Friday, 20 July 2012

French Apricot Tart

Oh how I wish I was in France...the forecast for the next two weeks is pretty much high 20s and the markets will be brimming with my favourite fruits; peaches, nectarines and apricots. Like wine, the French keep all the best produce for their own consumption and export the rest! Well, that's what it feels like, of course it has to be picked under ripe to travel and never ripens the same as picked ripe and sold within 5 miles of the tree.

However, apricots are as good as they get even in the UK right now so if you're not at White Shutters cooking this in the big kitchen, then you can still enjoy! This tart, especially poaching the apricots gently, with the Amaretto, brings out all the flavour and makes a dozen go a long way.

You will need:

Sweet Pastry
500g plain flour
250g butter
175g icing sugar
1 egg

Frangipane filling
75 g caster sugar
75 g unsalted butter at room temperature
50 g plain flour
150 g ground almonds
2 eggs
1 tsp almond essence (optional)

10-12 apricots halved and stoned
275 ml water
200g caster sugar
50 ml Amaretto (optional)

3 tblspn apricot jam
1 tblspn amaretto (or water)

Pre heat oven to 200 deg C (180 fan)

For pastry:
Sieve flour and sugar into food processor.
Add cut up butter cut and pulse  in small bursts until fine crumbs then add the egg and briefly pulse until it starts coming together.
Turn out and gently knead together and rest the pastry covered in fridge for 30mins +

Meanwhile poach apricots. Add sugar to water and amaretto (if using) in a large based pan.
Bring to boil and gently slide in apricots, cut side down, turn heat to low at simmer. Simmer for 4-5 mins, be careful they go mushy quickly!
Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to cool.

For the frangipane filling: cream butter and caster sugar, and add eggs, almonds and flour and beat together (easier to use the food processor that is already dirty!)

Roll out pastry and line tart dish, carefully line with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake blind at 200degc (180fan) for 6 minutes, remove beans and paper and bake for another 6 minutes.  It’s better to have a baking sheet if using a ceramic dish. Pastry should be dry but barely coloured.

Fill base with frangipane filling and smooth and carefully arrange apricots in concentric circles on top, cut side down starting at the outside.

Bake for around 40 minutes at 180degC (160 fan) until frangipane is firm but pastry not burnt, my pastry was turning!

For the glaze: heat the jam and amaretto or water in a pan or microwave, then sieve. Carefully drizzle on top of warm tart (or brush delicately with a pastry brush, I tend to slop it on) and allow to cool.
Serve with cream, ice cream, crème fraîche or as is!

Proper pro bloggers now have shots of prettily arranged ingredients, a portion of tart artistically presented for service....cream drizzled in a swizzle pattern, a sprig of something and a fanned apricot decoration perhaps?

Sorry if you're disappointed, we cook to eat it in this house, and nobody poses for photos if food is waiting!

Bonne App!

PS Yes this is basically a repeat of my post on my other's OK to pilfer/lift/copy/plagerise your own work ;)