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Though baking an apricot tart is not hard to do, the dessert turns out better if a few simple tips are followed. Starting with high quality apricots is one of the most important things a cook can do because most of the flavor of the dessert comes from the fruit in it. A standard pie crust can be used for this type of tart, although the crust will be better if butter is used rather than shortening. The tart needs to be baked in a hot oven and watched carefully so that it caramelizes slightly without burning.
When baking an apricot tart, it is essential to select fruit that is neither overripe nor unripe. Apricots that are not ripe are too sour for a tart, and those that are overripe do not hold their shape when they are baked. Bruised spots should be cut out of the apricots and discarded. Apricots are a rather delicate fruit, and they do not ship or store well, so it may help to purchase them directly from a farm or from a local farmer's market.
It is possible to use a store-bought pie crust for an apricot tart but this type of crust does not taste nearly as good as a homemade tart crust. Butter should be used in this type of crust because the flavor complements apricots well even though it makes the crust crumbly rather than flaky. In order to make a crust for an apricot tart, flour, sugar, and salt are combined with a considerable amount of butter and a small amount of water. Almond meal and sliced almonds can also be used to add an extra level of complexity to the crust of an apricot tart.
Once the crust and filling have been assembled, an apricot tart should be baked in an oven that has been preheated to the desired temperature. Placing the tart in an oven that has not been preheated to the correct temperature can cause it to cook unevenly. Apricot tarts must usually cook for between 45 minutes and an hour and should be checked frequently during the last 10 minutes. When an apricot tart is perfectly baked, the apricots are soft, though not mushy, and the edges of the apricots are slightly caramelized. The juice released by the apricots is golden and bubbly and should cover the top of the tart.
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