Saturday, 4 August 2007

Apricot, Lemon and Almond Tart

We try to eat as seasonally as possible. When we spied a bowlful of apricots at our local market, we took them home (£1 a bowl, who would say no?) and only later put our minds to finding a way to use them. Out came different cookbooks, and in The River Cafe Cookbook we found this Apricot, Lemon, and Almond Tart.There is an incredible amount of butter that goes into this, according to the recipe; so much so that I was astounded by the idea of eating a slice of the thing. The version we made used 250g of butter rather than the 300g called for, though even then it was still very, very buttery and the house smelled like there was a dairy farm out back. Another quibble I would have with the recipe is that it calls for the cake to be placed in a pastry. I found the pastry didn't add anything to it and would have rather just had the filling as a cake (as we did with the leftovers, placing them in ramekins). It was a very good filling, though, and a good way to give those apricots a sending off. I'll give the whole recipe, and you can chose whether or not to tart it up or cake it out.Apricot, Lemon, and Almond Tart
Cooks in a 30cm tart dish (or cake dish)

For pastry

  • 350 g flour
  • 255 g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 3 large eggs
For filling
  • 450 g fresh, ripe apricots
  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 300 g finely ground almonds
  • juice and grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  1. Blitz the flour and butter for the pastry in a blender, until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs
  2. Add sugar, salt, and egg yolks and blend the mixture until it leaves the side of the bowl
  3. Make into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and stick in the fridge for an hour
  4. After an hour, grate the pastry into the tin using the largest holes in a cheese grater.
  5. Quickly press the pastry around the tin so that it's even, working quickly to keep it cool.
  6. Return to the fridge for 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 180 C, and bake the pastry for 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely.
  8. Start the filling by cutting the apricots in half and removing the pit, then place them cut side down on the pastry.
  9. Using a blender, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and light.
  10. Add the almonds and pulse to combine, and slowly add the grated lemon peel and juice while still pulsing.
  11. Stir in the eggs one at a time.
  12. Pour over the apricots, and smooth out to make even
  13. Bake for 40 minutes.

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