A highlight of the French summer is the rosy-cheeked apricot, which arrives from the south, generally Provence, and appears in abundance at farmers’ markets at this time of year. And a delight of the French table is a tart of apricots with almond cream. The flavors marry perfectly, the almonds adding a touch of majesty to the humble fruit. Serve it with a glass of something dry and bubbly, and prepare for applause…
Tarte aux abricots amandine / Apricot-almond tart
If you’ve lived in France, you may know the term égaliser, which takes on a special meaning at the table. It’s the tendency of guests to cut off just a tiny extra slice of a pie or cake to even the edges — viewed here by the silhouette-conscious as not as guilty as asking for seconds. This is what happened this week when I served the apricot tart pictured above to three friends. By the time they were done, an extra slice had disappeared.
This, of course, is highly gratifying to the everyday chef who decides actually to make a dessert in a country where everything one could possibly want is available at patisseries. Mais non, my friends, not everything. There is nothing like a homemade fruit tart for finishing off a meal on a warm summer night.
Do great minds think alike? As I was sitting down to write this post, a notice arrived in my inbox. The wonderful food blogger David Lebovitz also wrote this week about summer fruit tarts with almond cream. His recipe is more complex — you need to prebake the empty tart shell, which is always a bit of a challenge. But it looks delicious, and he takes fabulous photos. If you’d like to check out his version, click here.
Or you can go the less complex route and try my recipe. As this site says right at the top, ‘The modern cook’s guide to producing fabulous French food the easy way.’
Thank you for this recipe, and I look forward to trying it. One question: I have an abundance of dark cherries right now. Would they substitute well for apricots? Or would other stone fruits work well?
Yes, dark cherries would work very well, although the juice might change the color of the cream. But I think that cherries and almonds would marry brilliantly. Other stone fruits: peaches yes, plums maybe better without the cream. All best, Meg