Apricot Tart with Lavender Creme Anglaise



  1. 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/3 cup almond flour or finely ground almonds
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  7. 1/2 cup ice water
  8. 12 ounces dried California or Turkish apricots
  9. 1/4 cup amaretto or Grand Marnier liqueur
  10. 2 1/2 cups water
  11. 3/4 cup orange marmalade plus 2 tablespoons water
  12. 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  13. 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  14. Lavender Creme Anglaise (recipe follows)
  15. 2 cups heavy cream
  16. 1 cup half-and-half
  17. 1/3 cup finely ground Lavender Sugar (see note)
  18. 1/3 cup wildflower honey
  19. 2 tablespoons dried lavender buds
  20. 4 large egg yolks
  21. (makes about 4 cups)


  1. Prepare a medium heat fire (350F) in a wood-fired oven or cooker.
  2. To make the dough, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl or food processor.
  3. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, rub or cut in the butter until it is the size of peas.
  4. Gradually stir in half of the ice water until the dough comes together in a ball.
  5. Add a bit more water only if needed.
  6. Do not overwork the dough.
  7. On a floured board, form the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
  8. To make the filling, combine the apricots, amaretto, and water in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the apricots are plump and soft, about 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from the heat, drain, and set aside.
  10. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick.
  11. Fit into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
  12. Run a rolling pin over the top to remove the excess dough.
  13. Fit a sheet of parchment paper in the tart shell and fill it with pie weights or dried beans.
  14. Place the pan in the oven and prebake for 15 minutes.
  15. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before filling.
  16. Increase the oven heat to 375F by adding a small log to the fire.
  17. Cover the crust with the apricots, fanning the fruit and overlapping each slice by 1/2 inch.
  18. Heat the orange marmalade and water over low heat to a spreadable consistency.
  19. Spread over the apricots.
  20. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar, then top with the almonds.
  21. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden.
  22. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
  23. Once cool, remove from the tart pan, portion, and serve topped with the creme anglaise.
  24. Combine the cream, half-and-half, sugar, and honey in a nonreactive saucepan.
  25. Heat over medium-low heat to just below the boiling point, stirring with rubber spatula or wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar and honey.
  26. Remove from the heat and add the lavender.
  27. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
  28. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing the lavender with the back of a large spoon to release the liquid.
  29. Discard the lavender.
  30. Return the flavored cream to the saucepan.
  31. Place the pan over medium-low heat and reheat to just below the boiling point.
  32. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl.
  33. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot cream into the yolks to temper the eggs.
  34. Add the mixture to the saucepan with the remaining cream and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  35. Do not let the mixture boil, or the eggs will curdle.
  36. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large stainless steel bowl.
  37. Stir the custard gently for a few minutes to cool slightly.
  38. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the custard and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  39. It can be kept overnight.
  40. To make lavender sugar, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon dried lavender in a glass jar and let stand for 1 day.
  41. Grind in a spice grinder before using.