The perfect dessert to serve at the end of a meal or for breakfast (which is what I made it for), this tart is both delicate and delicious. It comprises two main parts: a sweet shortcrust pastry and a frangipane custard, which is a traditional custard flavoured with ground almonds. From start to finish it merely took me one and a half hour to make it and bake it, and that includes chilling times!
The original recipe also asked for a long rectangular fluted tin (approximately 12 x 35cm), but the same tart would look just as good in a round one.
Ingredients (for the pastry)
- 200g plain flour
- 60g icing sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 100g butter, chilled and cubed
Ingredients (for the frangipane custard and decoration)
- 70g ground almonds
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 60g icing sugar
- 20g plain flour
- 30g butter, at room temperature
- 300ml whole milk
- 1 orange, zest of
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- 1 x tin apricot halves in juice
- First of all, start with the pastry. Sift the flour and icing sugar in a big bowl, then add the cubed butter and work it in using your fingertips by rubbing it with the flour and sugar. You should aim for a sandy texture. If you haven’t already, have a look at my shortcrust tutorial. Alternatively, you can put the ingredients in a food processor and whiz until combined.
- Crack the egg in a small bowl and lightly whisk it with a fork. Start adding it little by little to the flour and butter mixture and work that in. You might not need the whole egg. Don’t overwork your pastry but only ensure it is smooth and evenly combined. Wrap it in clingfilm, flatten it slightly and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Now move on to the custard. In a saucepan, combine the egg, egg yolks and icing sugar. Whisk the ingredients together with a balloon whisk, then sift in the flour and whisk that in too. Slowly pour in the milk, then combine the ingredients.
- Put the saucepan on a medium heat and keep on stirring with a balloon whisk until slightly thickened. This might take between 10 and 15 minutes. Do not be tempted to increase the heat or your eggs will scramble!
- Once thickened nicely, remove from the heat and stir in the ground almonds, orange zest and softened butter. Lightly scatter the top surface with some caster sugar and set aside.
- In the meantime, drain the apricot halves from the liquid and pat-dry on kitchen paper. I found the tins I buy yield exactly 12 apricot halves, which is perfect.
- When the pastry is thoroughly chilled, remove from the fridge and from the clingfilm, set between two pieces of baking parchment and start rolling out to the thickness of a pound coin. When ready, transfer to the fluted tin and press gently on the sides. Trim any excess pastry by passing the rolling pin on the tin. Chill for another 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C and put a baking sheet in the oven to warm up.
- When your pastry case has hardened again, prick the base with a fork, then pour in the frangipane custard and spread it around. Arrange the apricot halves in rows of two all over the surface and lightly press into the custard. Bake for 35 minutes until slightly golden.
- Turn the oven down to 150C and bake for a further 15 minutes, to ensure the case is baked all the way through. Remove from the oven and, while still warm, use a pastry brush to spread the apricot jam on top. Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin.