June 26, 2013

Farmers Market Find | Apricot Cream Cheese Tart

I (Bailey) am so excited to share a another brand new food series to the blog, Farmer's Market Find

After relocating to sunny California a year and a half ago, I've been spoiled by the wealth of fabulous produce that can be found at my local Farmers Market. I've gotten into the habit of religiously going early every Saturday morning to stock up on fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat for the week. 

In this series, I will feature one seasonal fruit or vegetable that I found at the market and share a delicious, fresh & easy way to use it. First up...Apricot Cream Cheese Tart!

Apricot Cream Cheese Tart
Serves 8

the Ingredients

Tart Dough (makes 2 shells)
3 cups Flour
1/3 cup Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 cups Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and chilled
1/3 cup Ice Water

8 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1 cup Heavy Cream
1/3 cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Zest of 1 Lemon
8 Ripe Apricots, pitted and cut into 1/4 inch slices

the Method

First, you will make your tart dough. Pour your flour & sugar into a large mixing bowl.  Then, add the chilled butter cubes. Using you fingertips, combine the butter into the flour mixture until is resembles coarse sand.*
Add the ice water 1 tsp at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture begins sticking together (it may take a bit more or less than the 1/3 cup called for). Divide the mix into 2 disks and wrap with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill for an hour (or the freezer if you do not plan on using it within the next day or so).
Once the dough has chilled and is firm, place the disk on a floured board. Roll the dough out into a circle large enough to accommodate your tart pan (mine was an 11"). Place the dough in the pan and press of the excess on the top edge. Make sure that you have sturdy sides, reinforcing them if needed. Prick the bottom with a fork to avoid the crust puffing up in the oven. Place the crust in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Bake the tart shell in a preheated oven (425 degrees F) for 15-18 minutes or until light golden brown in color.
While the crust is in the oven, you will make your filling.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add your room temperature cream cheese. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Then add in the heavy cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat on medium until a smooth consistency has formed. 

Once the crust is out of the oven and cooled, spread your cream cheese filling evenly into the bottom. Cover and chill the tart for at least one hour. When you're ready to serve the dessert, top the tart with your slices of apricot, starting on the outer rim and filling inward in concentric circles. Overlap the slices so that the filling doesn't show through. 
*This can be done in a food processor, although, I've never really had success using this method. I find that truly hand-made dough is the best & most flakey. It may take a bit longer (~5 min.) but the results are totally worth the effort.

With the extra bits of crust & filling, I made these mini tarts! Aren't they so cute?

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