by Angela Patel
I love seeing fresh velvety apricots in the greengrocers at this time of year. They are such an underrated summer fruit with a sweet, slightly tart flavour and wonderful orange colour. They can be used in an abundance of sweet and savoury recipes from tarts and pies to chutneys and salads.
One of my favourite ways to serve up these beauties is in a super easy apricot and almond tart. Forget the fuss of rolling out pastry, lining a flan tin and baking blind - instead simply go for the more rustic look of a free form tart. Finish off with a glossy apricot jam glaze and serve with a scoop vanilla ice cream for a delicious summery dessert.
Kitchen tools needed:
- Zyliss Chopping Board
- Zyliss Serrated Knife
- Zyliss Non-stick Carbon Steel Baking Sheet Tray
- Zyliss Silicone Basting Brush
- Zyliss Ice Cream Scoop
Prep: 40 mins, plus chilling time
Cook: 35-40 mins
For the pastry:
- 175 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 50 g ground almonds
- 125 g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 50 g icing sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
For the filling and glaze:
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 1 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 7-8 fresh apricots, halved, stones removed and sliced
- 3 tbsp apricot jam
- Ice cream, to serve
1 To make the pastry, place the flour, ground almonds, butter and icing sugar in a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse briefly until a soft dough is formed. Take care not to over mix at this stage, the dough should be a little rough and crumbly.
2 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very gently until just smooth. Wrap in cling film and flatten and shape to a 2cm thick disc. Chill in the fridge for 30-40 minutes (see Tips).
3 Preheat the oven to to 190°C/170°C fan/Gas Mark 5. Place the baking sheet in the oven to heat up (this will give a boost of heat to the pastry as soon as it goes into the oven ensuring a lovely crisp cooked through base – no soggy bottoms here!).
4 Cut a rectangular sheet of baking paper about 25cm x 30cm. Unwrap the pastry and place on the paper. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the pastry out evenly to the edges of the paper, don’t worry if the edges are slightly uneven.
5 To fill the tart, mix together the ground almonds, caster sugar and cornflour in a small bowl. Spread the mixture over the pastry sheet leaving a 2-3cm border all around the edges. Arrange the apricot slices in rows on top of the almond mixture. Gently fold the pastry border over the edges of the apricots (see Tips). Sprinkle the apricot slices with about 1tbsp of caster sugar.
6 Carefully slide the filled tart (still on the baking paper) onto the preheated baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.
7 Meanwhile to make the glaze, heat the apricot jam and 2-3tsp of water in a small pan until the jam has melted (or microwave on High for 1 minute). Cool for 1-2 minutes then push through a fine-holed sieve to make a smooth glaze.
8 While the tart is still hot, brush the warm glaze liberally over the apricots. Serve the tart warm or cold, sliced and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if liked.
This almond pastry is rich, buttery and crumbly so will need chilling until it is firm but still pliable enough to roll out. You can make it a couple of days in advance and keep chilled in the fridge - allow it to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before rolling out.
When folding in the pastry border don’t worry if the pastry cracks or sticks a little – just patch any holes up by pinching together gently with floured fingers.
Sliced peaches, nectarines or plums will work just as well for the filling in this fruity tart. Add a sprinkling of toasted flaked almonds or chopped pistachios to the warm tart before serving, if liked.