Anytime I see ripe fresh apricots I buy them.  Apricot growers have upped their game. New storing techniques help preserve their flavor.  Now they entice enough to inspire me to make desserts like this Apricot Cherry Frangipane Tart.

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To make this tart, I adapted the sweet tart dough recipe from On Baking, the textbook I co-author. Sweet tart dough bakes into a crisp shortbread-like crust. Use it when you are making a tart with a creamy filling.  I added almond flour to the dough to give it a lightly sandy texture and subtle almond flavor.

Make the dough a day ahead so that it is well chilled when you need it. Because this recipe makes enough dough to line two larger or three small fluted pans, freeze the remaining portion of dough.  You’ll be able to make tarts anytime throughout the summer. You could even roll out the dough and freeze it in sheets. If you have a few tart pans, you could line them with the dough and freezes those.  Whatever it takes to make it easy to bake I say.

This rich dough tends to crack when you roll it out. Because it is forgiving all you need to do it press it back together.

Sweet Tart Dough cracks when rolled

Frangipane refers to a variety of rich almond fillings made with ground almonds or almond flour, butter, sugar and sometimes eggs. It can be moist and buttery or fluffy and cake like.  For juicy fruits like apricots, berries, cherries and nectarines, I use this frangipane filling.  It absorbs juices and bakes into a drier more cake-like filling. (Another version used to make this Pear Almond Polenta Cake is so firm, no crust is needed.)

Here is the filled tart shell before baking.

Apricot Cherry Frangipane Tart close up uncooked whole

Here is the tart after baking and glazing.

Apricot Cherry Frangipane Tart close up whole

You can see how the filling absorbs the juices in this photograph of a slice of the Almond Cherry Frangipane Tart.

Apricot Cherry Frangipane Tart close up filling

Kitchen Notebook

Softened Butter

What is softened butter you may ask? And why does it matter? When creamed or beaten, butter traps air cells and helps lighten the texture of cakes, cookies and fillings. If the butter is too soft, it won’t be able to perform this important function, liquefying before air is trapped. If it is too hard,the butter wont be pliable

Softened butter is at room temperature, around 68-70F. It is pliable when pressed between thumb and forefinger but still resists a little.  It isn’t greasy and soft like whipped cream. If soft and greasy, return the butter to the refrigerator to firm a bit. If the butter is too cold, cut it into 1/2-inch thick slices and let these sit for 10 – 15 minutes before using.



Apricot Cherry Frangipane Tart

Yield: 8-12 servings

Apricot Cherry Frangipane Tart


For the Sweet Tart Dough (Pâte Sucrée):

1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cups powdered sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose or pastry flour

1/4 cup fine ground almond flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the Frangipane Filling:

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

½ cup fine ground almond flour

¼ cup all-purpose or cake flour

¼ cup cream

1 teaspoon almond extract

8 whole ripe apricots, cut in half and pitted

1 cup pitted fresh Bing cherries, halved

For the Glaze:

1/3 cup apricot jam

Coarse chopped almonds for garnish, optional


  1. To make the Sweet Tart Dough: Cream the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. Blend in 1 egg. Scrape down the bowl, add the vanilla and salt.
  3. Stir together the flour, almond flour and the baking powder. Add the mixture to the creamed butter. Blend on low speed just until the dough comes together, without overmixing.
  4. Press the dough onto a parchment paper–lined half-sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Divide the dough into two pieces. (Wrap and refrigerator or freeze one piece to use another time.) Roll out one piece of the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of ⅛–¼ inch (3–6 millimeters). The dough may be crumbly and difficult to work with, which is normal. If this is the case, press the dough back together with your fingertips.
  6. Line a 10-inch fluted tart pan with the dough. Press it into and up the sides of the pan. Trim off excess dough with a paring knife.
  7. To make the filling, cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle. Scrape the bowl and beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the almond and wheat flours, the cream and extract.
  8. Spread the filling into an even layer in the dough-lined tart pan. Place the apricots cut side down into the filling alternating with the cherries in a decorative patten.
  9. Bake the tart until the filling is set and lightly browned, for approximately 40 – 45 minutes. Cool the tart on a rack while preparing the glaze.
  10. While the tart cools, heat the apricot jam with 1 Tablespoon water. Stir until it is smooth and thin yet coats the back of a spoon. Use a pastry brush to coat the surface of the tart and the top edge of the tart shell with a light layer of glaze. Press the chopped almonds, if using, into the top edge of the tart shell. Serve immediately. This tart keeps for 3 – 4 days when refrigerated.