An ode to wasting no part of a fruit
Waste not, crave not. Particularly true when it comes to apricots, which, inside their stone, hide a sweetly bitter little nut born to make all foods more interesting. My grandfather would crack the stone and pass the armelline-their italian name-onto our eagerly waiting hands. My mother would gather the uncracked stones from our plates all season long, so she could use them to flavor jams, liquors, cookies, tarts.
To stave off the craving this year, I have been scattering them on my apricot tarts.
Crostata di albicocche e mandorle
Almonds and apricots tart
for a 10 to 12” tart pan
270 grams flour
100 grams sugar
135 grams butter
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt
grated zest of a lemon or orange
8 ounces almond paste in 1 piece
2 pounds apricots
1 tablespoon sugar
To make the crust, place the first 6 ingredients in the mixer bowl. Using a paddle attachment, work on medium high speed.
As the butter and yolks are broken into the dry ingredients, the mixture will turn into a thick powder.
The powder will quickly turn to crumbs and appear more yellow and less whitish.
As the crumbs get bigger and the powdery appearance disappears, increase the paddling to the highest speed.
The crumbs will get bigger and bigger and the noise the paddle makes while stirring will change from continuous to slightly intermittent, as if the dough is resisting it.
When the dough is clustered in big clumps, it is ready. Empty it on a piece of plastic wrap and quickly press the clumps of dough together with the tip of your fingers.
Press to form a fat disk with the palm of your hands. Wrap tightly with plastic and place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes.
If using a food processor pulse until the crumbles start coming together as described and proceed as above.
Roll the almond paste in between 2 sheets of parchment paper to as thin a layer as you can, ideally about 1/2 the thickness of the crust. Set aside in a cool place.
Roll the pasta frolla to 1/8” thick. Drape it over the tart pan. Press it down to adhere to the bottom and cut the excess crust leaving about 1/4". Prick the bottom.
Peel one layer of parchment paper off the almond paste and lay the paste over the tart pan and carefully line the pasta frolla with it making sure it adheres well all over the bottom. Place in the freezer.
Wash, dry and quarter the apricots. Crack the stones and gather the nuts that are inside. Chop them finely and mix them with a tablespoon of sugar.
Turn the oven on to pre-heat to 350˚F.
Arrange the apricot segments in concentric circles over the tart crust, alternating 1 skin side up and 1 skin side down. Sprinkle the noyeaux and sugar over the apricots
Place on a sheet pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the crust edges are golden and the apricots are a little shriveled but still delightfully pointy and looking up to the sky.
Let cool before serving.