I have a special, fancy dessert to share with you today!
This, fellow foodies, is a Pear & Apricot Tart. I feel so French making stuff like this but the truth is, it could not be easier. It LOOKS and TASTES fancy… but takes very little work.
I ripped this recipe out of Real Simple magazine about 47 years ago and it sat atop my fridge, cold and lonely, for quite some time. See, I knew it was the type of recipe my husband would look at and yell “Pass!” (Dried apricot tarts don’t exactly get him excited.) But it appealed to me, so I kept it. I loved its simplicity, I loved its ingredients, I loved how pretty it looked with the pears all arranged in a circle and the caramelized apricot halves. I knew I’d make it one day.
Well, that day finally arrived!
My college roommates came to Little Rock this weekend to meet my sweet new daughter and enjoy some togetherness. We walked around our college campus “re-living the glory days.” We went to see Pitch Perfect (I could write a ten-page post about how much I loved that movie, but I’ll spare you.) And of course, we ate lots of yummy chick-food.
Finally I had my opportunity to make this decidedly “girly” tart. It was a hit with all!
A simple butter & almond crust is made in the food processor (you don’t even have to dirty up a mixing bowl!) and pressed into a tart pan. And then sliced pears are poked into the crust.
Dried apricot halves are sprinkled into the in-between spaces…
And once the tart is baked, you brush it with apricot preserves to get that lovely shiny surface!
Taste-wise: This crust of this tart is very tender and the taste of almond and butter is prominent. Baked pears are always a winner in my book. Here they soften and add a mellow sweetness and it’s wonderful! And the apricots are a great addition… they’re sweet and tangy and they add great texture.
Here’s the printable recipe:
Pear & Apricot Tart
(Source: Real Simple Magazine, Nov. 2010)
-1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
-1/2 raw almonds (I used slivered almonds because they are easier on my food processor.)
-1/2 C. sugar
-1 large egg
-1/2 tsp. almond extract
-1 C. all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
-1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 C. dried apricots (halved)
-1 T. lemon juice and 1 T. sugar
-1/4 C. apricot preserves
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9-inch removable bottomed tart pan.
In a food processor, process the almonds with the sugar until finely ground. Add the butter, egg, and almond extract and process until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and pulse a few times just to combine (the dough will be soft.)
Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a small bowl, mix 1 T. lemon juice with 1 T. sugar. Peel the pears and slice each one into 6 equal slices. (Remove cores.) Toss the pear slices in the lemon juice/sugar mixture, then press into the dough forming a circle. Scatter the apricots over the dough, pressing them in gently.
Bake the tart until the pears are tender and the center is firm, 50-55 minutes. Edges of tart will brown more quickly than the rest, so cover with foil if they are getting too brown.
In a small bowl, combine the preserves with 1 T. water. Brush over the warm tart. Let cool completely in the pan before unmolding.
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