Apricot Tart | Tarte Crumble aux Abricots

David Lebovitz, in his inimitable way, has brought us the food equivalent of Franglais. Here he shares an apricot tart that’s suspiciously similar to an apple crumble yet with that indefinable finesse of something, well, French. Lebovitz shares a little of how this wondrous certain came to be in his book. “One of the secrets of French home ‘bakers’ is rolls of tart dough that are sold in supermarkets in boxes that look similar to those containing rolls of aluminum foil. When you want to make an apricot tart, you simply unroll the dough, line a tart pan, and voilà! You’re set to go. It’s a good idea…until you taste the dough and read the ingredients and realize that bakeries needn’t worry about the competition.

“One dessert that’s easy to make at home, which the French have adopted from the English, is le crumble. Because I’m a home baker, I don’t have any problem turning this into a tart with homemade dough when fresh apricots from Provence become abundant in the Paris markets each summer. I take the time to treat the apricots right: rolling out a tart crust that I make with pure butter, packing the apricots into the filling, and topping it all with a crunchy topping of nuts and a dusting of cinnamon.”–David Lebovitz

LC Le Crumble Note

Tell us—if we were to dabble in Franglais and create a word that best described this melding of crumble and tart, what would it be? Let us know in a comment below.

Special Equipment: 9- or 10-inch springform pan

Apricot Tart | Tarte Crumble aux Abricots Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

  • For the pastry crust
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • For the crumble topping
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (60 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • For the apricot filling
  • 2 pounds (900 grams) ripe, fresh apricots, pitted and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

  • Make the pastry crust
  • 1. Place the chilled butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and let it sit for 10 minutes so it softens slightly.
  • 2. Add the sugar to the butter and beat on medium speed just until no visible lumps of butter remain, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks and mix just until combined. Then add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. (You can also make the dough in a bowl using a spatula and a little moxie.)
  • 3. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with butter. Use the heel of your hand to press the dough into the bottom of the pan and a little less than halfway up the sides. Try to get the bottom as even as possible, not because anyone will see it, but because it will bake more evenly. Put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • 4. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
  • 5. Line the dough in the pan with aluminum foil and a single layer of pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights or beans and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the tart shell is browned.
  • Make the crumble topping
  • 6. Pulse the almonds, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor until the almonds are broken up into very small pieces. Add the butter and pulse just a few times, until the mixture looks sandy. Continue to pulse just until the pieces of butter start clumping together. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can make the crumble topping by chopping the almonds finely and mixing the ingredients with a pastry blender or by hand.) Cover and refrigerate the crumble topping.
  • Make the apricot filling
  • 7. In a bowl, mix the apricots with the sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla and almond extracts. (Do not make the filling more than just a few minutes in advance, as the apricots may become too juicy.)
  • Assemble the apricot tart
  • 8. Transfer the apricot filling to the tart shell and spread it out evenly. Then strew the crumble topping evenly over the apricots. Bake the tart for about 50 minutes, until the topping is nicely browned. Let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, then run a knife around the outside of the tart to separate it from the pan. Let it rest for 30 minutes more, then remove the sides of the pan and let the tart cool. The edges may look rather dark, but should taste fine, not burned. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Elie Nassar

Aug 07, 2014

This apricot tart recipe makes for an apricot tart with excellent flavor and really good texture. The flavor of the apricots, along with the hint of almond extract, gives it an almost exotic edge. This filling really pairs perfectly with a rich buttery crust and crumble filled with yet more butter along with brown sugar and almonds. We served it once with vanilla ice cream and once with lightly sweetened whipped cream. It's something I would make again in a heartbeat. That said, the pastry crust is delicious, but the method of applying it to a springform pan with high edges is needlessly tricky and fiddly. I took a bit of time to try and get it as evenly thick as possible while at the same time getting it halfway up the edges of the springform pan. Why not use a deep tart pan with a removable bottom? We can just chill and roll the dough then fit it in the pan. Simple, neat, and much easier to manage. I will be doing that next time. Be very diligent in getting the aluminum foil as flat as possible in the pan to cover the dough. This is especially true in the corners. Also remove the beans (or weights) first and then carefully remove the foil (as opposed to just picking up the foil with the weights in it) before finishing baking it. I had a few wrinkles on one side and when I attempted to remove the foil I ended up with a few tears. I had saved a nugget of dough and used that to patch it up. The good news is that the tart holds together very well once un-molded.This is not a tart that keeps well. It was delicious after an hour out of the oven. The next day though, while the flavor was still great, the pastry and texture suffered from too much liquid that seeped from the juicy apricots. I would say this is something that should be served within 4 to 6 hours at the most for best results. The edges were dark brown, but we loved them. They were not burnt and tasted almost caramelized. This again worked great with the juicy apricots and that slightly bitter hint of almond extract. I couldn't resist trying it again this weekend with my changes and figured I'd share my results. I loved the flavors and textures of this tart but was not crazy about the method using the springform pan with tall sides. I didn't like patting the dough in the pan as opposed as to simply rolling it into an actual tart pan. So that's what I did. I changed nothing other than switching to a regular tart pan with a removable bottom and rolling the dough evenly and laying it in there. This worked superbly, and I will use this method when I make the recipe again. The one small downside is that I had some (but very little) boil-over. The tart didn't suffer at all and looked great, but I'd recommend putting a baking sheet underneath the tart pan.

