Unlike the English gentleman of the 19th century who always kept an apricot tart on his sideboard every day of the year, I make this about once a month. Actually, I assemble it, because it is a joint venture of my wife and me – she makes the pastry and the crème pâtissière, whilst I add the apricots and the glaze. It requires a loose-based pie tin of 25 cms diameter, to make a pastry case which is “baked blind”.
Pastry for 6 – 8 servings.
220 g village flour
110 g butter
A little water
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C
- Sift the flour into a bowl.
- Cut the butter into small chunks and lightly but quickly rub into the flour until the mixture is like breadcrumbs.
- Add a few drops of water and mix into flour/butter mixture until a good stiff dough is formed.
- Roll out to fit a 25 cms round pastry tin, which you have rubbed with a little butter.
- Cut away surplus pastry.
- Put a circular piece of grease-proof paper on the pastry and cover with baking beans to present pastry from rising whilst baking.
- Put pastry tin in centre of oven and bake for 15 minutes
- Take out the tin and remove the baking beans and grease-proof paper and return pastry to the oven for about another 5 minutes or until it is nicely gold.
- Decant from the tin and set aside.
60 cl milk
120 g caster sugar
60 g plain flour
1 level tbsp corn flour
2 large eggs, beaten
50 g unsalted butter
- Warm the milk on a low heat.
- In a bowl mix together sugar, corn-flour, the beaten eggs
- Stir in the warm milk slowly and mix well.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat over a low heat until it starts to thicken, and comes to boiling point.
- Take the pan off the stove and stir the butter in well. Add a couple of drops of a good vanilla essence if you wish.
- Cover the pan and leave it to cool.
Take 36 – 40 dried apricots, put in a pan and pour boiling water over them. Cover and leave for an hour, when they should be quite tender. Remove from the water and slice in half (slice along the longest side to make two flat halves)
The Glaze: 3 tbsps Cyprus apricot jam and one tbsp of lemon juice.
- Spread the Crème Pâtissière evenly in the pastry case.
- From the outside edge lay the half slices of apricot, cut side upwards, slightly overlapping them.
- Continue in circles until you have covered the entire area of Crème Pâtissière.
- Prepare the glaze by putting the apricot jam and lemon juice into a small pan and heat, stirring until bubbling. Keep bubbling and stirring until a little of the glaze put on to a cold plate doesn’t run (but is not too stiff)
- With a pastry brush, gently apply the glaze evenly across the top of the apricots.
- Leave the tart to rest for half an hour and then enjoy, with cream or vanilla ice-cream.