Sunday, August 2, 2009

Apricot Gooseberry Tart

These two unsung fruits are both in season now so I thought I'd combined them and see how they tasted. I made the filling fairly sour using only 1 1/4 cups of sugar for about 2 1/2 pounds of fruit. The pâte sucrée is like eating a piece of sweet shortbread and with the addition of organic icing sugar and your choice of vanilla ice cream or sweetened cream you can mitigate the sourness to your liking. I liked it so much my choice would be to serve it garnished with icing sugar and unsweetened whipped cream

If you were so inclined you could also make this just as a compote, in which case I would increase the sugar by at least 1/2 a cup and cook it on the stove top until the fruit begins to break down and thickens. Apricots are high in pectin so there is no need to add a thickener when making the tart or a compote/jam. If however you wanted to make a more sour compote it would be a great foil for a roast pork loin or a fatty duck breast or confit of duck, or as the basis for a simple chutney (maybe add some black mustard seeds, saute some onions garlic and add a titch of pepper. Maybe substitute brown for white sugar...I digress).

Apricot Gooseberry Tart

Best made a day in advance.

For the pâte sucrée:

Place 8 T room temperature butter in a mixing bowl (I use my standing mixer, you can do this by hand or use a hand held mixer, your choice) and 1/3 cup of organic cane sugar, beat until fluffy. Add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1 egg yolk beat until well incorporated, then add 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour, mix until the dough comes together, adding ice cold water if the dough is dry, I find it usually requires about 2 or 3 Tablespoons.

Place the dough ball in a plastic bag and flatten into a disk and refrigerate. Much is made about how cold the dough is when you roll it out, I find after an hour it's fine. In a pinch I will put it in the freezer for twenty minutes, some recipes say it's best chilled over night. I never plan that far in advance.

Meanwhile stem and clean about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of gooseberries. Place in a bowl and add approximately 8-10 large apricots that have been pitted and sliced into wedges (about 8 small wedges from each apricot). The total weight should be around 2 1/2 pounds of fruit or 4-5 cups.

Stir in 11/4 cups of organic cane sugar to the fruit and let sit at room temperature while you roll out your dough.

The parchment paper I buy at whole foods in unbleached and coated with silicon so it makes rolling out the dough very easy, just sprinkle a little flour on one sheet place the ball on it, sprinkle the dough ball with a little more flour and put the second sheet of parchment on top and roll it out to about 13" for an 11" fluted, removable bottomed tart pan.

This is a very forgiving dough, so if when you flip the rolled out sheet of dough into the tart pan and there are some gaps just fill them in with the extra dough, no one will know! I do this all the time. Even when it does work well I like to make sure the consistency of the sides is the same so I just plug in more dough where ever I feel its too thin.

Pour the sugared fruit mixture into the dough lined tart pan and bake in a preheated oven at
375 F degree for approximately 45 minutes, the pastry should be lightly browned and the fruit should be bubbling and also slightly browned.

This should be made in the morning (or the day before) if you are going to serve it for dessert at dinner. The filling will be wobbly when you take it out of the oven, you need to place the tart on a wrack and bring it to room tempt then chill for at least 4 hours for the fruit to set and get thoroughly chilled.

Sprinkle with organic icing sugar (use a fine sieve) and serve with whipped cream (sweetened or not) or vanilla ice cream. Sweet n' tart sophisticated seasonal fruit goodness!

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