Apricot season is about done now here in California.  I made this recipe at the beginning of summer but haven't gotten around to posting it.  This year our trees didn't have the bounty that the plums and peaches did.  Last years the apricot trees went crazy and we had so many apricots I didn't know what to do with them all. This recipe was inspired partly from a classic french flan and the left over almond cream I had.  True Frangipane is half almond cream (paste) and half pastry cream(custard, cream patisserie).   If you can't get apricots anymore because the season is over where you live you can easily substitute any other fruit of your liking.  Nectarines are in season and would be a good choice, along with any berry of your choice.  For the sorbet I kept it simple but just adding a little cinnamon, I love the flavor of cinnamon with apricots/peaches/nectarines.   This is a great dessert when you have extra almond paste (cream) and/or pastry cream in your refrigerator or freezer and want another way to use it.

Pastry Cream

2 cups of milk

3/4 cup of sugar

1/2 vanilla bean

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup of corn starch

2 tbsp of butter

Tart Crust (Pate Brisee)

2 sticks of butter

2 cups of flour plus 3 tbsp

1/4 cup of ice water

1 tsp of salt

12 apricots halved

Almond Cream

6 tbsp. of butter (room temp.)

2/3 cup of powder sugar

1 1/2 cup of almond flour

2 tsp of flour

1 tsp of cornstarch

1 large egg plus 1 egg white

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp of almond extract

Frangipane

2 1/2 cup of pastry cream

2 1/4 cup of almond cream

Apricot cinnamon sorbet

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

3 cups of apricots pureed

1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Place sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and cool completely.

Place the apricots in a food processor or blender and puree to desired consistency ( I pureed really smooth ). Leave chunks of apricots if you like to eat sorbets with pieces of fruit in it. Combine apricot puree, cinnamon, and simply syrup mixture to pour into a ice cream machine. Use ice cream machine according to there directions.  Once done, place into a air tight container and freeze.  Let the sorbet properly chill and then serve.  

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

For the almond cream

Place almond meal and sugar in a food processor and puree for 30 seconds.  Then while the machine is running add the butter a tbsp. at a time.  Once all the butter is in add the eggs again while the machine is running.  You can stop to scrape the sides if there are any clumps but once the eggs have been added you should a really smooth and creamy almond cream.  Finish with both the vanilla and almond extract.  I normally double this recipe which gives me extra laying around that I can make something else with.  But you should have enough to fill the tart with just one batch.  Set aside the almond cream until your tart dough is ready.

For the pastry cream

In a stand mixing bowl add egg yolks.  Turn on medium and all the sugar to the egg yolks.  Whisk for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.  Meanwhile add milk and vanilla bean that has bean cut in half and scraped (add the pod to the milk too).  Bring the milk to a boil and turn off.  Then add the corn starch to the egg yolk mixture and mix for one minute.  Keep the egg yolks whisking on low and ladle one ladle of the milk into the eggs to temper the eggs.  Once you have half of the milk add to the egg yolk mixture pour the whole egg yolk mixture back into the pot with the rest of the milk.  Place the pot on low heat and whisk for about 10 minutes.  It is crucial that you do this slowly so the corn starch has time to cook out of your custard otherwise if your heat is too high and it thickens too fast you will have a custard that taste like flour. Cook until the mixture thickens up into a custard consistency and finish by whisking in the butter.    Pour into a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap on top to prevent a "skin" forming and place in the refrigerator.

Frangipane,

Once cooled combine pastry cream and almond cream in a bowl.  Set aside until ready to fill tart.

For the tart dough

Using the food processor add 2 cups of flour to the bowl along with the salt.  Pulse a few times to combine well.  Then turn the processor on and begin to add all the butter a tbsp. at a time.  Once the butter has been combined.  Drizzle in the cold water.  Finish with a few tbsp. of flour if needed.  Normally now you put the crust into the refrigerator to let the dough come together as it gets cold.  I don't like when my dough is so cold I can't roll it and usually I am in a rush.  If you can put the dough in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes it will really help; if not simply take the dough and put a light dusting of flour onto the parchment paper and place the dough on top.  Then dust flour on the top of the dough and put a second piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. With a rolling pin roll out your dough to a thin crust consistency.  Take your tart mold and carefully place your tart dough inside the mold.  Using a rolling pin roll the pin over the mold to trim off any excess dough.  Cut out and place a piece of parchment paper that exactly fits inside of your tart.  Use pie weights or dried beans fill the inside of the tart and parchment paper.  Place the tart crust inside the oven for 12 minutes.  Take out and set aside.

Then take your halved apricots and place in the bottom of the tart crust.  Then pour over the top the frangipane mix.  Place into the oven and bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and set.  Take out and let it cool for at least 25 minutes.  You can serve warm, room temperature or cold.  I prefer to chill mine and serve cold.  Serve the frangipane tart with a scoop of apricot cinnamon sorbet.

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