Testers Choice
Erin W.

Aug 07, 2014

Ah, the often-overlooked apricot—how we really should pay you more attention! Leave it to the French to know how to celebrate the apricot's tartness with the rich elements of butter and almonds and not give in to the American urge to mix in sugar by the cupful. The apricot tart's crust was substantial and easily stood up on the dessert plate. The crunchy topping was divine, working to both cut the tartness of the apricots and impart its nuttiness. What I love about apricots, unlike peaches, is that they are so easy to prepare. Just remove the pit and they are ready--no need to peel. I purchased slightly fewer apricots than called for by the recipe. (I purchased 7 apricots, which weighed approximately 1 1/3 pounds.) I don't think you'd need the full 2 pounds unless you really have a hankering for apricots. The dough came together without a fuss. A minute in the mixing bowl and it was ready to go. It was easy to form into the pan and created a pretty thick crust that didn't crumble when plated. The cooking times appeared accurate. I think this recipe is really unique and would really fit the bill if you are looking for an elegant dessert recipe that isn't overly sweet. However, for this reason, I think its appeal will largely lie with adults.

Testers Choice
Linda Pacchiano

Aug 07, 2014

If you like your tarts tart, then this apricot tart recipe is for you. The crust is like a perfectly baked buttery sable cookie. It does get quite brown after the two baking periods, but it doesn't burn. Be sure to make both the bottom and the sides of the crust nice and even so they'll bake evenly. The dough may thin out when you press it up the sides, but try to make it almost as thick as the bottom crust to make it less likely to overcook. I mixed the dough for 1 minute, and it didn’t really come together, but it appeared to be well-mixed, so I decided to press it into the pan. The baking time of 50 minutes was perfect. As soon as the filling is mixed, the apricots begin to exude their juices, so I suggest that you immediately assemble the tart after the filling is mixed together.

Comments
Comments
  1. linda moore says:

    This is a taste of heaven! GOOD STUFF! :)

  2. Debbie D. says:

    Do not miss ‘My Paris Kitchen’ by David Lebovitz! I recently bought this cookbook and can’t wait to make more out of it, including this Apricot Tart. I made the quiche on p. 155 exactly as described and it is truly delicious! The crust came out light and flaky (despite my forgetting to add the egg!) and complemented the rich quiche ingredients. Because it is so rich and filling, we froze a portion of it to eat later since it’s just the 2 of us and there’s more than enough for 6 to 8 people if you are serving it with a salad & some wine! Can’t wait to make more of the recipes and the desserts!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      We agree completely, Debbie D. It’s a stunning collection of recipes. Kudos to David Lebovitz. And keep an eye out for more of his recipes here in the weeks to come!

  3. Maggie says:

    I’d think I’d call this creation a “pavette” in Franglais.

    A pave’ is a pebbley pavement in French, and the streusel looks like little pebbles to me. And pave’ is also little chips of diamonds that surround a bigger stone, in jewelry.

    And doesn’t “Pavette d’Abricots” sound nice? (Or I guess more properly, “Pavette aux Abricots”.) Whichever — it sounds delicious and I’m going to bake it.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Ah, pavette. I’ve not heard that term in ages, but yes, it does sound lovely. We defer to David Lebovitz in terms of what he wishes to call his recipes, but henceforth, in our minds this shall be known as pavette. Merci infiniment.

  4. Diane Perkins says:

    I made this with the following changes: After parbaking the pastry, I painted the bottom and sides of the pastry with melted white chocolate and let it set. This helps prevent the pastry from being soggy the next day should there be any leftovers. I wanted more crumble, so this is what I made:

    1 1/4 cups flour
    1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup white sugar
    1 T Indonesian cinnamon (aka Korintje Cinamon) AND YES IT MAKES a DIFFERENCE
    1 stick melted butter, cooled a bit
    1/2 tsp sea salt

    Combine all in a bowl, stir, and set aside for 1 hour. Break up with your fingers. Toast 1 cup almond slivers and work these into the crumble. Spread over the apricots.

    I’m just a crumble fanatic. I also like this with creme fraiche instead of ice cream or whipped cream. I made 4 of these with those changes and the creme fraiche for a party and there was not a crumb left!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Hey Diane, that’s what recipes are for—to turn into your own. So glad this lovely tart was able to bring some inspiration to you…

  5. Cherry says:

    I really wish that I could also make the same recipe as like this at home but I’m still keeping this recipe for the future :)

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