Apricot, Pistachio and Lemon Shortbread Tart

It is always this time of year when the weather gets too hot to be outside when I start getting anxious to travel and I become even more melancholic about all my friends and family back home. Beaches flooded with people anxious to soak in the sunshine after a rainy spring. I too remember those times and I miss them.

This weekend, I found myself looking through the pages of Martin Berasategui’s “Calendario de Nuestra Cocina Tradicional”. It is one of my favorite Basque cookbooks as it depicts very well the seasonal approach to our cooking with emphasis on the quality of our raw ingredients and always with a modern approach.

The summer chapter is filled with colorful tomatoes, green peppers from Gernika, pisto, fruit salads. Just the colors alone are so inspiring.

I love seeing all the fruit stands filled with stone fruits and berries. It reminds me of my childhood and how my dad always filled up a cooler full of peaches, nectarines, apricot, saturn peaches or any other summer fruit when we took day trips to the beach or to the French border. Lots of fruit, tortilla and bread.

And when I came home with a bag full of apricots this week, I decided to make a simple tart. I know there are thousands of different ways of cooking with stone fruits, but for some reason, I always must have a tart. They are the perfect match and the simpler the tart the better.

This time I made a super quick gluten-free lemon shortbread recipe to fill the bottom of the tart pan. No need to roll it out. It is one of those doughs that you just press into the pan. Add some chopped pistachios on the bottom and fill the tart with fresh apricots. Lots of them tightly packed. Sprinkle some sugar, dab a bit of butter and a drizzle of honey. Simple and perfect for summer.

The fruit salad was also simple. I placed some yogurt over cheesecloth overnight and let it drain most of the whey. The next morning, you will have a thick yogurt that is perfect for a fruit salad with some honey. Kids love to arrange the fruit on the plate and dip it in the yogurt.

We are off to Seattle this week. I hear the weather is cool. It will be the perfect break from the Florida heat. Time with friends and family that we haven’t seen in a long time. Can’t wait to share with you photos and hopefully great meal reports.

Apricot, Pistachio and Lemon Shortbread Tart

makes a 10″ tart or 8 individual tarts

225 grams butter or non-hydrogenated shortening
110 grams powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
170 grams superfine brown rice flour
110 grams cornstarch
30 grams tapioca starch
pinch of salt
chopped pistachios
sugar for topping
10-12 apricots
lemon thyme leaves, optional
honey, optional

Cream the butter and powdered sugar together. Add the zest and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Press the dough into tart molds. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes.

Cut the apricots into thin wedges. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios on the bottom of the tarts. Arrange the apricot slices inside tightly packed as they will shrink in the oven. Sprinkle more pistachios on top and some sugar.

Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes until golden. Drizzle honey and add some lemon thyme leaves on top, if desired.

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84 Responses to “Apricot, Pistachio and Lemon Shortbread Tart”

  1. foodpixels says:

    Wow, your posts and pictures keep getting better and better; I really love the styling here and the vibrant colours. Great use of props too.
    Love it! Dario

  2. Stunning pictorial on such a lovely yet simple ingredient. I had a grilled apricot salad with goat cheese the other day and your post reminded me that I need to try to re-create it!

  3. Anita says:

    These are wonderful photos and the tarts look delightful, thanks for sharing.

  4. Love the pictures with the blackberries! Of course, I love all the photos, but those are my favorites. And then there’s the baby with her adorable arm rolls. Perfect, as always!

  5. Love it!!!! Simplemente genial. Con unas fotos se percibe el olor y la luz del verano.

  6. Lady Grey says:

    Oh this looks outrageously good! I love the flavor combination!

  7. TKTC says:

    The recipe looks simple but a nice herbed twist on a classic. Perfect for summer. But the photos. Aran- they need to be in a book. The whole series is stunning!! Bookmarking for inspiration.

  8. Robin says:

    Very beautiful and inspired. I love it when fresh fruit stars in a gorgeous dessert-and anyone would love it, even if they can have gluten!

  9. Jamie- thank you. she is starting to get “chunk” and i love it!

    Sage and Style- that sounds delicious actually. right up my alley!

    thank you everyone!

  10. As usual, your post is magnificent! What wonderful tarts! Sooooo delicious. I love apricots and shorbreadpastry…



  11. Meg says:

    The way you arranged the apricot slices makes the tarts look like little roses! So pretty!

  12. Anonymous says:

    That picture of the fruit plate is just perfect. This might sound crazy, but I set it as my desktop background in the hopes that your knack for composition gets imprinted on my brain. :)

  13. Those little delicate layers of apricot, and oh my goodness, that baby! Such an adorable post in every way.

  14. Absolutely stunning. In my opinion, fruit tarts are one of the most beautiful (and delicious) desserts.

  15. Elga says:

    You have choose the better way to cook apricots. The dish with fresh fruit is simply wonderful!

  16. beautiful, love the overall image of the tart and the yogurt fruit image.

  17. Page says:

    omg these look so amazing!! :)

  18. Mandy says:

    I hear you on the heat.I console myself with the juiciest stone fruits and mango when the heat gets unbearable. And try to focus on the fruit pickings that come with summer. Have fun in Seattle!

  19. Lara says:

    So lovely Aran! Can’t wait to see you on Friday (and to get back to the cool Seattle weather… I’m in South Georgia right until tomorrow visiting my mom.)

  20. Meg says:

    that looks amazing! what a perfect summertime dessert!!

  21. Ms. Pearl says:

    Your blog and photos are beautiful. I’ll definitely be back!

  22. That shot of the baby with a single cherry is amazing! The color echoes in the cherry – the cloth- the baby clothes- amazing!

  23. m says:

    So perfect for summer! You are definitely right in saying that these colors inspire!

  24. Alicia says:

    My favorite dessert back in Michigan was in the most amazing Middle Eastern restaurant: baked stuffed apricots..pistachios & honey til golden then drizzled with housemade yogurt done in cheesecloth too!!
    I miss Steve’s sooo much but making this may alieviate a bit of the sadness.
    And your peitie one is just precious. The image of her chubby hands holding the cherry is perfect. Baby chubbiness is the best!!!

  25. if you ever come to austria, then try the “Wachauer Marillen” (special kind of apricots). the are really one of the best worldwide. and are growing in a very beautiful landscape too.
    thanks again for sharing.

  26. Ale says:

    I love your blog so much……
    Kisses Ale

  27. Can’t wait for Apricots to come into season here. A few months to go, but I desperately want to pick apricots and bake a fresh tart right now! You take such enticing photos.

  28. Cristina says:

    Beautiful pictures, the tart looks delicious and I love the photo of the little girl holding the cherry!

  29. Julia says:

    Your recipe looks delicious, your photographs are amazing too! I love the wistful way you write, conjouring up memories from way back, and the way you talk of the wonderful summer fruits…blissful post!

    Love Julia x x x

  30. You must have heard it a million times by now, but your blog is just absolutely amazing. Your pictures simply set the standard in the food blooging world! I can’t wait for your cookbook to be published!

  31. So happy to see another yummy GF recipe! I am trying this one this weekend. Also, the picks of the baby (your daughter?) with the fruit…adorable. My granddaughter appears to be about the same age (6 months?). I love it!! Where in FL are you? I’m in the WPB area…South FL. Yes…WAY TOO HOT!! Enjoy Seattle.

    Smiles, Carol

  32. Lara- I can’t wait to see you, Clare and the studio!!!

    Alicia- that sounds amazing! would love that.

    Notonlyformoms- I have never heard of them but will definitely look into it. I love to try new things and discover. Thanks for sharing.

    Julia- perhaps too many memories…?:) I do tend to be a bit stuck in my childhood and idealize things… :)

    Anne’s Kitchen- thank you very much.

    Carol- I live in PB County too, in Jupiter. Yes, that is my daughter. She’s an angel. And yes, I can’t take this heat and humidity! :)

    Thank you everyone. Hope you enjoy the long weekend!

  33. yummy tart crust recipe, i’m making little apple pies for my 4th of july celebration (should be the first one ever in brazil)and i will use this recipe, thanks :)

    have fun in seattle, i miss it so much. my sisters were saying that it’s getting warmer, but for seattle people warm = freezing for everyone else, 65-70 means swimming in the puget sound! ;)

  34. Inés says:

    Baina nola dagoen Mirentxu…melokotoi eder bat ematen du!. Aran maitagarria dago!!! …

  35. fresh365 says:

    I don’t know what is cuter the tart or the baby? Either way I am smiling! A perfect summer treat!

  36. Dajda says:

    Aran, your baby girl looks adorable!

    I bought a good slice of ewe’s milk cheese today! It made me think of you, I remember you mentioned ewe’s milk some time ago. Have a great time in Seattle!

  37. This looks great! I did something similar but it is just Apricots, Cream, and Pistachios (whole). It really makes a great combination of flavor!

  38. Mallory- have on the 4th and i am really looking forward to the cool weather!

    Ines- bai, jateko modukoa!

    Dajda- i’m so jealous. enjoy it!

    Carrie- sound delicious!

    Thank you!

  39. exactement ce qu’il me faut pour terminer cette journee en beaute

  40. Hi there! Are you friends with the author of Tartine Gourmande? You two posted very similar recipes today! Both gorgeous by the way. Here is the link http://www.latartinegourmande.com/2010/06/29/apricot-tart/

  41. Foodieinberlin- i know right? we both posted apricot tarts and our babies. i promise we did not plan it this way! I know Bea, we met last year at a conference and her blog is breathtaking! Thanks!

  42. Tara says:

    Wow, I had no idea everyone would be posting apricot tarts when I posted mine last week! pastrystudio, you, Bea . . . all my icons! Yours are gorgeous, I love the addition of pistachios. Will try that soon. And M. is absolutely adorable – I like nothing better than a roly-poly baby!

  43. argone says:

    saw this as a coincidence too !!
    both recipes look gorgeous, and fab babies ;-)

  44. Such pretty tarts, Aran – they look like flowers! I love how vibrant the colors are. And that shortbread base… Yum! I have got to try it too.

