Apricot Tart

Serves 4-6

  • 375g ready-rolled puff pastry, chilled
  • 1 egg, beaten, for glazing
  • 500g ripe apricots, halved and stoned, the stones reserved
  • 100g apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed
  • lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • sifted icing sugar to decorate (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 220oC (425oF), Gas 7.
  2. Unroll the pastry and cut out a circle 25 cm in diameter. Re-roll the offcuts and make 4 strips about 2 x 25 cm. Set aside.
  3. Transfer the pastry to a lightly oiled baking tray. Leaving a 2 cm border all around, prick the rest of the pastry with a fork.
  4. Brush the unpricked border of the pastry with the beaten egg. Place the pastry strips on it, cutting the ends to be joined on the diagonal and pressing them neatly together. These will puff up when baked, and act like a wall around the fruit. Brush beaten egg all over the pastry, including the pricked area. Bake blind for 20 minutes, or until golden and risen at the edges. Prick once again.
  5. Meanwhile, crack open 6 of the apricot stones. Remove and shred the kernels. Cut each apricot half into 6 segments. Arrange them, flesh upwards, on the pastry. Scatter the shredded kernels over the top.
  6. Put the jam and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Using a pastry brush, paint this glaze all over the fruit. Sprinkle on the vanilla sugar, then bake for 20 minutes, until the apricots are soft, fragrant and slightly browned at the tips. Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar, if liked.

Vanilla Sugar

Bury 2 or 3 vanilla pods in a jar of caster sugar and leave for 1 week, after which the sugar will take on the aroma of vanilla. Or, for a quick version, grind 3 tablespoons caster sugar with a small piece of vanilla pod in a clean coffee grinder.

Credits

These recipes are from Lazy Days and Beach Blankets: Simple Alfresco Dining with Family and Friends, published in hardback by Ryland, Peters & Small and available from all good book retailers priced at £19.99.