The reasons why I decide to devise something new are many and varied.
Our Abel and Cole fruit and vegetable box, by choice, usually has our favourite fruit staples: apples, bananas, pears. This week I chose to skip the bananas so we ended up with this beautiful punnet of apricots.
As soon as all the holiday unpacking and washing was done I was keen to go and try out my new studio, so I went to take a photograph of them for you. I strew around a few of the herbs that have sprouted whilst we have been away too.
I wanted to bake the apricots to retain their colour and shape, yet give them an extra sweet gooeyness to contrast with their ‘tartness’. I was really pleased with the plum frangipane tart I made a while back so that was my next decision made: Frangipane Filling.
Individual tarts cook more evenly…and better for sharing too: Small tarts it is.
The only decision left was how to eat them.
‘With a cup of tea’ works well, as does ‘dusted with icing sugar’ and my personal favourite: ‘straight from the oven.’
I also find that ‘down in one’ is quite successful too.
On you go…
Honeyed Apricot Tarts
You will need half a ripe apricot for each tart. Some I dipped into boiling water and skinned and placed domed side up, the others I left the skin on and just squidged them into the filling.
Tart Pastry – enough to make 24 tarts but I just make 12 at a time
150g Plain Flour
100g SR Flour
50g Icing Sugar
175g Fat – good quality butter but with a little lard to shorten it say 125g/50g
1 egg whisked with a dash of milk (you may not need all of this)
Mix the flours and icing sugar then rub in the fat. This is much easier in the Magimix.
Add most of the milk/egg mixture and stir until it starts to come together, add more if needed
Pull the dough into a ball and wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.
Roll out so it’s slightly thicker than a pound coin
Cut and place pastry circles in a non-stick bun tin*
If you have time put these in the freezer for an hour or so then blind bake**
*I found the ones that I used a larger pastry cutter for worked out best…not as pretty as the small scalloped ones, but the deeper cases have space for more of the lovely soft filling.
**You could miss out the full on blind baking if you want, just prick the base and cook in a hot oven for 10 minutes to cook the pastry. I blind baked these ones by freezing them until firm, then I put fairy cake cases in them and added baking beans. I baked them for 15-20 minutes at 165 degrees C and another 5-7 minutes without the cases – reduce this time by half if your cases are not frozen. The aim is to get the pastry cooked but only vaguely coloured.
For the Frangipane (This makes 12, double it up to make 24 to use ALL the pastry)
60g Butter, softened
60g Clear Honey – plus extra for drizzles
50g Ground Almonds
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
30g Double Cream
Whisk the soft butter, honey, vanilla, ground almonds, and the egg in a large bowl (I used my Magimix) until smooth. Stir in the cream gently.
Add a small dessertspoonful of the frangipane into each tart case, top with half an apricot. Drizzle the apricot with a teaspoon of clear honey.
Bake for 20 minutes at 170 degrees C. When they come out of the oven you can glaze the tart with any melted honey left in the dimple of the apricot by spooning it back over the top with a teaspoon.