Apricot and Almond Tart

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I share my husband’s love of apricots and, like him, enjoy them any number of ways— in jam, dried and cooked with pork, tossed with couscous, or as the focus of this easy tart, adapted from Patricia Wells.

Crust
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1⁄2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 1⁄4 cups, plus 1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons unblanched almonds, finely ground

Filling
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon flour
1 1⁄2 pounds fresh apricots, halved and pitted
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and set pan aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and stir with a wooden spoon to blend. Add the extracts, salt and flour, and stir to form a soft cookie-like dough. Transfer the dough to the bottom of the pan and press gently across the bottom and up the sides of the pan to cover. The dough will be thin. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake until the dough is slightly puffy and set, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle pre-baked pastry with almonds to prevent the dough from getting soggy.

Prepare the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the cream, the egg, the extracts and the honey. Whisk to blend, then whisk in the flour.

Starting just inside the edge of the pan, arrange the apricot halves, cut-side up and slightly overlapping, in concentric circles on the pastry. Pour the filling over the fruit, place in the center of the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the filling is firm and the pastry is golden brown. Remove pan to a rack to cool and sprinkle tart with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Serves 8.

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