This is my favourite type of French fruit tart, even more so than apple tart! Our local Patisserie makes a wonderful Tarte aux Abricots, but they are quite expensive and VERY large, much too big for the two of us when we have no B and B guests! So, I have been tinkering in the kitchen again, and have come up with this recipe. You MUST use fresh apricots for this - tinned ones are too soft and too sweet. Plus, I love the slightly tart flavour that the fresh apricots lend to the flavours of this tart. The ground almonds are scattered over the base of the short crust pastry case to stop it becoming soggy during cooking; they also provide a complimentary flavour to the apricots. A classic French tart that will make a delightful ending to any special meal or for afternoon tea. Serve this tart with fresh whipped cream or crème fraiche.
- 75 g cold unsalted butter
- 175 g plain flour, sieved
- zest of a lemon
- 14.79 ml caster sugar
- 1 egg
- splash cold water
- 650 g fresh apricots, not too ripe
- 29.58 ml soft light brown sugar
- 88.74 ml ground almonds
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 50 g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- 200 ml double cream or 200 ml whipping cream
- 73.94 ml apricot jam
- icing sugar
- fresh edible flower
- creme fraiche or cream
- Heat oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6. To make the pastry place the cold butter into a food processor with the sieved flour and lemon zest. Blitz until the mixture becomes the texture of breadcrumbs.
- Whisk the sugar into the egg then pour into the machine with a splash of water. Blitz just long enough for the mixture to form a ball. Remove with your hands and ensure you have a nice firm ball by moulding with your hands. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Meanwhile halve and stone your apricots then place on a baking tray cut side up. Sprinkle all over with the light brown sugar then bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they are soft to the point of a knife but not falling apart.
- Roll out and line a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin with the pastry. Chill again for ideally an hour but a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Once rested prick all over the base with a fork then line with parchment paper and follow with baking beans. Bake blind for 15-20 minutes until the base is just beginning to crisp but has not browned. Remove the beans and allow to cool.
- Sprinkle the ground almonds all over the base then top with a layer of apricots. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Remove the vanilla seeds from the pod and whisk into the egg mixture along with the double cream or whipping cream.
- Place the tart onto a baking tray then carefully pour over the custard mixture. Place in the oven for 15 minutes then lower the heat to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4 for a further 15-20 minutes when the custard should be set and a lovely golden colour.
- For the Glaze: Warm the jam and allow to cool just above room temperature and then pour or spoon it over the tart.
- Allow to cool before slicing and serving with crème fraîche, plenty of icing sugar and some edible flowers.