These slightly tart tartlets combine crisp and tender textures for a perfect balance and lots of fresh, summery flavor.
Breton Shortbread Crust
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Step 1: Breton Shortbread Crust
Pour the flour into the bowl of the mixer. Add the baking powder, a pinch of salt, and the diced butter. Mix until the dough has a sandy consistency. In a mixing bowl, beat together the egg yolks and the sugar until pale. Split the vanilla bean, remove the grains, and add them to the dough. Set the split bean aside to garnish the tartlets. Bring the dough together without kneading it. Remove from the mixer, form a ball, flatten it slightly, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough, and roll it out to 2 mm of thickness between two pieces of parchment paper. Use an 8 centimeter ring to cut out 4 disks. Place the pastry disks on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Mascarpone Cream
Pour the cold heavy cream into a bowl, and add the mascarpone, the sugar, and the vanilla bean seeds. Beat until stiff peaks. Place into a pastry bag and chill.
Step 3: Fruit Filling
Pit the apricots and cut into slices. Split the vanilla bean and cut it into chunks.
Heat the sugar in a pan until it begins to turn light brown, then add the butter and mix well. Add the apricots and the vanilla bean sections. Allow to brown 5 minutes per side, until the apricots are nice and soft. Deglaze with water, and bring up the fond. Reserve the cooking juices. Pipe a bit of cream on each tartlet base. Arrange the apricots in concentric circles over the top. Glaze with the reserved cooking juices, and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
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