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A simple, summer dessert

  • PHOTO COURTESY NEW YORK TIMES

Summer desserts should be easy, and this one truly is. All that’s required is a box of phyllo pastry, a few pounds of ripe summer stone fruit and some sugar, jam, melted butter and chopped nuts.

Working with phyllo dough is satisfying, especially for cooks who balk at the idea of making dessert. It’s just a matter of painting thin pastry sheets with butter. Then, on goes the jam, chopped pistachios and fruit.

I was thrilled to find apricots at the market — this year’s apricots have been amazing — but you could use plums or nectarines, too. This makes a very large open-faced tart with a very flaky, shattering-crisp crust.

Eat it, cut into small pieces, at room temperature. With luck, you’ll have some left for breakfast.

Apricot Tart With Pistachios

Ingredients:

• 1 (16-ounce) package phyllo sheets, thawed (about 18 sheets)
• 3/4 cup melted butter
• 1 cup best-quality apricot jam, or use orange marmalade
• 1/2 cup pistachios or walnuts, chopped
• 8 large apricots, halved, pitted and cut into 6 wedges each (about 3 cups)
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lay 1 sheet phyllo on a parchment-lined 12-by-18-inch baking sheet.

Drizzle with 1 tablespoon butter and brush to coat the entire phyllo sheet.

Top with another sheet and butter as above. Repeat with 7 more sheets, for a total of 9, buttering as you go.

The final, top layer should also be buttered. (The rest of the phyllo can be wrapped and frozen for future use.)

Dot the top sheet with jam by the teaspoon, then, using a spatula, spread the jam to cover the entire sheet, leaving a 2-inch border.

Sprinkle a layer of half the chopped pistachios over the jam. Place the apricot wedges, skin-side down, in even rows across the surface, then sprinkle again with remaining pistachios.

Carefully fold over the edges on all sides of the tart to make a 10-by-16-inch rectangle.

Brush folded sides with butter. Sprinkle sugar generously over apricots and folded edges.

Bake until pastry is golden and apricots begin to color, about 1 hour. Cool for 15 minutes, then cut into squares.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Total time: 1 1/2 hours; makes 8-10 servings.

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