2017-08-10 / From The Garden

Summer Fruits and Frangipane

By Cynthia Gibson

Besides all the glorious vegetables starting to ripen in your garden beds and pots, this is the prime season for summer fruits. Blueberries, apricots, peaches, nectarines and raspberries are all in season.

Stone fruit, or fruit with a pit, like peaches and nectarines, are sweet and juicy straight from the tree, so if you have the opportunity to pick your own from a local orchard, this is the time of summer to do it.

Apricots are in a class all their own. They are a bit tarter than peaches and nectarines, but are still fabulous. If you find apricots at the supermarket that are somewhat hard, place them in the refrigerator for about one week. Do not let them turn brown. The sight of brown on the skin of an apricot, peach or nectarine is a sign of rotting. When ripe, they will be soft to the touch, with a gentle “give,” but not squishy.

Amazingly, apricots and peaches are historically native to China. They made their way to Armenia, then England and finally to the U.S. in the late 1700s without changing in flavor. When dried they are considered a prized fruit in Turkey. Whatever way you eat them, they are great. This recipe deserves a homemade pie crust made with butter, but todays pre-made pie crusts are getting better and better, and few can now tell the difference. So, for this recipe, I would take the short cut and purchase a pre-made crust. You will need a tart pan with a removable bottom.

Cynthia Gibson is a gardener, food writer and painter. She gardens and tends her miniature orchard in Newport. Cynthia Gibson is a gardener, food writer and painter. She gardens and tends her miniature orchard in Newport. Summer Fruit Tart

Serves 8

Four apricots, one large nectarine, one large peach (peeled), 20
Frangipane (or almond cream)
4 oz. of unsalted butter, at room
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup almond flour (supermarkets
and health food stores now carry
this flour)
2 tsp. real vanilla flavoring
1/8 tsp. pure almond extract
1/4 tsp. salt
Spray oil

Spray a tart pan with oil. Place it on a large foil-lined cookie sheet. Press the dough carefully into the ruffles of the pan and trim off extra crust. In a preheated 350-degree oven, bake the crust in the tart pan for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Do not overcook. Prepare the Frangipane while the crust is cooling. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine the eggs, butter and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the almond flour by hand and gently mix it into the egg mixture. Add the vanilla and almond extract, while still mixing by hand, and integrate all ingredients. Pour and smooth Frangipani into the cooled pie crust with a spatula. Slice all the stone fruits (you do not have to peel the nectarine or apricots), just the peach. Place the slices in concentric circles and randomly place the raspberries wherever you like. Place the tart pan on the cookie sheet back into the oven for 30 minutes, or until the center of the tart is bubbly. If the tart is not slightly golden on top, leave it in the oven for another five minutes. Remove the tart from the oven, and place it onto a cooling rack. When it reaches room temperature, pop it out of the tart pan and place on a lovely plate. Serve with just a dollop of whipped cream.

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