In 2001, my mom, cousin and I visited my Aunt Grace and Uncle Norman in their Florida winter home. We had such fun ending every night playing Domino’s on the porch overlooking the Intracoastal, watching all those yacht’s going by! I have such great memories of that vacation! While we were there, us girl’s went to a tea room in Ft Lauderdale FL called Tea at Lily’s. I got a chicken salad with strawberries on a croissant that was sensational. We ended our meal with a slice of a tart called Dutch Apricot Tart (called a Pensee Taart in Holland).
In May of that year, Aunt Grace wrote to the Sun Sentenial newspaper and asked if she could get the recipe for the tart, as at the time I was having annual teas on my porch to benefit our church, and she thought that would be fabulous to have for our next tea. It is the creation of one of the owners, Dolly van Hengel. The owners of the tea room were gracious enough to give the recipe to the newspaper, and they printed it in the newspaper! The tea room has had another owner since then, and have closed, but memories of that great meal will stay with me forever.
I had forgotten all about this recipe until looking through my recipes the other day, and found the actual newspaper clipping! I decided this would be a great tribute to Aunt Grace that has since passed away, but will be forever in my heart. I will never forget those great times on the porch, and this great Dutch Apricot Tart!
- Almond Paste:
- 7 oz. blanched almonds
- ⅔ c. sugar
- 2 fresh lemons
- 3 to 4 drops pure almond extract
- Tart Crust:
- 1-1/4 sticks unsalted butter
- ⅓ c. dark brown sugar
- 1-1/8 c. all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- Apricot Topping:
- 1 (15.25 oz) can apricot halves in heavy syrup
- 1 (8.75 oz) can apricot halves in heavy syrup
- 2 heaping tablespoons apricot jam
- To make Paste:
- Process almonds in food processor fitted with metal blade until very finely ground. Transfer to a non-reactive mixing bowl. Stir in sugar. Remove zest from lemons with a fine grater and add zest (approx. 3 tsp) to almond mixture. Squeeze juice from lemons (about ¼ c.) and add to mixture. Add almond extract. Stir well to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and keep overnight at room temperature.
- To make crust:
- Process all ingredients in a food processor fitted with a meatl blade until mixture forms a a ball. Press dough evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Place pan in a one gallon plastic storage bag, close tightly and freeze for several hours, or overnight.
- To Make Topping:
- Drain apricots from both cans well. Cut in to ⅜" slices. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add apricot jam. Stir well to mix.
- To Finish and Bake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove crust from freezer and spread Almond Paste evenly over bottom (use a tablespoon that has been dipped in water to help smooth). Spread topping evenly over paste. Place tart pan on a baking sheet. Bake in center of oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. If edge of crust seems to be browning too much, cover it with some foil.
- Let tart cool completely before serving. Remove side of pan and slice. Refrigerate lightly covered in plastic wrap. This keeps well for 3 to 4 days.