Apricot Honey Almond Tart

The photos of ingredients I’ve purchased for recipes I’ve tried recently grow in my photo library seemingly overnight even though I delete nearly as many as I decide to edit, mentally processing the quality of the recipe as I process my shots of it.  Recipes are sampled and the leftovers tucked away — or wedged considering the condition my fridge is currently suffering from — and the cycle repeats sans the writing that should factor in there somewhere.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are positioned on the kitchen counter tops in a sort of line up lest I forget they’re ready to be used. At some point, inspiration has to inspire, doesn’t it?  So that would be the problem.

And a lack of inspiration is not a small problem.

So while I prod, poke, and try to revive it, I’ve been cleaning up a few favorite old posts.  There’s nothing quite like restoring broken links, uploading photos from an old server onto a new one, and reformatting posts to keep one busy enough to justify a lack of creativity and avoidance of housework.

I also moved my photography station from the dining room to my office upstairs a few days ago, surprising myself with something I hadn’t given much thought to before it happened. It’s not a bad idea, but I’d just gotten organized in the office and spruced things up a bit — including the purchase of fabric to make curtains.  Nice curtains, too.  At this point, if I’m going to use the light from the window, then why put curtains up? Not an Earth-shattering dilemma, but still.

As much as I will enjoy not having lights and props lined up on the dining room table, I’ll miss the convenience of everything being right next to the kitchen.  I can still use the space when the light is perfect but won’t have to tolerate the things sitting around like a mess when I’m downstairs  I’ve already figured out a tray is in order to carry food upstairs, and a tote to carry props back and forth from the garage.  Perhaps one of those calorie counting gizmos is in order to make me feel even better about my decision since I’ll have to

Time will tell.  It always does.

In the meantime, I was lulled by the beauty of two kinds of apricots in the market a few days ago, and so they became my first experiment shooting with the light from my office window.  Leftover tart dough rescued from my freezer helped not only with the photography experiment, but a tart experiment as well.

This tart is perfect if you’ve got fresh apricots and want a tart that isn’t fussy to make.  The filling is is quickly mixed and poured over the apricots before baking.  A lovely recipe to end any meal.

Apricot Honey Almond Tart

Ingredients

3 T sliced almonds

1/2 c. heavy cream

1 lg. egg

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 T wild-flower honey

1 T cake flour

1 pinch dried lavender

5 fresh apricots

powdered sugar for sprinkling

1 blind baked pie crust, cooled.  Use this crust recipe — it’s delicious!

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly over the bottom of the blind-baked crust (I used an 8″ square)
  3. Cut each of the apricots into 8 wedges and arrange them over the almonds so that they cover the surface of the crust as much as possible.  You should have 4 rows of 10 wedges
  4. Prepare the cream by whisking the cream, egg, both extracts, and honey until well blended, then add the flour and mix well.
  5. Carefully pour the cream mixture over the apricots as evenly as possible.
  6. Sprinkle the dried lavender over the surface.
  7. Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven until the surface is golden brown, about 50 minutes.
  8. Cool completely on a baking rack.
  1. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

My Recipe Notes:

  • This recipe was an adaptation of an adaptation from Patricia Wells’ At Home in Provence.  Picture someone’s photocopy of the recipe marked with their notes, and I took it from there.
  • This is a lovely tart — a balanced combination of tartness and sweetness.  Definitely no sugar overload here.  I tried it with and without the sprinkle of powdered sugar and enjoyed it both ways.
  • I had apricots that were crying out to be used and I originally intended to use both traditional apricots and some lovely Black Velvet Apricots, but the black apricots are much more tender in texture, quite juicy, and have fruit that clings to the stone more so than the traditional apricots.  This meant I would not have perfect little rows of apricot wedges for my tart, so I came up with Plan B for a second tart which I’ll write about later.
  • Yes, I know that photo above is from a different sized tart pan, but I fell in love with the dough draping over the side of the pan — and remember — I was actually caught up in the throes of my new lighting set up.
  • It seems I always have scraps of pie dough in my freezer, so that’s what I used for this tart.  I thaw it still wrapped in the fridge until it’s still pretty firm, then roll it on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/8″ thick.  I place it in a pan lightly sprayed with oil, easing the dough into the sides, sometimes doubling up the thickness with any extra dough that is draping over the sides.  I press it into the fluted edges, lightly tamping down from the top as well.  I like to leave a bit of dough poking above the edge of the pan because even when I use pie weights during blind baking, there’s shrinkage.
  • Speaking of shrinkage, I forgot to use my pie weights, so the edges did slip a bit.  In the end, it was more rustic looking which is always fine with me, but I was worried about overflow during baking so I wrapped the tart pan in foil.  A bit leaked out, but it easily came out of the pan for serving.
  • If you choose to use the pie dough recipe I’ve linked above (which is excellent — I’ve made it many times now) then you will have quite a bit left over.  Just freeze it in a well-wrapped disk shape to make rolling easy after it thaws.
  • Another good tip when working with pie dough is to put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before baking.  It helps keep all the fat solid so that when it bakes, it melts and creates a lovely, flaky crust.
  • Try any kind of stone fruit with this recipe.  I’m thinking cherries would be lovely!
  • The Black Velvet Apricots are headed for jam!

