CSA Week 9, and Apricot and Crème Fraîche Tart
I mean really, our shares just keep getting better as the weeks roll on. In this week’s box: cucumbers, fennel, carrots, golden beets, field greens, green beans, curly kale, summer squash (including the spaceship-like green pattypan squash), arugula, AND…the first of the tomatoes! Whew! That’s a nice haul.
And in our fruit share – stone fruit heaven! Apricots, plums, and peaches, oh my!
So I’ve been eating our plums and apricots straight out of hand for a few weeks now, and still I had some apricots left over. I combined those with a few of the lovelies from this week’s share to make…
This luscious, creamy, fruity Apricot and Crème Fraîche Tart. If you like filling combinations like this in your tarts, go ahead and swoon with me. It’s okay. I’ll wait.
Back? Okay. Actually, this tart was one of those happy coincidences of fate, where I was looking for a dessert to make with my stone fruit and happened to unearth a batch of almond-studded tart dough frozen in my freezer (if you could see how jam-packed my freezer is, you’d know this is no small feat.) Stone fruit? Almond pastry? Oh, it had to be good.
filling the prepared shell with “pie weights,” a.k.a. dried beans
pre-bake the shell just until it starts to turn golden brown
Since my apricots were significantly tarter than I knew a ripe peach would be (and because I have a friend who’d made the pie with apricots and advised me to boost up the sugar content – thanks Em!) I added a bit more sugar to the apricots than in the original recipe.
luscious apricot wedges, sugared up
butter + flour + confectioner’s sugar makes a streusel
arrange the apricot wedges in the tart shell, over a few tablespoons of crème fraîche and a little streusel
sprinkle with the remaining streusel and dot with more crème fraîche
As the tart bakes, the crème fraîche melts into all the crevices and sets up, the streusel relaxes into the crème fraîche, and the apricots soften…and when I took it out of the oven, I knew it would be good.
I chilled it for an hour or two before serving it, and I highly recommend doing so — the filling sets up really nicely in the fridge, and it just tastes so refreshing and creamy! I loved this dessert because it was just sweet enough. We brought it to a friend’s house for dinner, and all cleaned our plates.
Apricot and Crème Fraîche Tart
As delicious as this is with ripe apricots, it would of course be absolutely delicious with peaches, as it was in the original recipe. If you do use very ripe, sweet peaches, I would use a little less sugar in the filling – say, 3 tablespoons instead of 6.
Almond Tart Dough
Adapted from Desserts by the Yard
Ingredients (for two tart shells – you can freeze one for later!)
1 cup almonds, chopped finely
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cold large egg yolks
2 tablespoons very cold heavy cream
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the chopped almonds, flour and confectioner’s sugar. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Add the pieces of cold butter and beat on medium-low speed until the pieces of butter are barely visible, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and continue mixing on medium-low speed, about 1 minute. Turn the speed down to low and stream in the heavy cream. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides, then mix for another minute on low speed.
Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into two pieces; flatten each piece into a disk and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or you can freeze each for future use.)
When you’re ready to pre-bake the shell, roll a disk of dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 12 inches in diameter (for a 9-inch tart pan.) Transfer the dough to the tart pan and press to line the bottom and sides. Prick the bottom of the shell with a fork, then gently line the dough with a piece of foil. Fill the foil with pie weights (or dried beans or rice).
Bake the shell with the weights for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Gently remove the foil liner and weights, and use the back of a spoon to press down any areas that may have bubbled up. Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the crust begins to turn golden brown.
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 pounds ripe apricots, pitted and quartered
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons crème fraîche
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the apricot quarters, sugar, and salt. Let stand for about 10 minutes while you make the streusel.
To make the streusel, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, baking powder, salt and AP flour in a medium bowl. Add the pieces of cold butter, and work into the flour mixture with your fingers or a pastry cutter (you can add a little more flour if the butter gets too soft as you’re working it, but I didn’t find this to be a problem.)
Spread two tablespoons of crème fraîche over the bottom of the pre-baked tart shell. Top with 1/3 of the streusel mixture. Now arrange the apricot wedges in the shell (I tried to make a somewhat decorative pattern.) Dollop the remaining 3 tablespoons of crème fraîche over the apricot wedges, and sprinkle the entire pan with the remaining streusel.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the crème fraîche is bubbling and the streusel is golden brown. You can cover the edges of the tart crust with aluminum foil if it starts to get too brown (I did end up doing this.)
Remove to a rack to cool to room temperature, and chill before serving.