This is a great summery desert, using seasonal ingredients and flavours. It transports well when cold, either in its tin covered with foil, or cut into slabs in a box for a picnic. It’s especially delicious served with raspberries and creme fraiche or whipped cream. I folded 1 tbspn cointreau, 1 tspn vanilla bean paste, 1 tspn orange zest, 1 tspn caster sugar into a tub of creme fraiche which was an excellent combination. I’m afraid I couldn’t take a picture of the whole tart as my mother took it off on a picnic with her and ate it.
250g plain flour
100g butter, softened and cubed
100g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
For more detailed pictures of how to make the pastry, see here. Please note that this is a slightly different pastry, but the method is the same. The one here is less delicate and easier to use. The two can be interchanged: it’s up to you. Both make enough for 2 cases. You can either freeze it, well-wrapped for up to 3 months or keep it wrapped in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Heap the flour on the worksurface in a mound and make a well. Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt, and mix these together with your fingertips. Gradually draw in the flour until the dough becomes slightly grainy. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and work them into the flour mixture. When everything is well combined, knead a couple of times, then form a ball and wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before using. Then, unwrap it and roll out half to fit the tart tin. Alternatively, you can put the lump of pastry in the base of the tin and press it to fit with your fingertips. Bake blind at 175C for 10-15 mins.
It will be cooked again, so you don’t want it too brown. Leave it in the tin. If you want to, you can brush it with 1 egg white which, as it dries, will create a sort of waterproof protection, so when you add the filling and fruit it won’t go soggy.
Fruit and Glaze
15 apricots (number varies on the size of tin and size of apricots), halved and stoned
300ml boiling water
3 tbspns sugar
1 vanilla pod
2 tbspns apricot jam
Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water and pour into a deep frying pan. Add the vanilla pod and allow to come back up to a boil. Place the apricots, cut side down in the pan and reduce the heat. Simmer until the apricots are poached (essentially when they are soft to the touch. The less ripe the fruit, the longer it will take to cook). you may have to poach them in more than one batch.
Remove the apricots and place on paper towel to dry a little. You will use the poaching liquid as the base for the glaze, so turn the heat up and reduce it until it becomes thick and syrupy. At this point, remove the vanilla pod, stir in the apricot jam and remove from the heat. The vanilla pod can be dried out on some paper towel and reused.
55g butter, softened
55g caster sugar
55g ground almonds
1 tbspn rum
Beat the butter, sugar, flour and almonds together. Then add the eggs, beat well, then the rum.
50g flaked almonds (for decoration)
Spread the almond filling over the tart case.
Arrange the apricots, cut sides up, in circles radiating from the centre of the tart. You may need to adjust spacing a little depending on size of fruit and tin. Place in the oven at 175C for 20 mins, take out and sprinkle with the flaked almonds, then return to the oven for 10 mins. While it is cooking, gently warm up the glaze again on the stove. As soon as the tart comes out of the oven for the second time, brush the surface with the warm glaze.