Apricots are in abundance at my local farmer's market and greengrocer right now. I love eating them fresh from the hand - with that burst of soft, sweet tasting flesh. Sometimes they have been picked a little too early and that's when they're perfect for baking into a tart.
I adore a streusel crumble topping on cakes, muffins and pies... and this one combines Australian macadamias with almond meal. The receipt may be long and the process may seem fiddly faddly, but it's well worth the effort. My recipe will provide you with a cracking good sweet shortcrust pastry! Happy baking ♥
APRICOT CRUMBLE TART
For the sweet shortcrust pastry (Pâte Sucrée):
200g plain (AP) flour
3 tablespoons pure icing sugar
100g unsalted butter, chilled, diced
1 free-range egg, whisked
1-2 teaspoons cold water, if needed
You will also need:
1/2 cup almond meal or rice crumbs (for the base of the tart when filled)
icing sugar, to finish
cream or ice cream, to serve
To make the pastry by hand, combine the plain flour, icing sugar and butter in a large bowl and rub the butter into the sifted dry ingredients with your fingers, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If it's a summer's day or your kitchen is too warm, use a pastry cutter rather than your fingers, as the heat will melt the butter a little too quickly.
Add the egg and work the dough gently, add a teaspoon or two of water if it feels a little dry. Turn the pastry out onto a board or bench that you've dusted lightly with flour. Form the dough into a ball, taking care not to overwork or knead the dough (as the gluten will develop and it will become tough). Wrap your pastry in cling film and refrigerate it for half an hour. NB: the dough can be frozen at this stage too. You can make the pastry in a food processor, or your Cuisine Companion (scroll down for details).
Lightly grease a 26cm/10-inch pie dish or tart pan. Roll out the pastry and press it into base and up the sides of the prepared tin, allowing more pastry at the sides (for shrinkage). Prick the bottom of the pie shell with a fork and chill it under you are ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Line the pastry shell with a sheet of baking parchment, pour in some baking beads (or rice), and blind bake the pastry until it's golden, 10-15 minutes. Remove the baking paper and beans, and allow the pastry base to cool.
For the apricot filling:
700g fresh apricots, sliced and de-stoned
40g vanilla-infused caster sugar
juice and zest of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla
To make the apricot filling, combine the ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat and poach gently for 5-10 minutes. Take care not to cook the apricots to mush. (If you happen to overcook, or if the mixture is too runny, you can thicken it with a little cornflour mixed with water). Set the cooked apricots aside to cool.
For the crumble/streusel topping:
40g macadamias, chopped
40g ground almonds
100g plain (AP) flour
40g vanilla-infused caster sugar
70g unsalted butter
To make the crumble topping, combine the ingredients in Pyrex bowl and mix with your fingers, rubbing in the butter, until the mixture is crumbly.
To assemble and bake your tart:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Sprinkle the rice crumbs or almond meal over the base of the pre-cooked tart shell. Spoon the cooked apricots evenly into the base, smoothing over with the back of a spoon. Next, sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the topping is golden. Dust lightly with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of cream or vanilla-bean ice cream. Serves 8. Store the tart in an airtight container.
Preparation and cooking time: allow two hours.
To make the pastry in your Tefal #CuisineCompanion:
Place the flour, icing sugar and butter in the bowl fitted with the kneading/crushing blade. Mix on speed 8 for one minute or until it resembles breadcrumbs. With the machine running, add the egg, followed by 1-2 teaspoons of water, through the opening on the lid. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula if necessary, and mix on speed 8 for a minute longer or until mixture comes together. To make the tart, proceed with the instructions outlined above.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Aussie Summer stonefruit for sending me a tray of fruit to play with. And thank you also to Australian Macadamias for keeping me supplied with macadamia nuts.
If you love apricots, you might also enjoy:
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.