This is not a new recipe but it bears presenting as it uses canned fruit in a most excellent way – and who doesn’t need an easy dessert this time of year? Between the almond paste and the canned apricots you will end up with an incredibly moist “cookie”, that is really more of an elegant pastry or petit four. These Apricot Financiers, as well as the Loaded Nut Slices, are from Francois Payard’s newest book, Payard Cookies. As always we can expect the easy and streamlined as well as the more complex from this French pastry chef. His years of experience allow him to break down complicated recipes into do-able steps for the home cook, but the book offers recipes to challenge as well. Start here with this super simple, but very impressive cookie.
Excerpt & photo from Payard Cookiesby Francois Payard. Copyright © 2015 by Francois Payard.Photography © 2015 by Rogerio Voltan. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A piece of fruit in the middle adds texture, moistness, and flavor to a simple financier. Instead of apricots, you could make them with canned peaches, pears, or pineapples if you prefer, or even with fruits that you have poached in syrup yourself until they are soft, such as plums or nectarines. Just make sure to drain the fruits so that they don’t add too much liquid to the batter.
- 7 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter
- 14 ounces (400 grams) almond paste
- 4 large eggs
- Pinch of salt
- 15 canned apricot halves in syrup, drained (about one-and-a-half 15-ounce cans)
- Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Let it bubble and cook until it turns light golden brown. Whisk a couple of times during the process to ensure that all the butter melts and browns evenly. Once it reaches the desired light brown color, immediately remove from the heat.
- In a food processor, grind together the almond paste, eggs, salt, and 10 of the apricot halves until the mixture is smooth. Slowly drizzle in the hot butter, and mix until fully combined. Transfer to a bowl or large measuring cup (which makes it easier to pour in the mold), cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray a silicone financier mold with nonstick cooking spray or line a mini muffin pan with paper baking cups. If using a silicone mold, place it on a baking sheet.
- Slice the remaining 5 apricot halves lengthwise into ¼-inch strips. Stir the batter, then pour just enough of it to fill the individual molds or muffin cups three-quarters full. If you prefer to pipe the batter, which is a more precise way to fill the small molds, transfer it to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch round pastry tip. Arrange an apricot slice on top of each financier. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the financiers are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let them cool completely in the mold, then store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.