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Apricot Pistachio Tart

One of the things I love about Ramadan is the stillness that takes over the city, when you can literally feel the energy shifting from a fast paced business hub to an almost zen-like retreat. While daily life goes on as normal, the significance of this important month is deeply rooted within the people that live here. No matter what your faith is, Ramadan is a time that connects us within our communities, and as a result, deepens the bonds that link us together. In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to reset, realign, and reflect.

The flavors of tradition are something I look forward to long before Ramadan begins. Fasting individuals often break their fast at Iftar at sunset with dates and water before eating something more substantial. Tables are set in abundance to accommodate large gatherings while family and friends share meals.

This is also a time of year that lends itself to the culinary delicacies of the region as nuts, dates, and other seasonal fruit often take center stage in both sweet and savory cooking (I’ll write a separate post on dates soon). My apricot pistachio tart is inspired by these flavors, as well as a similar dessert I had the pleasure of devouring years ago at the Limetree Café in Dubai. Since I absolutely love this vibrant green nut and luscious orange fruit, I’ve found that combining them in a sweet buttery crust results in a sublime tart!

In order to save on last minute prep time, your tart shell can be prepared a few days in advance. I promise you, this pistachio filling couldn’t be any easier to put together. Feel free to use fresh ripe apricots for this dessert if you like, however, I find that canned or preserved work better. Be sure to drain the preserved apricots of their liquid, and pat them dry with a paper towel before placing on your filling.

Apricot Pistachio Tart

For the pastry

Ingredients:
  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/8th teaspoon salt
  • 110 grams unsalted butter (about 1 stick), cubed and at room temperature
  • 70 grams icing sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water

Apricot Pistachio Tart – makes one 8-inch tart (can be made into 6 individual 3-inch tarts, baking time may vary)

Instructions:

First, put your flour in a large bowl and combine with salt. Lightly combine all the dry ingredients together. Set aside.

Meanwhile, put your butter, sugar, and salt in another bowl and mix the ingredients until just combined using an electric mixer. Add the eggs and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Gradually add half the flour mixture, and pulse to combine. Add the water with the remaining flour. Pulse until the mixture holds together.

Wrap  your dough tightly with plastic wrap. Let it rest for thirty minutes, and up to one hour.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius (350 Fahrenheit).

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit until it is pliable, and roll until approximately 1/8th of an inch thick on a lightly-floured surface.

Carefully place the rolled dough on top of your mould and push the pastry onto the bottom and sides of the moulds. You can use your rolling pin or a blunt knife to cut off the excess pastry on the rim.

Carefully prick the bottom of the dough several times with a fork and line the tarts with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Line the foil with baking beans or rice and bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the foil or paper and the beans. Bake the shell for an additional 5 minutes until it is dry. *Remember that your crust will bake again so you do not want to brown it at this stage.

Allow the tart shell to cool completely before filling with the pistachio mixture and apricots.

For the filling

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup of ground pistachios, plus a little extra to garnish
  • A few drops of vanilla extract (optional
  • ½ cup icing (confectioners) sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 500 grams canned apricots, drained and patted dry; OR 300 grams fresh apricots, seeds removed, and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam to glaze (optional), strained and slightly warm
Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius (350 Fahrenheit). In a large bowl, beat your butter, icing sugar and pistachios until creamy. Add the vanilla, egg yolks, and salt. Mix until all your ingredients have been incorporated.

Spread the pistachio mixture evenly into your tart shell and gently place apricots on top of the tart. *Make a circular pattern if using a round pan, or place in rows if your pan is square or rectangular.

Bake your tart in the middle rack of your oven for approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Your pistachio filling should be set, lightly browned, and the crust should be golden. Glaze with warm apricot jam, if desired, and sprinkle with chopped pistachios to garnish.

Serve the apricot pistachio tart warm, at room temperature, or even cold!

Bon Appétit!

Apricot Pistachio Tart photos by Lidija’s Kitchen

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