makes one 9½” x 1½” tart
4 Peaches, washed, halved, and pitted
4 Apricots, washed, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons clover honey
zest of 1 orange
Heat grill to medium. Brush both sides of the peaches and apricots with half of the melted butter. Place the peach and apricot halves, cut side down, on the grill. Grill the peach halves for about 3 minutes, the apricot halves for about 2 minutes, turn and grill for an additional 1 minute. The fruit should hold its shape. Remove to a serving platter. Stir together the remaining melted butter, honey, and orange zest. Drizzle over the warm fruit. Let cool, cover and refrigerate.
2 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a bench scraper or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a medium bowl, whisk together the zest, egg yolks and vanilla. Add the yolk mixture to the butter mixture. Use a fork to incorporate the yolks into the crumbs, using your fingers at the end to shape the pastry into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour before rolling out. On a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, roll the pastry into a circle about 12” in diameter. Gently fit the pastry into a 9½” tart pan with removable bottom, easing it along the bottom and up the sides. You should have an overhang of about ½." Fold the dough inwards to create a sturdy edge, using your fingers to pinch it in place. Set the tart shell in the freezer to firm up, at least half an hour. When the pastry is sufficiently chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Retrieve the tart shell from the freezer, line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil and dried beans. Set the lined tart pan on a baking sheet and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use an oven mitt to remove the parchment (or foil) and beans. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork to prevent it from puffing up. Return the tart shell to the middle rack of the oven and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until the tart shell is golden and the pastry is dry on the bottom and along the sides. Set aside to cool completely.
Aperol-Orange Chiffon Filling
(adapted from Craig Claiborne and A Treasury of Fine Desserts by M. Storm)
½ cup cold water
1 tablespoon powdered Knox gelatin (don’t panic- it’s just jello!)
3 large eggs, separated
⅔ cup of sugar, divided (half goes in with the yolks, half with the whites)
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons Aperol
1 tablespoon Cointreau
3-4 dashes orange bitters
¼ cup Mascarpone
¾ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
(First things first- bloom the gelatin. This simply means adding the gelatin powder to the cold water and giving the two an opportunity to get acquainted. The gelatin powder will absorb the water. That’s it. )
Place the gelatin and water in a non-reactive, heavy bottomed medium saucepan and let the gelatin ‘bloom’ for about 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt. Scrape this into the bloomed gelatin and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens. The gelatin will dissolve and the egg yolks will thicken very slightly. (The mixture will just barely coat the back of a wooden spoon. DO NOT LET IT COME TO A BOIL. My insta-read thermometer registers just 160 degrees F.) Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the Aperol, Cointreau, and bitters. Scrape this mixture into a large bowl and refrigerate. It takes a little under 30 minutes for the mixture to chill to the correct consistency. You will need to gently stir the mixture with a rubber scraper every 5 minutes, so it doesn’t get too firm. If you find yourself with a solid jello mixture, fear not. Place the mixture over a bowl of barely simmering water- this will bring it back to the proper jiggly consistency. (Just remember, this is the base of the dessert and needs to be cool when you add the remaining ingredients. )
Place the egg whites in a large bowl. Use a hand-held mixer to whip the whites, gradually adding ⅓ cup of sugar, until you have a stiff meringue. Set aside while you whip the Mascarpone and heavy cream.
In a large bowl, whisk together the Mascarpone with the heavy cream until it is smooth. Use a hand-held electric mixer to beat the cream with the powdered sugar until medium-stiff peaks form. Add the orange zest.
Use a rubber spatula to combine all three components: Place the gelatin/egg yolk mixture in a large bowl. Gently fold in the meringue until no white streaks show, then gently fold in the whipped cream. Scrape the filling into the tart shell, smooth the top and gently cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving with the cooled, grilled fruit. Wrap and refrigerate any leftovers.