The greengrocers was selling massive boxes of perfectly ripe Apricots.
I was seduced by their intoxicating scent and colour, pale orange with
just a blush of pink and tasty globular sunset. I know I bang on about seasonal and local so in the interest of transparency I confess these are Spanish, Apricots do not grow very well in the UK which is a pity because they are one of my favourite fruits. So not local but definitely seasonal , only available for the summer months
I could happily have eaten an entire box, but I have not made a new dessert for a long time and cooking apricots intensifies the flavour.
I opted for Tart Tatin , described as an upside down tart. Traditionally made with apples this is a classic French dessert. However cutting apricots in half a removing the pits is a whole lot quicker and easier than peeling and coring apples. So this is a quick and speedy seasonal version, you could use peaches or plums too.
In this version the pastry is more crumbly than a traditional pastry dish , it is self saucing forming a sweet caramel topping spiced with chilli and star anise perfectly paired with tart apricots
For such an impressive looking tart this is really easy to make though there is always that slight tense bit as you turn it upside down to serve. Do not be tempted to leave it to cool since the caramel will set hard and make it impossible to turn out.
Apricot Tart Tatin
250g plain flour
125 g soft salted butter
100 g caster sugar
500g of apricots
170 g demerara sugar
50 g butter
1 tsp pinches of red chilli flakes or powder
5 star anise
- To form the dough mix the flour and butter to form breadcrumbs, add the sugar and the egg. Place the dough in the fridge for a few hours
- Cut the apricots in half and pit.
- Mix together the butter and sugar, add the chilli flakes. Place the mix in the bottom of a 30cm diameter tart dish
- Place the apricots with the round side down in the mix intersperse with the whole star anise
- Roll out the dough 3/4cm
- Cover the apricot with the rolled out dough.
- Cook for 40 minutes at 200° C.
- Turn immediately upside down on a plate.
- Serve hot with creme or creme fraiche.