Sunday, May 18, 2008

Apricot Almond Tart with Sweet Cherries

As I mentioned in my last post, I found some great cherries and apricots at the farmers market and decided to make a tart. I also found some locally grows almonds at the market and since almonds are known to pair well with both apricots and cherries, I decided to use them as well. This tart has a sweet, crumbly almond crust topped with almond infused apricots and cherries. There's just enough sugar to sweeten the fruit while still allowing their tartness to come through. It's fairly simple to make and goes great served warm or cold with a big scoop of vanilla 'ice cream.'

Apricot Almond Tart with Sweet Cherries
Makes one 12" tart
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Almond Tart Crust
2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 Cup Slivered Almonds (not salted)
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Tsp Salt
8 Tbs Chilled Vegan Margarine
4 Tbs Ice Water

Apricot Cherry Filling
About 1 1/2 lbs Ripe Apricots
About 1/2 lb Sweet Cherries
3/4-1 Cup Granulated Sugar (more may be needed for extra tart fruit)
1 1/2 Tbs Prepared Almond Paste, mixed with 1 Tbs water to make a slurry
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbs All Purpose Flour

For the crust:
In a food processor, grind the almonds until they form a coarse meal. In a bowl, mix the almonds with the flour, sugar, and salt until well combined.

Cut the chilled margarine into the flour-almond mixture with a pastry blender until a crumbly consistency is achieved. Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time and mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moist.

With you hands, press the dough into the bottom and sides of a 12" tart pan.

For the filling:
Cut the apricots into quarters, removing the pit, and place in a large bowl. Pit and halve the cherries and add to the apricots. Combine the sugar, vanilla, salt, almond extract, and almond slurry then add to the fruit and mix well with your hands. Sprinkle with the flour and mix again. The filling should be getting juicy at this point.

Add the fruit mixture to the tart pan and smooth into an even layer.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees until the juices bubble and thicken and the crust is set. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving. Serve alone or with Vanilla 'Ice Cream.'


Molly said...

Ooh. I think I need to try making a tart. And I like the idea of the almond crust. I'm still scared to try making a flaky crust since I know how finicky they can be. Looks delicious!

Tyler said...

This blog post makes me hungry. I think these recipes are really well done. How do you come up with them? Do you adapt existing recipes to make them vegan?

By the way, your dessert making reminds me of those days in high school when I'd come home and you would have made a fresh batch of lemon squares or something. Or was that when I was in college?

Ashley C. said...

A lot of my recipes here are made up, as opposed to adapted from another recipe. Pies and tarts lend themselves well to experimentation since they're not nearly as finicky as other baked goods. And although I didn't use any recipe for this tart, almond crusts have been made before and apricots and cherries have been used together in lots of recipes. I just take those general ideas and make them my also helps that I was the pastry cook for that restaurant in Santa Cruz for many years so I've had lots of time to practice! It also helps that I read cookbooks like most people read novels.
ps. I think Amy was the queen of the lemon bars, although I did make a lot of desserts when we were young.