From the second book in my "When The Fat Ladies Sing" mystery series, A Tisket, A Casket
Sue Jan’s April-cot Tart
Sue Jan’s April-cot Tart
8 tablespoons of butter without salt (melt and let it cool down a spell)
1/2 cup nice white sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract (I wouldn’t try making this by myself)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (not the fake kind they sell at the Dollar Saver)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground-up almonds (grind ‘em real fine)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 large egg lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sifted flour (Just run a bit through a mesh sieve)
1-1/2 pounds fresh aprilcots (Pit ‘em and cut ‘em in half, but don’t peel ‘em)
Powdered sugar for decorating purposes.
Move the knob on the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom. (I’m not sure what a flute has to do with any of this, but bear with me. Chef LeBlanc never explained that part).
Now Make the Pastry:
In a whooping big bowl, drop in the melted butter and the sugar, and with a wooden spoon, stir ‘em together. Add the remaining ingreedyents and stir to make a soft dough like cookie dough (My favorite!). Plop the dough in the center of the buttered pan. With the tippy-tops of your fingers, evenly press the pastry along the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
Put the pan in the center of the oven and bake until the dough is sorta puffy—12 to 15 minutes, I reckon. Sprinkle the ground almonds over the bottom of the crust. (So it won’t get all soggy.)
Now Make the Filling:
In a medium-size bowl, combine the whipping cream, egg, almond and vanilla extract stuff, and honey and whisk to mix things up real good. Then throw in the flour.
Poor the filling over the pastry. Arrange the aprilcots so they lap over each other, like the scales on a rattlesnake, and make sure you fill in the center with whatever aprilcots are left over.
Place the tart pan on a baking sheet with some aluminum foil underneath. That way, if any juice leaks out, it’ll go on the foil instead of the pan and it’ll be a sight easier to clean up. Put the baking sheet in the middle of the oven and bake 55 to 60 minutes or till the filling is set firm, and the dough is golden brown. The aprilcots will shrivel up a bit, but that’s okay. Use oven mitts to take the pan out of the oven and right away, sprinkle with powdered sugar. (Don’t forget to lick your fingers!) Put the tart on a rack to cool. If you can’t find a rack, a snowshoe, an old tennis racket or a piece of chain link fence’ll do just fine. Sprinkle with some more powdered sugar before serving, unless you’re just enjoying this dee-lish dessert all by your lonesome.
Note: This dessert is completely yummy but I need to tell you something before you take a bite. I’m not one to eat a lot of aprilcots, so I was not aware of the side effects from these fruits on the human body. I’m trying to be delicate here…but aprilcots affect the body much like baked Granny Smith apples do. That’s why they call it, “The Granny Apple Quick Step,” if you know what I mean. So, you might wind up with a case of “The Aprilcot Trots.” Don’t say I didn’t warn you!