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french tart with plums and apricots

(recipe, Sarah Gilbert)

Introduction

I owe much of my dessert sensibility to Patricia Wells, whose plainly-titled cookbook Bistro Cooking has long been one of my go-to volumes for seasonal, inconvenient cooking. And so when I realized I had a few farmer's market apricots, a few gleaned plums, and a need for a dessert to take to a party, I looked there. Of course, there were no tarts with apricots and plums. But there were other things. A custard, I thought, and a tart shell. Before long I had this dessert put together; a loose amalgam of several French bistro-style tarts, and thoroughly delicious.

Ingredients

  1. ½ recipe pie crust
  2. 2 ripe apricots (or peaches, or nectarines)
  3. 2 ripe purple plums
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1 egg yolk
  6. ½ cup cream (or creme fraiche)
  7. ½ cup honey (divided)
  8. 1 tsp. vanilla
  9. ½ tsp. fresh grated nutmeg

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll out your pie crust and place it in an 8-inch tart pan, pressing it securely up the sides.
  3. Prick pie crust and bake about 15 minutes, until it begins to get golden brown. Remove and cool.
  4. Meanwhile, cut apricots and plums into neat wedges, trying to preserve the skin (for looks mostly). These can be any size you like; mine were about ½ inch at the widest part. Place fruit wedges in a bowl with ¼ cup of the honey and the nutmeg. Mix and let macerate.
  5. Once your pie crust is mostly cool, whisk together eggs, egg yolk, cream, the other ¼ cup honey, and vanilla; pour into crust. Here you may want to place your tart pan on a cookie sheet in the even your custard leaks.
  6. Arrange macerated fruit evenly in your custard; if you're fancy, you could make a pattern. I wasn't fancy.
  7. Put back in the oven and bake another 15-20 minutes, until custard is mostly set. Remove and let cool to room temperature before serving.