Rehydrated dried apricots combine with browned butter and almonds to make this tender, tangy, sweet Apricot Almond and Brown Butter tart.
Dinner Around the World, the story behind Apricot Almond and Brown Butter Tart
Not too sweet, a little "biscotti" like in texture, this recipe for Apricot Almond and Brown Butter Tart is a perfect finish to a meal.
This dried apricot tart is crispy, tender, tangy and sweet, all at the same time..
While most recipes on this site are my own inventions, this one is not. I made this a while back for a dinner party with the theme: A Dinner Around the World, a really fun culinary romp eating different foods from around the world. Our meal started in Southern California with the flavors of super simple guacamole, then moved on to Mexico for a little taste of Chicken Mole Traditional, then proceeded onto Asia, Europe, and finally ended in Northern California. I guess it really should have been called Dinner Around the World ... minus 365 miles. This tart from Cindy Pawlcyn (since retired) of Napa Valley's Mustards Grill and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen was the final dish - and it's delicious.
"Bring on the dessert, I think I am about to die."
We begin this dish by baking a tender buttery crust and then fill it with a combination of almonds, confectioner's sugar, flour, and eggs.
Oh, and lest we forget the browned butter. Browning the butter may be the most difficult part of the tart, it's very easy to go from brown butter to burnt butter, so do pay close attention when doing this step.
Browned Butter is not Ghee or Clarified Butter
I like to brown my butter low and slow. Leaves a lot less room for that "burn" error. At first, when the milk solids separate from the fat it's tempting to want to remove them (they are pretty ugly to look at) But DON'T. We are making brown butter, not clarified butter. It's these milk proteins you are actually browning, so just continue, stirring occasionally to check your browness and when ready, remove from the heat to a small bowl to stop the cooking process. Stir to cool, then proceed.
But don't under-brown it either, you want the deep caramelized flavor it adds. You should be able to "smell" when it's ready.
After poaching the dried apricots in wine, I used a Viognier for its tropical fruit components, a Riesling would work as well, pat them dry, and nestle them into the filling.
Bake it in a 350º oven for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the tart is golden and the filling is set.
Slice and serve!
A perfect ending. Serve this Apricot Almond and Brown Butter Tart with a glass of bubbles, coffee, tea, or as we enjoyed it, with a late harvest sticky wine, for us, it was a 2009 Chateau Montelena Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, but any late harvest white wine will work beautifully with this tart.
Apricot Almond and Brown Butter Tart
- For the Tart Shell
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter 1 ½ sticks, diced
- 5 tablespoons ice water
- ¼ teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
- For the Filling
- ¾ cup toasted slivered almonds I get mine already toasted but if you need to toast them use a 325° oven for about 5 minutes
- 2 cu white wine I used a Viognier for it's tropical influence
- 10 ounces dried apricots I used Turkish as they are plumper
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 vanilla bean halved with the seeds scraped out and reserved
- 1 ¾ cups confectioner's sugar
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs lightly beaten
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- Optional Ingredients
- Confectioner's sugar for dusting
- Whipped cream
- Make the tart: In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles a coarse meal. Add the ice water and vanilla extract; process until the dough just comes together. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat into a round disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or until firm.
- Heat the oven to 350º F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 15 inch round about ¼ inch thick. Transfer to a 12 - inch (I could only find an 11 inch one) fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Use your rolling pin to roll over the top of the pan and remove the excess dough. Chill for 20 minutes (I chilled overnight and cooked the next day).
- Line the tart shell with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Blind bake for 50 minutes; remove the foil and bake another 20 - 25 minutes, or until the shell is lightly browned and baked through.
- Lower the heat to 325 °F.
- While the tart shell is baking, bring the wine to a simmer and add the apricots. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the apricots are plump. Remove from the heat.
- In a small skillet, cook the butter with the vanilla bean seeds over moderate heat, until browned, about 4 minutes.
- In a food processor, pulse the toasted almonds with the confectioner's sugar, flour, and salt until finely ground. Add the eggs; pulse until combined. Add the browned butter and almond extract,* pulse until smooth.
- Drain the apricots and pat dry. Pour the almond filling into the tart shell and nestle the apricots into the filling.
- Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, or until the filling is golden brown and set.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Can be made 1 day in advance. Store covered at room temperature.