Mascarpone, Almond, and Apricot Crostata

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When apricots are ripe and at their peak, I use them as much as possible, from making ice cream to preparing this chilled crostata. The cheeses are combined into a thick cream filling, then poured into the almond crust, chilled, and topped with the fresh fruit and nuts.

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • ½ cup ( oz/75 g) blanched almonds
  • ½ cup (4 oz/125 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (5 oz/155 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) sugar

For the Filling

  • 6 oz (185 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (8 oz/250 g) mascarpone
  • ¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) crème fraîche
  • ¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) sugar
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 6–8 apricots, pitted and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup (5 oz/155 g) apricot preserves, puréed and heated until warm
  • ¼ cup ( oz/45 g) slivered almonds, toasted

Method

To make the crust, in a food processor or blender, finely chop the almonds until they look like coarse bread crumbs. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. When it foams, add the flour, sugar, and almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is lightly golden and crumbly, 3–4 minutes. Let the mixture cool until it can be handled, then press it into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

To make the filling, in bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, mascarpone, crème fraîche, sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Spread into the chilled crust. Cover and refrigerate the cheese filling overnight.

Just before serving, remove the tart from the pan and place on a serving plate. Arrange the apricot slices, slightly overlapping, in concentric circles over the cheese filling. Brush the apricot slices with the warmed preserves to glaze them. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve at once.

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