Apricot and Soured Cream Tart with Orange Pastry

There is something very special about the strong taste of dried apricots. In the winter when fruit is so limited they are invaluable for all sorts of puddings. This is a delicious layered tart. You must prepare the dried apricots in advance. Soak ¾ lb (350 g) in cold water for at least an hour. Then stew in a covered dish in a moderate oven Gas 5 (375°F/19(TC) with 4 oz sugar (110 g) and water to cover for about 1½ hours. Cool.

Ingredients

    For the Pastry

  • 8 oz plain flour (225 g)
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 4 oz butter or margarine (110 g)
  • 2 oz lard (50 g)
  • grated rind of one orange
  • orange juice

For the Filling

  • ½ pint soured cream (275 ml)
  • ¾ lb dried stewed apricots (350 g)
  • 4 oz sugar (110 g)

Method

Butter a shallow 9 in (23 cm) flan dish. To make the pastry sift the flour and icing sugar into a mixing bowl, cut in the fat and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated orange rind. Squeeze out the orange juice and slowly stir into the pastry with a knife until the mixture just begins to stick together. Gather into a ball and refrigerate for half an hour or more. Heat oven to Gas 6 (400°F/200°C). Roll pastry out and line flan dish. Put a piece of foil on top filled with dry beans or rice and bake ‘blind’ for 20–25 minutes. Take out and pour the soured cream into the pastry case. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes. Cool. Drain the stewed apricots and put the juice in a saucepan. Arrange the apricots on top of the soured cream. Add sugar to the juice and boil up rapidly until it thickens. Cool slightly and spoon over apricots. Cool and serve.

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