Monday, 25 June 2012

Apricot tart

I love doing tarts like this because they always end up looking so pretty. However I also don't love them as I am rubbish at doing pastry and have no patience when it goes wrong. This one kind of went ok actually, and once it was all finished and cooling I went to suffer in bed and when I emerged my Mum the patisserie fairy had beautifully glazed it.

Use whatever sweet pastry recipe you like to make the tart case. The one I use is:

330g plain flour
100g icing sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
180g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cold water

Put the flour, icing sugar, and salt into a bowl and add the cold butter. Rub it in with your hands or use a food processor. With both techniques you need to get a coarse breadcrumb consistency, making sure there aren't any big lumps of butter left.
Add the egg yolk and water and mix until the dough just comes together, being very careful not to mix any longer than necessary, you may need to add a splash more water if it is still too dry.
Remove the dough and kneed very lightly to shape it into a smooth disc about 5-6cm thick. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 30 mins or until ready to use. The pastry will keep in the fridge for a week, or a month in the freezer.
When ready, roll out the pastry and gently place into a 23cm tart tin, when ready prick the bottom a few times with a fork and place in the fridge to chill for another 30 mins.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180˚C fan or 160˚C gas. Remove the pastry from the fridge and line the tin with baking parchment making sure plenty is overlapping the sides, fill with baking beans or you can use any pulses or rice which can then be used again. Place in the oven for 15-20 mins to blind bake until the pastry feels dry in the base, then remove the paper carefully taking all the beans out. Pop the tart back in the oven for about 5 mins until it looks a little golden and then remove and set aside.

For the filling
350g ground almonds
300g caster sugar
300g unsalted butter at room temp
3 eggs
tbsp of something boozy like cointreau 

around 15 apricots, sliced into quarters
2 tbsp caster sugar and a big glug of cointreau

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. After you have sliced the apricots put them in a bowl and sprinkle the sugar over and alcohol and let sit until you have finished making the almond mix.

Put the butter and sugar together in a big bowl and using an electric whisk, whisk until pale and creamy, slowly add the eggs one by one and whatever booze you decide on until combined then fold in the almonds. When all mixed in spoon it into your tart case and arrange the apricots on top nice and prettily. Bake in the oven for around an hour, you want the almond mix to become a bit golden and for it to not be wobbly in the middle. Let it chill for about half an hour and serve with ice cream or crème fraîche.

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