Dried apricot tart

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The basement flat was the start of my love affair with upside-down tarts, which are so easy, and the pastry beneath never soggy as it has been cooked on top. For appearance, I like to use the orange-coloured dried apricots here, rather than the natural dark brown ones. Serve the tart with crème fraîche.

Ingredients

For the short pastry

  • 200 g plain flour
  • 160 g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • pinch of salt
  • 5-6 tablespoons ice-cold water

For the filling

  • 250 g ready-to-eat dried apricots
  • 50 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 100 g golden caster sugar
  • finely grated rind of 1 orange
  • melted butter for brushing

Method

To make the pastry, tip the flour and butter into a food processor and pulse a few times until the butter is roughly incorporated into the flour and the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs; don’t over-process - there should still be small pieces of butter visible. Add enough water to just bring the pastry together, pulsing very briefly. Tip the pastry out onto a work surface and bring together into a ball. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for about an hour before using.

In the meantime, soak the dried apricots in warm water to cover for about 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.

Smear the bottom and sides of a 25 cm round flan dish (not a loose-based one) with the butter. Sprinkle the caster sugar all over the butter and scatter the grated orange rind on top. Drain the apricots; they will probably be whole, so open them up to make two halves. Arrange the apricots outer side down in neat circles on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a round, a little larger than the size of the flan dish. Lift the pastry over the filled flan dish and press the overlapping edges firmly down inside the edge of the dish. Brush the pastry with a little melted butter and pierce with a knife or skewer, making two or three holes to let steam escape.

Bake the tart in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes, then lower the setting to 150°C/Gas 2 and bake for a further 35-40 minutes. Leave the tart to cool slightly, then turn out upside-down onto a flat serving plate. Eat while still warm.

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