Thursday, July 26, 2018

Apricot Curd and Lavender Cheesecake Mousse Tart

Here in Lillooet we have a U-pick farm called Old Airport Gardens. Every summer Sue and I spend a lot of time deciding what we're going to buy from there as there is soooo much to choose from. 
This year, Danika, one of the people who helps run the gardens, contacted me and asked if I would like some lavender to do some baking with. I think you can probably guess my answer. 
I mean.... look at how beautiful it is. 

They also had some crazy tasty looking apricots so, really, how could I say no to that. 

Apricot Curd and Lavender Cheesecake Mousse Tarts


Apricot Curd
1 lb apricots, halved and pit removed
3 Tbsp lemon juice
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp cornstarch
pinch salt
1 cup water
2 Tbsp butter

Lavender Cheesecake Mousse
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
1 Tbsp lavender buds

Prepare crusts - preheat oven to 400. 
Roll out pie dough, cut using a round cookie cutter and press gently into mini muffin pans. If you use the entire pie dough recipe you should get about 36 or more crusts. 
Bake in 400 oven for 5 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 and continue baking until crusts are golden brown - about 20 or so minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool before removing from mini muffin pans to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Prepare Apricot Curd - In a blender or food processor, blend apricots with the lemon juice until smooth. Press the mixture through a strainer into a bowl. You will need 1 CUP of the strained mixture. 
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks together and set aside. 
In a medium saucepan, whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt together. Slowly whisk in water. Over medium heat, continue to cook and stir constantly until thickened - about 10 minutes. 
Slowly whisk the hot mixture into the egg yolks - about 1/4 cup at a time so as not to curdle the eggs. When all mixed in, pour back in the pan and return to the stove top. Cook and stir constantly until thick - about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the 2 Tbsp of butter. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Spoon the filling into the cooled crusts. 

Let cool completely.
Prepare Lavender Cheesecake Mousse - In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the icing sugar and vanilla. 
In a separate bowl, whip whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold half of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the lavender in and then fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Place in a piping bag and pipe on top of the apricot curd. You can also simply spoon a bit on top if you don't want to pipe it. 

You can top with a few lavender buds, if desired. 

There is this amazing tangy-ness from the curd and then this lovely hint of lavender in the decadent cheesecake topping. The crispy flaky crust doesn't hurt either. Just sayin'

You could make these into bigger tarts but I find the mini ones are just the right amount. 
FYI - these are best eaten in the first day or two. If they sit longer than that the lavender starts to take over the flavors of the tart and the crust starts to get soft. 

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