Apricot Goat Cheese Tart with Almond Cookie Crust
Nuts, fruit, and cheese are a tasteful trio anywhere, anytime—including in this showpiece dessert. We especially like how the tanginess of goat cheese blends with its sweeter, nuttier counterparts.
THE CRUST: Heat the oven to 375°F. In a food processor fitted with a chopping blade, coarsely grind the almonds. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the ground almonds.
Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the almonds remaining in processor. Pulse to mix and finely grind the almonds. Add the butter and pulse briefly, just until butter is in fine pebbles and distributed throughout. Whisk together the egg and almond extract. With the processor running, add egg mixture and mix
briefly, until a soft dough forms.
Press the dough evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and bake 22 to 24 minutes or until golden.
THE TOPPING: Divide each apricot in half along its seam. Combine the apricot halves, water, and sugar in a saucepot. Stir and simmer until the apricots are soft and the liquid is reduced by half. Set
THE FILLING: In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the goat cheese, cream cheese, and sugar until well mixed. Beat in the eggs one at a time until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the cream, and beat until very smooth.
When the crust is finished baking, remove and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Pour the filling over the crust and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until filling is set in the center and tiny cracks appear at the edges. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan and cool tart completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
TO FINISH: Arrange the apricot halves to cover the filling. If desired, sprinkle with a little sugar and place tart under the broiler to brown the fruit slightly. Brush the side of the tart with some of
the leftover apricot syrup, press the reserved ground almonds to cover the sides, and serve.
CHEATS: Pour the filling over a simple graham-cracker cheesecake crust instead of making the cookie-like almond crust. It won’t be the same, but it will be good.
DO-AHEAD: Soften and sweeten the apricots up to a week before, storing them in the refrigerator. You can also prepare the crust in advance, pressing it into the tart pan and chilling it, unbaked, until you are ready to complete the recipe. The assembled tart keeps very well for several days in the refrigerator, if wrapped or placed in an airtight container.