8.02.2012

Apricot Cornmeal Crumb Tarts with Apricot Compote Glaze

An adorable friend of mine in the neighborhood sent out a message via facebook that she had plenty of apricots ready for picking! So of course, Ryan and I headed right on over. Much to my surprise, she had an entire bucket already filled with apricots for us to take home. I was very very grateful, but I was scared to death on how I'd be able to use so many apricots before they over ripened. That's when I searched vigorously through any and every recipe resource I have - thankfully, I had a couple recipes ready. And thus begins my unofficial Apricot Week. (haah!) I usually don't do themes/holiday posts/whatever, but I do believe in cooking seasonally. And apricots, my friends, are in full swing. I was able to use the apricots in three recipes over the past 4 days. This is number 1, folks.

Originally I thought I needed a tart pan to make a tart. But good heavens, how could I say no to what these little heart shaped pans could produce? I love how adorable they turned out - the taste was equally as wonderful. (Thanks Sariah for running over so quickly with these cute little pans!)

While searching for apricot recipes this week, I was able to further explore such a wonderful website: Pastry Studio. I'm convinced this lady is the apricot queen. She has so many amazing recipes, and each one I've tried has been a complete success. This one included :)

I loved how the tarts included cornmeal - giving them that familiar cornbread taste. It was met perfectly with the sunset-colored apricot center - gooey, but not gummy. They weren't very sweet, and I knew this would be the case. So in the middle of the recipe where you're supposed to drain the apricot compote, I saved the drippings, and made a sweet glaze to drizzle over the tarts after they popped out of the oven. It really hit the spot, and was a perfect compliment to the overall crumbly texture and light taste of the tarts.

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Apricot Cornmeal Crumb Tarts with Apricot Compote Glaze

Ingredients:

Apricot Center:
8 fresh ripe apricots (I used about 20 mini-apricots)
1/4 C water
1/4 C + 2 T sugar
1/2 vanilla bean (I used a little under a tablespoon of extract)
1/2 t cinnamon

Cornmeal crumble:
2 C flour
1/2 C + 2 T fine cornmeal 
3/4 C sugar
1/4 t + 1/8 t salt
1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into small cubes
3 egg yolks
1/4 C + 2 T sour cream

Apricot Compote Glaze:
1 C powdered sugar
drippings from apricot preserves (see directions below) 

Clean apricots, remove pits (watch out for little bugs if you picked apricots fresh!), and cut apricots in half - set aside. Combine water and sugar together and bring to a simmer. Add vanilla to syrup and stir. Add in apricots and cinnamon. Lower heat and simmer until apricots start to look jammy, but hold their shape. take off heat and pour through a strainer placed over a bowl to drain. Save the drained juices for your glaze!

Preheat oven to 350

Whisk together dry ingredients - flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a food processor. Toss in butter pieces and pulse until butter breaks up (don't overmix). In a separate small bowl, mix together yolks and sour cream. Don't overmix, but mix until it's combining together, but still looks pretty crumbly. Pour into a large bowl and toss gently with your clean hands.

Pour about 2/3 of the dough crumbles into a 9'' tart pan (I used 4 heart-shaped mini cake pans, and 4 shallow white ramekins). Gently crumble and even layer to the edges of pan(s) and press lightly without smashing down. If using a tart pan, cover the bottom of the pan completely so there's no holes for leaking. Layer on the apricots in the center, but leave room around the edges. Sprinkle the remaining dough crumble over the top of the apricots, spreading some to the edges to form a border.

Place tart(s) on a cookie sheet and bake for about 35 minutes (I cooked mine in 2 batches of 4 ramekins/pans each, and they were done in about 20-25 minutes). Cool completely before removing from pans to serve.

While baking, prepare glaze. Whisk powdered sugar vigorously with the apricot compote/syrup drippings. Drizzle over tarts before serving.

recipe source: Pastry Studio 

6 comments:

  1. These sound wonderful! I think adding the glaze was a great call! The heart shapes are ADORABLE; my daughters would LOVE this, too! ~Amber of WhatAmberLoves.com

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  2. Oh yum!! Looks delicious, sounds labor intensive. Pinned them for when I am brave enough to conquer them.

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  3. My oldest was just asking me to make apricot pie!! This is what she meant!! Yum!! Thanks for linking to Foodtastic Friday!!

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  4. I would have been a little scared of a huge bag of apricots too!! I don't know that I have ever baked with them before!!! These tarts are awesome looking!!! You did great with recipe #1!!!

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  5. Impressive! I love apricots.

    Warmly, Michelle

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