Rustic French Apricot Tart
By Gill Murray
This week I am photographing from Provence. The summer season in Provence is a beautiful time and since I arrived, apricots are in abundance. From street side vendors to market stalls with apricots piled high, I couldn't resist filling my basket and making a classic French Apricot Tart.
There are so many varieties of apricots cultivated in France all with different flavours, textures and colours, whether orangey or golden. However no matter the variety, they taste absolutely delicious. The British apricot season is from May to September so similarly these delicious fruits are in abundance in our shops right now. When picking apricots you want to look for those ones with a little bit of red blush on their skin.
To me summer means fresh fruit tarts and I love this tart for its sweet flaky crust which is perfect for the cream base. This tart makes the perfect desert served with a scoop of ice cream.
- For the Sweet Crust Base
- 225g plain flour
- 110g butter
- 80g sugar
- 1 egg
- For the Filling
- 500g apricots
- 175g sugar
- good pinch of salt
- 1 egg beaten
- 120ml creme fraiche
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lavender flavoured honey
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan and set aside.
- To make the pastry, combine the butter into the flour using your fingers until it resembles crumbs. Add in the sugar then beat in the egg with 1tsp cold water and gather together to make a soft dough. Roll out your dough, then transfer the dough to your tart pan and using your fingers press evenly around the bottom and edges of your pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the dough is slightly set (circa 10-15 minutes). Bring out of the oven and set about making the filling.
- Halve the apricots by running a blade around the kernel following the line of the fruits natural dimple then gently twist apart and flip out the stone. Pop the halved apricots in a bowl and mix with the sugar and pinch of salt
- Meanwhile make the filling. In a bowl, combine the creme fraiche, egg, extracts, honey and whisk to blend together. Add in the flour and whisk to mix together.
- Pour the filling evenly over the pastry and then neatly overlap the apricot halves, cut side up in circles around the tart working towards the middle.
- Place the tart in the oven and bake for around 45 minutes or until the filling is firm and the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Serve with a dollop of your favourite ice cream.