Apricot and Goat Cheese Tarts

This apricot tart is an intriguing dessert a bit more savory than sweet. The apricots are relatively unadorned and there’s very little sugar. The goat cheese heightens the clean citrus tang of the apricots, but also showcases the sweetness of the fruit. The pistachios add an additional dimension of texture and earthy flavor without detracting from the other elements. This can be served hot or at room temperature, for dessert or breakfast.–Todd English

LC Tarting It Up Note

We tend to forget about tiny tarts and their diminutive daintiness, not to mention the easiness of justifying having them any time of day or night. Go ahead. Tart it up. Life is too short to deprive yourself.

Special Equipment: Eight 4-inch tart pans

Apricot Tarts Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Serves 8

Ingredients

  • For the pistachio tart shells
  • 1/2 cup finely ground pistachio nuts, preferably unsalted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • For the apricot and goat cheese filling
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, preferably unsalted
  • 16 ripe apricots, pitted and quartered
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 8 ounces fresh goat cheese

Directions

  • Make the pistachio tart shells
  • 1. Lightly flour a work surface. Place the nuts and sugar in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until combined. Add the flour, salt, and butter and pulse until sandy. Add the zest, eggs, and vanilla and pulse until the mixture forms a shaggy mess, er, mass of dough.
  • 2. Place the dough on the work surface and gather into a cohesive mass. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Divide the dough into 8 portions.
  • 3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • 4. Dust a work surface with flour. Gently form the dough into 8 flat disks, taking care not to overwork the dough. Place all but 1 of the discs on a baking sheet, cover, and return to the fridge. Using a rolling pin and beginning in the middle of the disk of dough, roll roll up toward 12 o’clock using short but firm strokes. Turn the dough clockwise 1/4 turn and repeat. Continue turning and rolling until the dough is about 1/2-inch larger than the tart pan. Carefully drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to a tart pan, taking care to lay the dough into the “corners” of the pan, between the sides and the bottom. Gently press into the sides to define the edges. Using your thumb, clean off the edges by pushing the dough against the edge of the pan or mold to cut off excess. Line the dough with aluminum foil and top with a heavy layer of rice, beans, or pie weights.
  • 5. Transfer to the oven and bake until the dough is set and dry to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Leave the oven on.
  • Toast the pistachios
  • 6. Place the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  • Make the filling
  • 7. Place the apricots, sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl and toss well.
  • Assemble the tarts
  • 8. Dot the pistachio tart shells with half of the goat cheese. Evenly divide the apricots and the pistachios among the tarts and then dot again with the remaining goat cheese.
  • 9. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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