The day before: make 1.1 litres/2 pt of sweet jasmine tea by putting the sugar and tea in a jug and pouring over boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar, leave to stand for 5 minutes and then pour through a sieve over the apricots in a bowl. Leave to soak for a minimum of 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Add the sweet white wine to the soaking apricots, put in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve and leave the apricots to cool.
Transfer 140 g/5 oz of the butter from the refrigerator to the freezer and chill for 20 minutes. Then dice.
Sift the flour into a food processor. Add the butter dice and the pinch of salt and whizz briefly to a crumb texture. With the motor running, add 1-2 tablespoons of cold water through the feeder tube until the pastry balls. It is important to use the minimum amount of water. Clingwrap and put to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Transfer to a floured surface and roll out into a rectangular strip roughly 2½ times longer than its width.
Cut the remaining butter into small dice and dot two-thirds of the rectangle, leaving a 2.5 cm/1 in strip clear around the edge with half of it. Fold one end to the middle and then the other end over that. Roll out to the same shape, fold as before, cling-wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Transfer to a floured surface and repeat the whole rolling, dotting and folding process, this time starting the rolling at right angles to the previous direction. If the butter starts to come through the surface, sprinkle with flour. Fold, wrap and refrigerate overnight.
About 40 minutes before you plan to serve:
Arrange the apricots down the centre, slightly overlapping and leaving a border of 2.5 cm/1 in. Brush the pastry border with beaten egg yolk and dust the apricots with cinnamon.
Serve warm with crème fraiche, double cream or vanilla ice-cream. If you can get hold of clotted cream then this is arguably the nicest of all accompaniments.
© 1995 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.