I just returned from "up north". I'm always happy to be back in my St. Paul kitchen. The kitchen where we stay "up north" is pretty bare bones. Most everything that goes with me to that kitchen has been assembled or prepped at home, sparing me the frustration of trying to cook or bake with the kitchen equipment available (or should I say, unavailable) to me.
Before I leave for "up north" I walk through my garden snipping and filling bags full of basil, rosemary, sage, parsley and cilantro. I pack good knives, my pepper mill and jars and bottles of different oils and vinegars. Last week I made my favorite fruit tart pastry and took it up as frozen flat discs. Once there, I rolled the crusts and lined 9-inch tart pans I also packed for the trip. I did use canned apricots, but that was only because I didn't know if I would be able to find nice, ripe apricots at our destination. I served the tart with purchased vanilla ice cream and there was nothing wrong with that! But when I make this tart at home, I often make a vanilla custard ice cream to serve along-side and that makes this tart truly spectacular.
• a 9-inch thinly-rolled tart crust
• almond butter, to spread in a thin layer over the tart crust
• 3 cans apricot halves, drained and patted dry with paper towels, or about 16-18 small fresh apricots, halved and pits removed
• 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
• about 1/4 cup apricot jam, heated
1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
2. After rolling the tart dough and lining the tart pan, chill the dough for 30 minutes. Spread a thin layer of almond butter over the base of the tart crust. Arrange the apricots in an over-lapping pattern, in the tart shell. Sprinkle evenly with sugar.
3. Place tart in the center of the oven and bake for 50 minutes. At this point I will cover the tart loosely with foil and continue to bake another 5 to 10 minutes. I like to get a bit of charring on the apricots and the crust a nice golden brown.
4. Remove from the oven and spoon the melted apricot jam evenly over the apricots. Cool slightly before serving with vanilla bean ice cream.