I cried over this tart. And not in a “I’m in raptures over how amazing this tastes” kind of way. No, I cried when I got the blind baked pastry shell out of the oven and proceeded to stick my finger right through the base. Impressive skills. So, yeah, crying over a pastry case. I think some perspective is in order.
Anyway, I’m not sure this tart is worth crying over but it tasted pretty delicious. A box of apricots turned up in my veg box which immediately got me fretting, as apricots invariably disappoint. Inspiration was derived from a friend who served up a most delicious apricot and almond tart which was liberally embellished with Amaretto. The taste of apricots intensify once they have been baked and this seemed a good way of making them taste of something. So I set about basically re-creating this tart. No originality here.
Apricots and almonds are very happy bedfellows. And the addition of Amaretto really amps up that relationship. And anyway, Amaretto custard? Bloody delicious. You’ll see from the picture that it’s slightly well done around the edges. This could have definitely done with 5 minutes less, as reflected in the instructions below.
I didn’t make my own sweet pastry for this. Me and pastry. We don’t always get on. So Jus-Rol happily came to the rescue. Until I stuck my finger through it of course…
Apricot and almond custard tart – fills an approx. 20cm tart case
1 pre-baked pastry case (see below)
8 small or 5-6 large apricots
180ml double cream (or around 3/4 cup)
2 egg yolks and one egg
6tbsp caster sugar
4tbsp ground almonds
1/2tsp vanilla essence
2tbsp plain flour
Pinch of salt
1. For your tart shell, follow the pack instructions, which usually involve pre-heating your oven to 180C, rolling out your pastry to just under 5mm thick. And then filling your tart case and blind baking (filling the tart with baking beans or similar) for 15 mins, then removing the beans and baking for a further 10-15mins until the pastry is dry to the touch and golden. Always try and have an overhang of pastry to counter and shrinkage in the pastry. Once baked, have the case set aside and ready to be filled.
2. Pre-heat your oven to 180C. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks and sugar until all combined and slightly paler in colour. Whisk in the cream until all combined. Then add the Amaretto, vanilla essence, flour and pinch of sugar. Whisk until all fully combined.
3. Halve the apricots and remove the stones. Place the apricots cut side down in the pastry case, filling it up so that they are evenly spaced and covering the whole of the case.
4. Sprinkle the ground almonds in and around the apricots. Place the tart case on a baking tray or sheet that you can easily transfer into the oven. This is much less precarious compared to pouring in your filling and then picking up and trying to transport it to the oven by hand without spilling it.
5. Pour your filling into your tart case, filling it up to around 1cm below the height of the tart shell. You will probably have leftover filling. Make custard with it. Place your baking sheet with tart shell in the oven and bake for around 30 mins. The tart should feel set around the edges with a hint of give in the centre. Give it a few more minutes if it still feels quite liquid.
6. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature with some cream.
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