Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Dried Apricot and Almond Cream Tart

 Posted by Hello

I am posting this recipe because Zeynep requested it. I made it a while ago to see if it was something I might want to make for the dergah, and Zeynep liked the almond filling very much. The original recipe from Simple Tarts by Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen calls for Pate Sucree Riche, partially blind baked. I personally never partially bake my pie crusts, and have never been disappointed by the results--maybe because I do not know any better. For this one, I used the pie crust recipe I got from Ceyda years ago instead of pate sucree and baked it with the filling. Here is the recipe the way I made it:

For Ceyda's Pie Crust

1 c flour
5 tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
pinch of salt
2-4 tbs cold water

Put flour and salt into the food processor bowl. Process a few seconds to blend. Add the small pieces of butter into the bowl and process 10-15 seconds until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle water one tbs at a time and process the mixture in pulses until the dough just begins to hold together. Do not overprocess. Test by pinching the dough, add water if too crumbly. Form into a ball, and then roll it to line a 9-inch tart pan or springform pan.

For the Filling and Topping

2/3 c blanched almonds
1/3 c sugar, or to taste
1/2 lb cream cheese, softened
6 tbs butter, softened
2 eggs
4-5 tbs orange juice mixed with almond extract (instead of Amaretto liqueur)
1/2 lb dried apricots, halved
2 tbs apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 375F. In a food processor, process the almonds with half the sugar until very fine crumbs form. Add the remaining sugar, cream cheese, butter, eggs and 2 tbs of orange juice mixture, and process until smooth and creamy, 20-30 seconds. Spread evenly on the bottom of the tart shell.

Arrange the apricot halves over the filling, pressing them gently into the mixture. Bake until the filling is set and golden. Heat the preserves with what remains of the orange juice-almond extract mixture, and brush over the top of the tart.