It seems like only yesterday there was little more than apples and cabbage at the greenmarket, and now we’ve have five days straight of brow-beating heat in the northeast. Which means one thing to me: Expect apricots soon.
They will first appear timidly, testing their toes, and then “bang!” they will be absolutely overflowing from the greenmarket tables. In anticipation of this, I have been thinking about all things apricot–and I thought I’d start off with a rustic apricot tart. I like the classic nature of a tart baked in a tart pan, but find that a rustic tart baked flat on a sheet pan can be exceptionally charming. This one is pretty simple since it relies on a puff pastry shortcut, and super delicious with the addition of a simple homemade almond paste.
1/3 cup Sucanat (or your preferred natural sweetener)
2/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons applesauce
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, room temperature
6 fresh apricots, halved and pits removed
1/4 cup whole almonds
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Put the almonds and Sucanat in a food processor and process until coarse. Add the butter and applesauce, process until incorporated, then add the egg, vanilla, and the flour and mix until smooth.
3. On a floured surface, roll out puff pastry and transfer to a parchment-lined baking pan. Trim away the edges of the pastry to leave a large circle, about nine inches in diameter. Spread the almond paste in the middle of the pastry leaving a one-inch edge. Stick the apricot halves into the paste, cut side up, in circles around the tart, and fill in the spaces with the whole almonds
4. Bake until the pastry has puffed and the top is lightly browned, about 30 to 40 minutes.