This is one of my all-time favorite dessert recipes because the apricots paired with the star anise is utterly divine. The crisp cookie-like texture of the crust holds up beautifully to the light mascarpone and yogurt filling, adding a welcome sweetness that balances out the acidity of the apricots.
What type of apricots to use?
Too often, apricots purchased at the grocery stores can be disappointing. To have a better chance of getting good tasting ones… try to buy them locally. This way they are able to stay on the tree longer developing more flavor and sweetness.
Whether it’s at a farmer’s market or fruit stand on the side of road, you’ll have a much better chance of getting an apricot that actually tastes like an apricot. If an apricot is good, it will blow you away with its flavor and fragrance. Tender, fragrant, and the perfect balance between sweet and tart. This is what apricots should taste like.
The Pate Sucree Crust:
Step 5: Freeze for 30 minutes (or refrigerate for 1 hour).
Step 6: Line tart pan with parchment. Fill the lined tart with a generous amount of rice, dried beans or pie weights. This will ensure that it holds it shape and edges will not sink. Place in 400F oven for 15 minutes, until set. Gently remove tart from the oven and carefully lift out the parchment and rice. Place tart back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until nicely golden. Cool completely. You can make this ahead.
Infuse the honey with Star Anise:
Honey can be easily infused with different flavors by simply heating it up for a few minutes and letting whatever spice or herb seep in it overnight. I often make rosemary honey and lavender honey to use in catering.
Drizzled over fresh figs, it’s delectable. Same with apricots.
Roast the Apricots:
Apricots are drizzled with the star anise-infused honey, then roasted in a 400F oven for 7-10 minutes. It doesn’t take very long…so be vigilant. Leaving them too long in a hot oven will result in mushy collapsed apricots. You don’t want this. You want them to hold their shape. The time is dependent on the ripeness of the apricot. Ripe apricots will literally take a few minutes. Less ripe, longer.
Assemble the Apricot Tart:
Fill the tart with the mascarpone-yogurt filling. Top with the honey roasted apricots, and garnish with star anise.
- 1/8 cup half and half or cream
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter , cut into small 1 inch chunks
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon water
- 8 whole Star Anise pods
- 10–12 Apricots- semi-firm
- 1 cup ( 8 oz) mascarpone ( or cream cheese) room temp
- 1 cup plain greek style yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Make the crust: (it’s nice to make this a day ahead) In a small bowl, beat egg yolks and cream. In a food processor, combine flour salt and sugar. Mix well. Add butter. Pulse until texture is like sand. Gradually add egg mixture and pulse until it forms a ball. If the mixture seems dry or is not forming a dough, add a tablespoon of ice-cold water. Form a ball, place on a plastic wrap, flatten, wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
- Place dough between two layers of parchment and roll it out until 1/4 in thick, rolling from the middle out. It may not look perfect, with cracks and uneven edges. Not to worry, you can tidy it up in the tart pan. Starting at one edge, wrap dough around the rolling pin and lift it onto the tart pan. Unwrap and gently start pressing it into the pan, patching up any tears and pressing it into the sides and corners with your fingers. To remove excess dough, roll the rolling pin lightly over the top for a nice clean edge. Smooth out with your fingers. Prick the bottom with a fork. Freeze for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 400F.
- Line the tart shell with parchment paper. Fill the parchment-lined tart with pie weights, beans, or a generous amount of rice. This will ensure that it holds its shape and edges will not sink.
- Place in 400F oven for 15 minutes, or until set. Gently remove the tart from the oven and carefully lift out the parchment and rice.
- Place tart back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes uncovered, until nicely golden. Cool completely. You can make this ahead.
- Make the infused honey. In a small saucepan add 8 star anise seed pods to 1/2 cup honey and 1 tablespoon water and heat to a low simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring and coating star anise with honey. Let steep for at least 30 minutes or preferably overnight. You can do this ahead.
- Roast the apricots: Cut apricots in half and remove stones. Place in a buttered baking dish, open side up. Drizzle all but 3 tablespoons of the infused honey (which you will use for the mascarpone filling) over the apricots. Place in a 400 F oven for 5 minutes, check for doneness, and swirl baking dish a bit to allow honey to fully coat the apricots on all sides. On average, they will need a total of 10 minutes in the oven. They should be just tender, but still hold their form. Very ripe apricots will done in less than 10 minutes. Less ripe will take longer. So check frequently as they can deflate and turn into mush in a matter of minutes.
- Make the Filling: Let mascarpone come to room temp. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment ( or by hand) mix the 3 tablespoons of star anise– infused honey into mascarpone until fully incorporated. Whisk in the yogurt.
- Assemble: Fill the cooled tart shell with Mascarpone Yogurt Cream. Top with roasted apricots. Drizzle the remaining star anise honey from the apricot’s roasting pan over the entire dessert. Use star anise as garnish. Let chill for a few hours to set. Or you could chill the tart with just the mascarpone, letting it set, and just before serving place the warm apricots over the tart.
Feel free to make the crust, filling and infused honey ahead, and assemble the day of serving.
Store Apricot tart in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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