I wanted to bake this tart for quite some time. It has a special crust and the recipe is by pastry genius Pierre Herme. Ingredients include hardboiled egg yolk, so the crust comes out very tender and simply extraordinary. I have been waiting for the first apricots of the year and now they are finally in season. I have gotten ten of them - just enough for the tart. They have been sitting in a brown paper bag in order to get some more color and ripeness, but before starting to bake I put them out on counter top to get some extra inspiration.
Baking has been almost done; cream has been prepared and put out to cool off when I thought to step out for a quick trip to the store. When I was back, most of my beautiful apricots were gone while my husband has been happily sitting with sticky hands and only three fruits were left. That is when blackberries entered the picture and my unfortunate event came out as a colorful and absolutely scrumptious dessert.
The garden is full of flowers, the weather is gorgeous and summer is very near. It is time to travel, time to meet new people and create new masterpieces!
Apricot Blackberry Shortbread Tart with Basil Cream
For the basil cream:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 5 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed basil leaves with stems
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
For the crust:
- 1 large hard-boiled egg yolk
- 1 stick plus 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
For the topping:
- 10 apricots, halved or
- 3 apricots & 1 cup blackberries
- 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup apricot jam, melted
In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of the milk with the sugar and basil; bring to a simmer. Remove the milk from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove the basil and squeeze any milk back into the pan; discard the basil.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of milk with the yolks and cornstarch until smooth. Slowly whisk the egg yolk mixture into the warm milk; bring to a simmer over moderate heat, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted. Scrape the cream into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until chilled, 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray the tart pan with a removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the hard-boiled egg yolk with the butter and sugar at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, potato starch and salt and beat at low speed until just combined. Using lightly floured hands, press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the side of the tart pan. Refrigerate the crust for at least 30 minutes, or until chilled.
Bake the crust for about 25 minutes, until golden. Transfer the crust to a rack and let stand until cooled.
Increase the oven temperature to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the apricot halves cut side up on the paper and sprinkle all over with the sugar. Roast for about 15 minutes, until the apricots are tender and lightly browned. Let the apricots stand until completely cooled, about 30 minutes.
Unmold the crust and transfer it to a serving plate. Using a small offset spatula, spread the cream evenly in the crust. Arrange the apricots on the cream, cut sides down, and blackberries. Brush with the melted jam. Cut the tart and serve at once.