YOUR RECIPE FOR CONVECTION COOKING!
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Easy Apricot and Pistachio Tart
This fruit tart makes a great dessert for several reasons, it is very easy to prepare and, it is delicious without being too sweet or heavy. Slicing all the fruit and arranging it can be a little labor-intensive but in this version, you only have to coarsely chopd the apricot.
The pastry can be made by hand or in a food processor but pastry needs to rest for at least an hour in the refrigerator before being used, or it can be made a day in advance. The apricot filling only takes about 10 - 12 minutes to prepare but it does need to cool before being added to the pastry. I spread a coating of mascarpone cheese over the pastry before adding the apricot filling then sprinkled some pistachio nuts over the top.
This tart is best baked on a flat baking sheet, however, if baking on a rimmed baking sheet choose a slightly larger pan that will allow room to handle the dough.
Convection Bake Mode
For the pastry
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 stick of unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small cubes
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
4 tbsp ice-cold water
For the filling
1 ½ cups dried apricots ( I used the Blenheim variety)
Water (enough to cover the apricots in the pan)
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp Mascarpone cheese
½ cup chopped pistachio nuts
Mix the flour with the salt and sugar, add the cold cubed butter, and mix by hand or in the food processor to form a coarse meal. Add the ice-cold water and mix until the mixture comes together in a ball. Handling the pastry with a light touch is key for flaky dough.
Roll the pastry with a light dusting of flour into a compact disc, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
While the pastry is resting prepare the filling. Place the apricots in a medium-sized saucepan with just enough water to cover. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for approximately 10 - 12 minutes to soften the apricots.
Remove the pan from the heat and set aside ¼ cup of the liquid. Drain the apricots, chop them coarsley if needed and set them aside to cool. Return the reserved ¼ cup of liquid to the pan, add ½ cup of granulated sugar to the pan and cook over moderate heat until the sugar has dissolved. Combine the sugar syrup with the apricots and cool completely.
To bake the tart, heat the oven in the Convection Bake Mode at 375 degrees.
Roll the dough out to an 11 - 12” circle on a pastry mat lightly dusted with flour then carefully transfer the pastry to a flat baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Gently spread the Mascarpone cheese over the dough with a palette knife leaving a 2” border around the edges. Sprinkle a little sugar over the cheese then carefully spread the cooled apricot mixture over the cheese and top with the pistachio nuts. Fold the edges of the dough in towards the center making neat pleats as you go. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until the crust is golden and the bottom of the crust is baked through.
The edges of the crust can be brushed with a little warmed honey when the tart has cooled slightly for a glossy finish.
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Baked Ham with Tangerine Glaze and Roasted Carrots
Since ham is already cooked by smoking it is most often eaten cold, however heated through and brushed with a fruity glaze it makes a great centerpiece for celebration meals.
In order to heat the ham through it usually needs a fair bit of time in a slow oven and to avoid drying out the meat it is covered until the final stage when the glaze is added. However, if you bake your unsliced ham in Convection you will not need to cover the ham and the heating through time will take approximately 1 ½ - 2 hours, depending on the weight of the ham. If you are heating a sliced ham then it must remain covered in foil to avoid drying out.
1 - smoked ham, bone-in, skin on 7 - 9 lbs
1 - bunch fresh sage leaves
¾ - cup olive oil
1 - cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 - cups tangerine juice
2 - tangerines, sliced thin, seeds removed
2 - cups, packed light brown sugar
1 - cup water
½ - teaspoon whole cloves
2 - cinnamon sticks
1 ½ - lbs baby carrots
Preheat the oven in the Convection Mode 300 degrees.
Place the ham on a rack in a large roasting pan.
Score the ham with cuts in a diamond pattern about 2 inches apart and ½ deep.
Season generously with salt and pepper. Chop 8 of the sage leaves and mix with the olive oil to make a paste, rub all of the ham getting into the slits.
Bake for 2 hours.
Combine the butter, tangerine juice, tangerines, brown sugar, water and spices in a heavy medium saucepan and heat over medium heat.
Bring to a gentle boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy glaze, 30 - 40 minutes.
Brush the glaze over the ham when it has completed its initial heating phase. Add the baby carrots and another 8 chopped sage leaves and continue baking for another 40 - 50 minutes until the carrots are tender and the internal temperature of the ham is 150 degrees.