 

23 thoughts on “Apricot Honey Almond Tart

  1. I picked up some of the Black Velvet apricots from my farmers market on Saturday. They were delicious and had more flavor than the typical apricots (when eaten fresh anyway). Apricots and almonds go so well together and the tart is beautiful with its flecks of lavender.

    I set up and take down my photography stuff every time I shoot food. I move around my house a lot and every time I make pictures upstairs, I get angry from running up and down the stairs. I’m obviously not that well set up beforehand to keep this from happening.

    1. It would be interesting to do a blindfold taste test to decide which I like better. The black ones certainly are juicy. But their texture reminds me too much of plums to think apricot when I take a bite.

      On the stairs — my computer is upstairs, so it forces me to get a workout many times a day. On laundry days, that’s50 stairs up and back!

  2. the recipe looks wonderful. I *adore* apricots. They are some of my fave fruits. Just love them and so hard to find good ones for more than a month per year, max, for me at least.

    Moving your photography station to the 2nd floor, on a floor that is not shared with your kitchen? You are a brave woman! When I take pics of my more elaborate recipes/creations, I am up and back and across the main floor of my house umpteen times grabbing something, wiping, finding, re-propping, etc. If that was all up flights of stairs…I’d die. haha!

    Keep us posted how it goes!

    1. Thanks, Averie — and you’re right about them having such a short season. We used to grow them, and once you’ve had that pleasure, nothing compares!

      I’m lucky enough to have great light in most of my house, so I’m sure I’ll still be dragging food wherever it’s best. There’s no getting away from that.

  3. This tart looks wonderful. Your photography is, as always, fabulous. All the work you put into your crafts really show. I love Patricia Wells and her cookbooks that I own. I haven’t made this tart, but plan to using your tips.
    p.s. I have trouble with the pastry scraps ~ I tend to eat them before putting them in the freezer. :/

    1. Thanks Missy :) Sometimes I have more patience than others, and I actually learn a thing or two! Funny you should bring up the pastry scraps because the first time I made this dough, the scraps disappeared! I was so busy making dough for the bake sale we had last month, all the scraps went in the freezer.

  4. I recently discovered that the light in my TV room is way better than that in my kitchen, which means that I will set up the food to photograph there. More trips, but well worth it I hope. I also realized that I will have more space to move around the food than when I used the kitchen counter, it is fun to experiment with light direction. Are you using a light white sheet or curtain to diffuse the light? I love how the diffused light makes everything look softer.

    This tart is lovely, I would want to try it with a gluten free crust, I bet it would work well with plums too.

  5. Laura, the only time I use any kinds of a diffuser is with my lights which have white umbrellas attached. Because my office window gets direct sunlight most of the morning, that will be changing, so it will be fun to try something new. I guess that makes the case for sheer curtains, right?

    I’ve never tried a gluten-free crust, but I’ll bet it would be delicious with this — and with plums!

  6. I’m always a bit wary of buying apricots since you never quite know how they’re going to taste! Throw them in a tart such as this, though? And it doesn’t quite matter, now does it. Fantastic!

    1. Agreed. It’s like they’re perfect for one day and if it’s missed, then they’re destined for heat. They’re delicious grilled!

  7. No matter where you take photos, I’m sure they’re going to be as terrific as these ones. Beautiful and the tart looks absolutely mouthwatering. Love the wooden tote you have the apricots in!

    1. Thanks! Since your photos are excellent (I’m horrible at taking them in eateries and yours are so bright and clear) I appreciate the feedback. The little tote was a PB thrift store score for a buck fifty. :)

  8. I love it when there are more photos that are yummy in a blog with recipe. Thanks for sharing. Maybe you could ask me for a blog review. Cheers!

  9. I’ve been seeing some beautiful apricots at the store recently – this would be a wonderful way to use them. Gorgeous tart!

    Good luck with your new photography area!

  10. i don’t know if it’s me or my computer, but i can barely see your new font! i can, however, see the images just fin, and it looks to be a dandy of a tart!

    1. Thanks for saying something — I’m spoiled because I’m used to looking at things on this Mac screen and the resolution is awesome. Will fix.

  11. I’d give anything for dedicated photo space near the kitchen. It’s so hard to set up, break down, set up, transport the food without dropping or spilling, etc etc. Hope your new space in the office works well for you.

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