This lovely Apricot and Almond Tart is made with summer apricots and a decadent frangipane and custard filling.
There’s a posh little French bakery in town that makes the most wonderful pastries. I used to work right beside their shop and I found myself in there more often than I would like to admit. They have all sorts of tarts, danishes and of course macarons. One morning, I was hoping for a danish or muffin of some sort and all they had left was a petite square pastry sprinkled in almonds with a plump, orange apricot in the middle. It was love at first bite. Now, it goes without saying, that buying these little pasties can be quite pricey, so I decided I needed to make something like it at home. Instead of individual little pastries, I’ve made them into full tarts.
All Things Pastry
The pastry I used is Pâte Sucrée, (pronounced pat-sue-cray) which has a shortbread cookie-like texture and is sweeter than a standard pie pastry. It produces a sturdier pastry crust and can hold heavier fillings. Pâte Sucrée is made with powdered sugar, instead of granulated sugar, and also includes egg yolks. The dough freezes remarkably well and you can keep it for up to 3 months in the freezer.
I find that this type of pastry requires a blind-baking or par-baking. Blind baking is the process of baking the pastry before filling it. This will help the pastry to bake the whole way through and achieve a nice crisp bottom crust. It will also help prevent soft and chewy bottom crusts, aka, the soggy bottom. If you try baking the tart without blind baking first, the crust may brown on top, but it won’t be baked and browned all the way through. After a blind bake, the crust will still be pale, but won’t look raw. After the second bake, it will get nice and golden brown.
The Apricot Frangipane Filling
The filling for this Apricot Almond Tart is a combination of almond custard and a French frangipane. The custard is a basic vanilla pudding type filling, made with milk, vanilla, almond, cornstarch, sugar and eggs. Super simple and made with standard pantry ingredients. The second part of the filling is frangipane. Frangipane is a deceptively easy French custard made from butter, sugar, eggs and almond flour. My version here uses sliced almonds instead, which gives the filling a delicate crunch. The two custards are mixed together and then spread evenly in the blind baked pastry crust, topped with plump apricot halves and more sliced almonds.
I’ve used canned apricot halves every single time I made this tart. There’s nothing wrong with using them from a can – it’s economical and convenient. If you have the time and if apricots are in season, you can always buy a big boxful, blanche them and peel them before making this tart. I have a toddler and can think of a million other things to do with that time.
Whether it be breakfast or dessert, this tart is the main attraction. I’m an adult and I make my own rules and I totally ate two slices for supper the other night. Best decision I made all day!
Check out these other recipes:
- Apricot Glazed Turkey Thighs
- Almond Morning Buns
- Lemon Mascarpone Tart
- Apricot Stir Fry
- Butter Tart Squares
Apricot Almond Tart
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup chilled unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 6 Tbsp butter at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, toasted plus extra for garnish
- 2-14 oz cans apricot halves drained from the syrup
- honey or agave for brushing the finished tart
For the Pastry
- In a food processor, add flour, sugar and salt and pulse to combine.
- Add in the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
- Add in the egg yolks, one at a time, pulsing until the mixture looks like wet sand. It will hold together when you press it in your hands.
- Dump the dough onto the counter and form it into a disk.
- Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour. Dough can be made up to 2 days in advance. Let soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.
- Roll out pastry between two sheets of parchment until the dough is large enough to fit the tart pan with some overhang, about 1/8 inch thick.
- Transfer the dough to tart pan with removable bottom. You cause either one 11-inch round pan, or two rectangular tart pans (13x4x1 inches)
- Trim dough overhang to 1/2 inch; fold in and press, forming double thick sides.
- Dock the bottom of the tart shell with a fork.
- Freeze crust until firm; about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Gently place a piece of parchment in the tart shell and fill with pie weights. Make sure there’s enough overhand to cover the sides. This will help prevent it from browning too much during this initial bake.
- Blind bake the crust for 15 mins with pie weights inside. Then, remove the weights and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
For the Filling
- Pour milk into small saucepan.
- Scrape in the seeds from vanilla bean; add bean.
- Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and almond extract.
- Gradually and slowly, whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
- Whisk over medium heat until custard thickens and boils, about 2 minutes.
- Discard vanilla bean.
- Transfer custard to a bowl and place plastic wrap directly onto surface of custard; cover and refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours. ** see note
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combined powdered sugar, butter, egg and salt in a small bowl.
- Add in almond slices and mix to combine well.
- Add this mixture to the cooled custard and mix until well combined.
- Pour into chilled crust; smooth top.
- Arrange apricot halves, round side up, on top of the filling.
- Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
- Bake tart until filling is set and golden, about 45 minutes ***see note.
- Remove from oven.
- Brush with honey or agave and return to the oven for 3 minutes.
- Cool tart completely in pan.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Nutritional calculation was provided by WP Recipe Maker and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator
- The Pastry recipe makes enough for one 11-inch tart crust. It will also make enough for 2-13x4x1 rectangle tart pans.
- *Vanilla beans are expensive, so feel free to use 1 tsp of vanilla extract instead. Add the vanilla at the step as the almond extract.
- **To get your custard to chill faster, spread out into a 9 inch pie plate. This will give the custard ore surface area exposed to the cold air in the fridge and will chill much faster.
- ***Baking time will vary depending on the size of the tart pan you’re using. An 11-inch tart will take 50-60 minutes, but check regularly to see if the filling is set. A smaller rectangular pan can take 35-45 minutes. Again, check regularly to see if filling is set.