Winner Shares Recipe from Apricot Tasting Competition

LOS ALTOS, CA (July 6, 2018)  Local businesses and individuals took part in an old-fashioned taste-testing competition at the Los Altos History Museum‘s first-ever Apricot STEM Fair on June 24th. The only rule: entries had to be made with apricots.

Judging the competition was a roster of Celebrity Judges, with People’s Choice Judges adding their votes in three categories: appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The Museum is proud to announce the first-place winners, and share the recipe that won over both the Celebrity and People’s Choice Judges.

Celebrity Picks:

Appetizer: Nomi Trapnell for Apricot Brie Tartlets

Entrée: State of Mind Public House for an Apricot Pizza

Dessert: Andy Mariani from Andy’s Orchard for Apricot Bars

People’s Choice Picks:

Appetizer: Nomi Trapnell for Apricot Brie Tartlets

Entrée: The Original Pancake House for Tahitian Maiden Crepes

Dessert: Borba Farms for Apricot Pie

The Celebrity Judges included:

Jean Mordo, Mayor of Los Altos

Lisa Prince Newman, author of For the Love of Apricots

Phil Doetsch, Los Altos Civic Orchardist

Liz Nyberg, Publisher of the Los Altos Town Crier

Jeff Harding, Superintendent, MVLA School District

Deborah Olson, C.J. Olson’s Cherries

Rachael Myrow, KQED reporter

Catherine Nunes, publisher and editor-in-chief of Edible Silicon Valley

Pinky Whelan, Founding Member of the Los Altos History Museum

Apricot Brie Tartlets
Nomi Trapnell’s Award-Winning recipe


For the Apricots:

½cup Apricot brandy

1/3 cup granulated sugar

½teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

8 small apricots cut in half and pit removed

For the Tartlets:

1 package Safeway Mini Phyllo Pastry Shells (15)

Approx. 6 oz. Brie cheese

Approx. 1/2 cup Apricot jam

Approx. 1/8 cup Pepper jelly

Approx. 1/3 cup crushed salty nuts


Poach the apricots:

  1. In a pan large enough to hold the apricots halves in one layer, combine the brandy, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and bring to a boil until sugar has melted.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and place the apricots in the hot liquid, cut side down. Leave them to poach in the residual heat until they are soft but still hold their shape (20-40 minutes depending on how ripe they are) flip them every 10 minutes. Set the apricots aside to cool.

Fill the pastry shells:

  1. Mix the apricot jam and pepper jelly.
  2. Cut the Brie cheese into 15 pieces
    (approximately½ x½ in)
  3. Put jam/jelly mixture in bottom of each pastry shell
  4. Place a Brie square on top
  5. Place poached apricot on top, cut side up
  6. Sprinkle nuts on top of each apricot in filled shell

Bake the pastry shells:

This can be a holding point if needed.

Place the tarts on a cookie sheet. Preheat the oven.
Bake in 350-degree oven for 5 minutes.

Serve the tartlets while still warm.


  • The Phyllo mini pastry shells are available in Safeway, 15 per box.
    (You can make your own pastry shells with puffed pastry but they will likely be larger and need more filling).
  • I used the Cashew Clusters from Costco and crushed them finely and added salt. You can use any crushed, salty nuts of your choice.
  • You may need to trim the poached apricots if they are too big to fit in the mini pastry shells.
  • Leftover poached apricots and juice are great on top of ice cream.

The Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collectionspermanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum and J. Gilbert Smith House are open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, go to:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact:

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,