Small Plates and Sweet Treats
APRICOTS ARE AMONG THE FIRST FRUITS of summer. If you’re lucky, they start to appear at the end of spring. They tend to be a bit tart when they’re not fully ripe, so you might want to add a bit more sugar if that is the case, but overall this is not intended to be a very sweet dessert.
I recently discovered red velvet apricots. They have a deep burgundy skin with bright orange flesh and are slightly sweeter than the traditional variety. I love their pop of color, especially for a tart this simple.
The hazelnut shortbread crust is very flaky and tender. Use the best artisanal salted butter you can find; it’s the butter that makes it so wonderful. This is a press-in dough, so no need to worry about rolling it out. I don’t recommend baking it in a large tart pan, because it is so delicate that it might fall apart. This recipe makes perfect individual tartlets that will melt in your mouth.
Makes six 4 ½ - inch tartlets
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You Will Need
In a large bowl, whisk together the superfine brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, hazelnut flour, and vanilla seeds. Dice the soft butter into the flour and work it between your fingers until the butter and the flour form a sandy mixture. Add the milk and mix with your hands until it forms a soft dough.
Divide the dough into 6 pieces and press each piece of dough into the tart molds, tarting from the bottom and working your way up the sides, until the dough is evenly distributed and about ¼ inch thick. Dust your fingers with a little bit of superfine brown rice flour if the dough becomes too sticky. Remove excess dough with your fingers by pressing against the edges of the mold. Refrigerate the tart bases for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut the apricots in half. Remove the pit and slice each half into thin wedges.
Sprinkle the almond flour over the crust. Arrange the apricot slices tightly around the edges of the tart mold, forming a flower pattern. Top with the currants. Sprinkle the tops with the sugar.
Bake the tartlets for 30 minutes, until the crust is golden and the fruit starts to lightly bubble. Let the tartlets cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then lift them out of the mold. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with pistachios.