  45. I am in love with these photos!!

  46. Tara- it’s only natural as it’s the season of apricots and all stone fruits and what better way to eat them but in a tart! :) great minds think alike! :)


  47. Sally says:

    Beautiful photographs as always, as well as beautiful food! Yumm, my Mum would love these will hvae to make for her soon!

  48. Crissy says:

    Wow, what beautiful photos! I’m getting hungry just looking at them … :)

  49. My goodness that all looks super delicious xx

  50. Coco says:

    these are just beautiful Aran! I’ve seen a lot of apricot recipes around lately and yours is by far the loveliest :) Oh you are coming to Seattle! If you need someone to show you around Im here :) Or let me know if you want any restaurant recommendations. Im sure your friends and family know all of the hot spots but let me know if you would like any suggestions. We should have nice weather over the weekend so I hope you are here to enjoy it! bon voyage!

  51. Cherine says:

    Gorgeous photos as usual!!
    This tart looks fantastic!!

  52. ibb says:

    Mirentxu zelako polita dagoen!
    Hemendik dana dau berde eta garia jada kolores aldatzen hasi da bailaran…uda hurbiltzen dihoa eta ni hemen, lanez gainezka eta oporretarako planik gabe.

  53. mina says:

    just found your blog and am looking through old post – love the light in your photography. great work!

  54. Oh, yum! Honestly, you had me at “apricots” ;-)

    And your daughter is adorable!!

  55. Zia Elle says:

    Your pictures are something wonderfull!!!!!!!

  56. Marie says:

    Mmm! Your tart looks so good! They totally look like a flower!

  57. Philo says:

    La disposition de tes morceaux d’abricots rend tes tartelettes magnifiques

  58. Renata says:

    beautiful pictures! you are very talented :))

  59. Looks delish! By the way, love the new header!
    The Design Dish

  60. Mély says:

    It is a pleasure to come on your blog.
    The pictures are so nice…

    I really like it a lot.

  61. Valérie says:

    Tes petites tartelettes c’est la parfaite gourmandise dont j’ai envie là maintenant tout de suite, avec un bon fromage blanc bien frais !

  62. Vanille says:

    Simply wonderful Aran ! Make me miss summer and its delicious flavours !

  63. Hannah says:

    I am a new follower, I love your photos! They are amazing! The food looks so good I want to reach through the computer screen and eat it all! I can’t wait to try some of your recipes!


  64. Aran,

    Me llama mucho la atencion la pasta (masa) de la tarta.

    Pregunta: cual es la funcion del almidon (Starch) de tapioca? y cual sera el efecto si se omite?.

    Adelantandome a tu respuesta, al ser una cantidad tan pequena, creo que no deberia afectar no?. En fin, si me sacas de dudas te lo agradecere eternamente.

    ps. tu nena esta creciendo rapidisimo.

  65. Heidi- shortbread se supone que tiene una textura harinosa. La tapioca y el cornstarch los dos contribuyen a que la masa una vez cocida sea muy “sandy” y se deshace facilmente. Me explico? Gracias.

    Thanks everyone hope you are enjoying your weekend. We are in Seattle now. Great city and loving the cool weather!

  66. Kits says:

    Everything looks absolutely delicious. Yum Yum indeed

  67. Stunning images that are filled with the best aspects of Summer .. so very pretty and captivating!

    Thank you for sharing :-)

  68. Gen says:

    Les couleurs de l’été! Ces tartelettes sont de vrais soleils, quel délice!

  69. Yummy… I am making the pie as we speak :) . I was looking for a simple recipe to make my apricots and I found it.

    By the way, the strained yogourt you mention here is the way we do the lebanese labneh cheese. I just add a pinch of salt. We eat it with olive oil and dried mint. Try it. It is amazing spead on olive bread or with pita.

    Your little angel is growing up fast. Time flies. Enjoy every sec.

  70. Made2Order says:

    what an amazing combo. of flavors! This is a winner for sure.
    I’m new to your blog! hello~ btw~ ha

  71. Barbara says:

    I’m wishing it was summer now. I baked with apricots today but they were dried.

  72. Really this is a winner.Its really an amazing combo.

  73. Made2Order says:

    have you tried rehydrating them in simple syrup? or some kind of liquer?

  74. bed frame says:

    That combo fruits are so amazing. I can say that all fruits that you use are so fresh. I can’t wait to taste that kind of food. Very yummy.

  75. Enjoyed these recipes greatly, thanks so much for posting. In particular I enjoyed the Lemon Shortbread casing – a very nice touch. :)

  76. Gorgeous! Using a lemon shortbread crust and a sprinkle of thyme on top would complement the apricots so nicely.

  77. martha says:

    Made this pie tonight – so delicious – the tartness of the apricots makes this a perfect summer dessert!

  78. […] arranging them in a spiral layer, the  geometrical effect was intended to approximate these apricot, pistachio and lemon shortbread tartlets on a full […]

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