Sunday, October 23, 2011

Apricots

There is a class of desserts made in French homes that does not seem to exist here in the United States. It's a pie or cake made of unhealthy things, but topped and flavored with fruit, delicately nested in with the unhealthy parts. The purpose of the fruit is not to make one feel like this dessert is somehow healthier, no no no. The fruit is there to make it more sweet and delicious. Because really, fruit that has been baked doesn't really have any nutritional value anymore. It has just become jam.
Berry Coulis
This isn't true of fruit pies of course. Don't try to use logic on baking rationalizations, it just doesn't work, OK? Because if you make a fruit pie, it's practically healthy. If you make a pie that happens to have fruit on/in it, like instead of mounds of whipped topping or meringue, it's adding deliciousness (much like whipped topping or meringue) without adding heft or fat, just a very light touch of sweetness. My aunt Nadia makes this chocolate pear tart which is absolutely delicious, but I don't have the recipe. What I did manage to put together is this apricot almond tart. Yum.
sliced almond apricot tart
I used a pre-made pie-crust for this, but I bet a graham cracker or cookie crust would work well too. Parbake the crust while you make the filling and cut up the fruit.

Ingredients:
pie crust
7-8 apricots
1 scant cup ground almonds (100g)
1 stick of butter (100g)
1/2 cup sugar (100g)
2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp cream
2 eggs
1 Tbsp dark rum
pinch salt
Room temp butter
Mix it!
Pour in almond dough
slice apricots
Place apricots skin side up

I used a hand mixer, but I bet a stand mixer would work really well here.
Preheat oven to 450F.
1. Cream the butter and sugar.
2. Add almonds and combine.
3. Add eggs one at a time and combine.
4. Add cream, then flour, then salt and rum. Combine until homogeneous.
5. Pour batter into pie shell.
6. Halve apricots and nestle them into the pie. Get as many as you can in there.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until dough no longer jiggles.
You don't need to cool this pie very long before cutting into it. Just wait until it won't burn you anymore.

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