them a hug, giggling maniacally the whole time, and that would pass along the “it”ness. Good times!!

I also think it would be fun to live in Greece and go to lunch with friends in Paris. And that’s the origin of this recipe. My friend Sandy, (who lives in Greece and goes to lunch with friends in Paris) sent me this “non-recipe” for a dessert she had. She described it thus…

…dessert one of those fabulous french tarts (er tartes) – tart dough, then a pate of crushed or somehow pated pastichios – may have had another ingredient in pate, i don’t know. maybe a bit of a liquer or rose water or something. (it was from a pastry shop so i couldn’t ask). and on top apricots. in a sense it was like a tarte with pistachio pate instead of custard under the fruit, but the apricot was not raw – it was baked.

Well! With my obsession with frangipane, and making frangipane out of hazelnuts or other non-almond nuts(which makes it no longer frangipane!) OF COURSE I had to try this!! I made a simple paté sucrée crust, with a hint of cardamom. I made a pistachio frangipane (an imaginary beast!), and then I just sliced very ripe apricots, and sprinkled them with sugar because they’re quite tart! I liked the resulting tart very much indeed, but I have to admit that my boys wouldn’t try it because they don’t like apricots. And the apricots were tart. It was a tart tart. This appealed to me very much! I think it would be nice with some lightly whipped, lightly sweetened whipped cream. The tart won’t last for days in pristine form, because the fruit softens the crust. So eat up!!

Here’s Noah and the Whale with Five Years Time. They’ll have FUN FUN FUN!! This does actually look like fun to me, but it’s also a critical reexamination of past ideas of funness.

CRUST

1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
healthy pinch salt
1/4 t cardamom
6 T cold butter – cut into tiny cubes
1 egg

Mix the flour, salt and cardamom. Cut in the butter. Work it in with your fingers till you have a crumby consistency. Stir in the egg. Knead for a few minutes to the butter and egg are well integrated. Wrap and chill, baby, chill.

THE PISTACHIO FILLING

1 cup pistachios – ground as finely as you can
4 T flour
pinch salt
6 T softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat till nice and frothy.

Grind the pistachios with the flour. Add the salt. Mix these with the eggs and butter. Beat very well, till everything is combined and seems quite smooth.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Roll/press the dough into a buttered/floured tart pan. You probably won’t be able to roll it out the whole way, because it’s so soft and buttery. (I couldn’t!) So you’ll roll it into a flat, thick disc, and then put it in your tart pan and use your palm and fingers to press it out and build a nice crust up the sides of the tart pan.

Bake this for about five minutes – just till it stops being shiny.

Spread the pistachio mixture in the baked tart crust.

3 APRICOTS

Don’t peel the apricots, but cut them in half lengthwise and remove the pits. Then place them cut side down, and slice them into 1/4 ish inch slices, in an arc. Transfer them, holding the slices together, and set them on the pistachio cream. Fan them out into a pretty pattern. Repeat with each apricot. Sprinkle 2 T of sugar on the apricot slices.

Bake for about 20 minutes, till the pistachio cream is puffed and brown.

Let this cool before you try to cut it.

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