Every French P?tisserie displays these delicious, stunning tarts and they are surprisingly easy to make. Fresh apricots have a slight tartness, which make a lovely contrast, but you can use tinned apricots when they are out of season.
This dessert makes an eyecatching centrepiece for any special occasion.
We used a 27cm (10??) loose-based Continental Flan, but you could make individual tarts or reduce the recipe for a smaller tart. Recipe serves 10.
Make the pastry by hand or in a food processor
Aerate the flour by sifting the flour and salt together, through a sieve into a large mixing bowl.
Add the butter or margarine and using only your fingertips, lightly rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle on the cold water, a little at a time, and using a rounded knife tip, mix to form a stiff dough, which will leave the bowl cleanly. (You may not need to use all of the water or may need a few extra drops.)
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it a little to make it smooth and even. Wrap it in Clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes ? this prevents shrinking during cooking.
Using a Food Processor
The secret here is to not over-process and overheat the pastry, which makes it oily. The metal blade should be used.
Sieve the flour and salt into the bowl of the processor and mix by pulsing 2 or 3 times.
Add the cold butter or margarine and pulse or run at medium speed until the mixture just forms fine crumbs (about 5 ? 10 seconds)
With the processor running slowly, add the cold water, a tablespoon at a time, through the feed tube ? the mixture should just bind together in less than a minute. Don't over-process and stop immediately the mixture forms a ball.
If the mixture doesn't bind, add a little extra cold water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it binds. Remove the dough from the bowl; wrap it in Clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes? this prevents shrinking during cooking.
Now place a baking sheet in the oven and pre-heat the oven to 180?C (350F, Gas 4).
Baking the Pastry Cases
The pastry case is ?baked blind?, that is, it is baked before it is filled. This prevents the filling soaking into the pastry and keeps the base crisp.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use it to line the flan tin. Prick the bottom with a fork to allow any trapped air to escape during baking. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and carefully fill with baking beans.
Place in the preheated oven on the baking sheet and bake for 10 ? 15 minutes or until the pastry is set and the rim is golden. Carefully lift out the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack and leave in the tin.
Preparing the Cr?me P?tissi?re Filling
Put the eggs, sugar and plain flour into a mixing bowl and add a little of the milk. Using a whisk, mix until smooth.
Pour the remaining milk into a saucepan; heat to almost boiling and then pour into the bowl of mixture. Continue to whisk and then return to the saucepan. Place over a gentle heat and stir continuously until thickened.
Remove from the heat and mix in a few drops of vanilla extract to taste and the Cointreau or brandy. Pour into a bowl and press Clingfilm onto the surface of the cr?me p?tissi?re to stop a skin forming. Leave to cool.
When cool, spread the filling out smoothly with a spatula in the pastry case.
Preparing the Topping
Place the apricots, cut side down in a large saucepan with the lemon juice, water and sugar. Replace the lid, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 3-4 minutes, until soft.
Carefully remove the apricots with a slotted spoon, allowing the juice to drain back into the pan. Place them on kitchen roll and leave to cool.
Mix the Cointreau or brandy with the cornflour in a small bowl to a smooth paste and add to the apricot/lemon juice in the saucepan. Bring back to the boil and heat, stirring continuously until thickened. Add a little extra water if too thick.
Arrange the apricots cut-side down on the cr?me p?tissi?re filling and then spoon over the hot topping, making sure that all of the apricots are fully coated. Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the tart and leave to stand until cool.
Remove from the tart tin by standing on a small bowl and gently ease the body down from the pastry. Carefully slide the tart off the tin base onto a serving plate.
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 recipe (28045g)|
|Recipe Makes: 4|
|Calories from Fat: 6827 (35%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 758.6g||1011 %|
|Saturated Fat 414.5g||2073 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 111.5g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 32.4g|
|Cholesterol 8573.8mg||2638 %|
|Sodium 17299.1mg||597 %|
|Potassium 49851.3mg||1312 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 1882.8g||554 %|
|Dietary Fiber 32.1g||128 %|
|Sugars, other 1850.7g|
|Protein 1210.8g||1730 %|
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Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 19248
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