Food for thought

Blushing apricot tartlets as a delicate summer treat

Use ready-made puff pastry to create a fresh fruit pastry brushed with apricot preserves and almond paste

Shira Buzelan, an olah from Montreal, lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and five children. Combining her love of Israel and passion for food, Shira strives to incorporate locally grown and produced foods in her cooking style, highlighting the bounty of the land.

Fresh apricots, jam and pistachio pieces in a homemade pastry (photo credit: Andrea Brownstein/Photoli Photography)
Fresh apricots, jam and pistachio pieces in a homemade pastry (photo credit: Andrea Brownstein/Photoli Photography)

My parents live in Netanya, and one of my favorite things to do is bakery hop with my father. We set out on Friday mornings to buy breads, cakes and patisserie from the town’s wonderful French bakeries, an indulgence I don’t usually allow myself.

This kind of access to chewy baguettes, delicate macarons, creamy millefeuille (also known as a Napoleon) and flaky, buttery croissant and brioche is more than I can resist. And so we first head to the Italian bakery for excellent coffee and cake, then off to the French bakery to buy desserts, and last to the patisserie for baguette and flaky croissant to bring home. That’s where we always get a treat for my mother, often a delicious flaky apricot pastry, a perfectly delicate, subtly sweet treat.

With apricots in season, and having stolen more than one bite from my mother’s favorite bakery pastry, I’ve come up with my own version of that tantalizing apricot tart. It doesn’t include making pastry dough, which would be time consuming and frustrating in the summer heat. Instead, I use ready-made puff pastry dough, but layered with lovely, summer stone fruits that are readily available right now.

Apricot pastries with pistachio

    • 6 squares of ready-made puff pastry dough, defrosted
    • 3 fresh apricots, chopped (other stone fruits would work as well, but not plums)
    • 1 tube marzipan, cut into six pieces
    • 2 tablespoons shelled pistachios, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 tablespoons apricot preserves, melted
    1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
    2. Spray six individual tart pans or muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. Lay one piece of pastry in each pan, tucking the dough around the pan or muffin tin to form a shell.
    3. Roll each piece of marzipan into a ball and place in the center of each pastry. Cover with chopped apricots and sprinkle with sugar.
    4. Place in preheated oven and bake 10-15 minutes until dough turns golden and fruit takes on a toasted appearance. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
    5. Melt jam in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
    6. Gently spread jam over entire surface of the pastry, and sprinkle with pistachios.

Lovely served with coffee or tea.

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