Apricot season is here! And I was gifted a giant box by one of my regular customers last week, and the little baby apricots I have are amazing! Apricots are a powerful little fruit, and they only come around from June to July in California. That’s a pretty short window! So, if you see them, you should definitely get them! This adorable little orange stone fruit is sweet and also can be tart. They are delicious if you eat them on their own, add them to smoothies, granola, parfaits, cereal, fruit salads and more. They even have some great health benefits like they are high in potassium, they may promote gut health, they can protect your liver, and are high in antioxidants (source Healthline). And if I can make a dessert with added health benefits – um, yes please! I love to eat apricots just raw and plain, but I also love adding them to all kinds of desserts. We have been baking Honey Apricot Pies every day at the bake shop and I have been thinking of other recipes to make with these little gems before they go bad!
I have some more coming at ya soon, real soon. But, today I’m sharing a recipe for this super easy Apricot Cheesecake Tart. This recipe is a graham cracker crust, a no bake cheesecake filling, and topped with loads and loads of fresh apricots. This is such an easy recipe and only requires baking the crust for a few minutes, so minimal oven time so it won’t roast your kitchen right now.
I use a 9.5-inch tart pan for this recipe. What is a tart pan? What is the difference between a tart pan and a pie pan? A tart pan has straight sides, and a pie pan has slanted sides. Also, a tart pan has a removable bottom, and pie pan does not. There are a few tart pans out there that are ceramic and therefore, do not have a removable bottom. But, I wouldn’t recommend those. Having a true tart pan with a removable bottom is key for making tarts for a couple reasons.
Why use a tart pan with removable bottom?
- Contrary to what you may think, 9.5-inch tart pans and 9.5-inch pie pans are not the same size. Even though the numbers would point to them being the same size, the pan structure is completely different. Tart pans are alway smaller because their walls are so short! So, if you have a recipe that calls for a 9.5-inch tart pan and you use a 9.5-inch pie pan, you probably will not have enough crust to fill the pan.
- Because I said tart pans have short walls, this is another reason why you should use a true tart pan – one with a removable bottom. Tart pans have straight sides, unlike pie pans that have slanted sides. So, it’s very difficult to remove a piece or slice of the tart if the bottom isn’t removable. You can’t slide any sort of serving utensil easily into a pan with straight sides, it’s very difficult. So, this is why ceramic tart pans are no good. While they look pretty, it’s near impossible to get out your desserts easily!
- Tart pans with removable bottoms are all aluminum, and aluminum and ceramic bake differently, with ceramic usually taking longer. So, if you bake a recipe that calls for a tart pan in ceramic, your crust may need longer to bake.
So, you can see my points here for investing in a true tart pan! I linked the one I used here. This is a super inexpensive kitchen tool that you can use to make all the tarts and quiches you want!
Tips for Making the Best Apricot Cheesecake Tart
• Use the best graham crackers. Not all graham crackers are created equal guys, and this is serious. I use Annie’s Organic Honey Graham Crackers at the bakery and at home. I have been using this brand for years and years. And I truly love them, they have the best true graham cracker taste, and of course organic ingredients. Let me tell you a little story. Many many years ago now Annie’s had a shortage of graham crackers and we didn’t get them on delivery for weeks in a row. I told my husband go to Vons and buy some grahams as they have an O Organic brand of honey graham crackers, which is fairly good and I’ll use it in a pinch. But, they were completely out of them. He came back with Honey Maid graham crackers, saying it was this or nothing. I grew up on Honey Maid, and while I don’t eat them anymore because of ingredients, I thought at the time that I’d have a nice little trip down memory lane and it wouldn’t be that bad. Well… completely wrong. I took one bite and spit it out. They literally tasted like cardboard, soooo not like I remembered and not even close to what Annie’s or even the store bought organic ones taste like. So, if you’re still buying Honey Maid – up your graham cracker game and go organic, you will not be disappointed!
• I’m going to sound like a broken record here. Use organic cream cheese and heavy whipping cream! With a dessert with so few ingredients, they really truly matter. Using the best organic ingredients will give you the best tasting Apricot Cheesecake Tart. My favorite brand is Organic Valley, but there are many organic brands that are delicious as well!
• Don’t have a lemon? Use an organic for a different flavor profile that will be just as good!
• I made a spiral design with the apricots, but you can just pile them on top too. I debated doing that to be honest, haha! Any way you get them on top, it will be just as delicious.
• Make sure to store this in the fridge.
Apricot Cheesecake Tart
Makes 9.5-inch tart
1 ½ sleeves (204 grams) organic honey graham crackers, crushed
71 grams (¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon) organic cane sugar
½ cup (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
8 ounces (226 grams) organic cream cheese
35 grams (¼ cup) organic powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon organic lemon juice
Zest of half a lemon
1/2 cup organic heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
20 organic apricots, pitted and sliced
To make the crust: In a food processor, add the crushed graham crackers, butter, and cane sugar. Pulse until completely combined and there are no bits of graham cracker or chunks of butter and the mixture is uniform.
Transfer to the tart pan and spread evenly. Using your hands, form the crust into the sides of the pan first, working your way all the way around. Then, press the remaining graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the tart pan creating an even layer.
Bake for 5 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.
To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix on low to combine and then speed mixer up to high and mix for 1 minute, until fluffy. Transfer to a separate bowl, and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract. Mix on low and gradually increase speed as mixture starts to thicken until you are full speed. Whisk until stiff peaks form.
Transfer the cream to the bowl with the cream cheese mixture and fold together. Spread into the tart crust evenly.
Top with sliced apricots. I spiraled mine, but you can pile them on or add in any kind of way you like!
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Gluten Free — Use gluten free graham crackers.
High Altitude — Follow the recipe as noted.