Apricot Tart with Almond Crust
This apricot tart is simple, gorgeous, and just as delicious for dessert as it is for breakfast. Serve it in the evening with sweetened whipped cream that has a dash of rum stirred into it, or serve it in the morning with a spoonful of yogurt. The crust, made from toasted almonds, has a satisfying, chewy quality, but the fruit is the real star. Since the apricots are relatively unadorned, choose perfectly ripe, fragrant ones. See if you can get your hands on a bag of Blenheim apricots, which have just come into season and will be available for only a brief couple of weeks.
Makes one 9-inch tart
¾ cup almonds (about 3½ ounces)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ pounds ripe apricots
1 tablespoon honey or apricot jam, for brushing
Sweetened whipped cream or plain yogurt, for serving
To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they are lightly browned and smell very fragrant, about 8 - 10 minutes. Transfer them to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pour in ¼ cup sugar and blend until coarsely ground. Add the flour and salt, and blend just to combine. Cut the butter into small pieces and add them, along with the egg yolk and vanilla. Pulse until a ball of soft dough forms. Wrap it in plastic and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour. (Almond crust can be made ahead, tightly sealed, and frozen for up to 1 month.)
To make the tart: Preheat the oven to 375°F. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Place it in an ungreased 9-inch tart pan. Use your fingers to press in the sides and fold over any excess dough to make a nicely reinforced crust. (Don't worry if the rolled dough breaks when you lift it into the pan; simply patch any holes with little pieces of extra dough.) Place the crust in the freezer to chill while you prepare the fruit. Slice the apricots into quarters, discarding the pits, and toss them in a bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. If the apricots are not very sweet, add another tablespoon or two of sugar. Arrange the sweetened apricots, cut-side up, on top of the crust. Bake until the fruit is juicy and slightly burned just at the tips, about 40 minutes. Warm the honey, then brush it across the fruit. Serve each slice of tart with a spoonful of sweetened whipped cream.