While it's wildly inconsistent of me to post a recipe for an apricot galette in March, the dessert seems to have stolen the show in the Water episode of Cooked. Everyone wants the recipe. So here it is! Right now, the best fruit to use is still apples. I love Sierra Beauty, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady. Soon, rhubarb will be around again...that makes for a wonderful galette, too. Then, in June, try apricots! I always use Blenheims when I can get my hands on them.
I used to be terrified of tart-making, until my dear friend Aaron, who’s as obsessive about flavor as I am, came up with this recipe after years of experimentation. Both versatile and forgiving, it works for any fruit or savory tart. Once you grow comfortable making and rolling out tarts, lay out toppings with an eye toward aesthetics. Alternate different colored plums, apples, tomatoes or peppers for a striped pattern, or simply dot an asparagus tart with dollops of seasoned ricotta for contrast. The more senses to which your food appeals, the more delicious it will be. One note: if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can make this dough in a food processor or by hand with a pastry blender. Just make sure to freeze all of your tools, no matter what you use.
Aaron's Tart Dough
- 1¾ cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) sugar
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 4 ounces butter cut into ½-inch cubes
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) crème fraîche or heavy cream, chilled
- Ice water, as needed, to bind
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Freeze, along with the butter and the paddle attachment, for 20 minutes.. Chill the crème fraîche and cream in the fridge.
Put the bowl of dry ingredients on the stand mixer and fit with the paddle attachment. Turn the speed onto low, and slowly add the butter cubes. Once the butter is added, you can increase the speed to medium-low.
Work in the butter until it’s broken down into broken-walnut-sized pieces (don’t overmix—bits of butter are GOOD!). This will take about 1-2 minutes in the stand mixer, or a bit longer by hand.
Add the crème fraîche. In some cases, this will be enough to bind the dough with a bit of mixing. In other cases, you might need to add a spoonful of ice water. Resist the urge to add so much water, or mix for so long, that the dough comes completely together. Some shaggy bits are fine. If you’re not sure whether or not the dough needs more water, stop the mixer and take a handful of dough in your palm. Squeeze it hard, then gently try to break it apart. If it crumbles apart very easily and feels very dry, add more water. If it holds together or breaks into a few chunks, you’re done.
On the counter, pull out a long piece of plastic wrap from the roll but do not cut it. In a quick, fearless, motion, flip the bowl over onto the plastic wrap. Remove the bowl, and avoid touching the dough. Cut the plastic from the roll and, lifting both ends, use it to encourage all of the dough into a ball. Don’t worry if there are some dry bits—the flour will evenly absorb the moisture with time. Just twist the plastic tightly around the dough, press the ball into a disk, and chill for at least two hours or overnight.
To freeze the dough for up to 2 months, double-wrap it in plastic and then wrap it in aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Allow the dough to defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using.
Makes one 16-ounce tart dough, enough for a 12-inch tart
- ¾ cup (110 grams) almonds, toasted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond paste
- 2 ounces butter at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
To assemble the Tart:
- Flour, for rolling
- 4 pounds apricots, or other fruit
- Heavy Cream
- Sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C, and set a rack in the middle of the oven.
To make the frangipane, place the almonds and sugar in a food processor and grind until very fine. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until you have a smooth paste.
To make the magic dust, combine ground almonds, flour, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Flip a rimmed baking sheet upside down and place a piece of parchment paper on top. Set aside.
Before unwrapping the dough, roll the disk on its edge on the counter to form it into a circle. Unwrap the dough and sprinkle the counter, the rolling pin, and the dough with flour to prevent sticking. Working quickly, roll the dough out into a 14-inch circle, to a thickness of about ¼-inch.
To roll the dough into a circle more easily, turn the dough a quarter turn with every roll. This will also help you notice if it’s sticking to the work surface. If the dough does begin to stick, lift it carefully from the counter and use more flour as needed.
Roll the dough onto the rolling pin, and gingerly pick it up off the counter. Carefully unroll it onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, work on the fruit. Quarter all of the apricots, except for 5, which you can cut into eighths.
Leaving the chilled dough on the parchment, use a rubber or offset spatula to spread a 1/8-inch thick layer of frangipane all over the surface, leaving the outer 2 inches uncovered.
Use the apricots you’ve cut into eighths to create a wall of fruit at the outer edge of frangipane, skin-side out. While rotating the tart, fold the border of the exposed dough over the fruit wall, and over itself, crimping as you go to create an outer crust.
Return the dough to the freezer and chill for 15 minutes. Then, begin to assemble the tart. Starting at the outermost edge of the tart, lean the apricot quarters against the crust, with their points facing up. Pack them in tightly to avoid naked tart bits, since they will shrink as they cook.
Put the whole thing back in the fridge and for 15 minutes longer. Brush a little heavy cream onto the crust, and then sprinkle with sugar.
Bake directly on the parchment, on a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Stick on the middle rack of the oven at 425°F for 20 minutes. At this point, sprinkle about 1 cup sugar over the fruit. Then, reduce the heat to 400°F for another 15-20 minutes. Then, reduce to 350-75°F (based on how dark the crust is) and cook until done, which will be something like another 15-20 minutes, though it can take longer for tarts made with watery fruits, because they can take longer to cook through without being jammy.
You’ll know it’s done when the crust is a deep, golden brown and you can actually stick a paring knife under the tart and lift it off the pan with ease. The bottom should be quite golden and beautiful as well. And finally, all of the fruit should be cooked through and tender and there shouldn’t be pools of juice in the center of the tart…though, it happens!
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack, if you have one, or an inverted cookie sheet, if you don’t.
Serve warm or cooled, with ice cream, softly whipped cream or crème fraîche.
Cover and refrigerate unused frangipane for up to one week. Keep any uneaten tart wrapped at room temperature, for up to one day.
Makes one 14-inch tart