The tart is the go-to dish of the French. Someone coming over for lunch? Make a tart. Need a quick desert? Make a tart. Got a bunch of leftover stuff you want to use up?
Make a tart.
So, if there is one thing I’ve had to perfect while living in France, it’s the art of the tart. There’s a French phrase – “C’est pas de la tarte” – which means that something is difficult and comes from the idea that ‘la tarte’ is the easiest possible thing to make. They French clearly have never experienced the joy that is baked beans on toast.
So, I’ve been making quite a lot of tarts. My first try was a success, amazingly, considering I didn’t have a rolling pin so I sort of had to mash my (home-made) pastry into the sides of the tin, squishing down lumps with a wine glass along the way. Since then, I’ve tried many tarts and I am fast getting into the whole French mentality of tarts being a go-to meal, dessert, snack, anything.
The other day we were having meatballs for dinner and I wanted something light as a desert. After searching for an apricot tart recipe I found all of them a bit too heavy, buttery or sugary for my liking so I instead decided to make one up. Keeping in mind that I don’t really do measurements and tend to sort of make it up as I go along, here is my simple and light apricot tart recipe.
The Pastry (pâte feuilletée / puff pastry)
Now, I could make puff pastry. I know I could. And yes, I quite like the idea of smooshing a giant block of butter and all the folding joy that comes with making puff pastry but well, I don’t want to. France makes it so easy to not make if from scratch, by providing these perfectly sized round sheets of puff pastry that you just roll on out, that it would be rude not to. My excitement when I first encountered these was matched only by my amazement of seeing 5kg tubs of nutella. I now buy these in multiples (the pastry, not the nutella, that’d be bad) so I always have tart pastry ready to make a quick tart.
- Three tins of apricots (or 700g of fresh apricots if you can get them. They’re not in season at the moment so I went down the dark and twisted road of tinned fruit)
- A couple of spoon fulls of low-sugar marmalade
- Caster sugar to taste (depending on sweetness of marmalade and apricots – the less sugar the better)
- About 100g of slivered almonds
The fun part
If you have a normal oven, crank it up to 180 degrees. Then get your pastry out, proudly hand made by you or with the help of good ol’ ‘Marie’ over there and roll out a circle big enough to cover the base of a tin and then cover the sides.
Cover the base with around half of the almond slivers (or more if you like, just keep some handy for later).
Prepare your first fruit layer by chopping up about half of the apricots into small pieces (the smaller the better).
Mix in about 30 grams, or a couple of spoonfuls, of marmalade. I used Bonne Maman marmalade, which is quite tangy, but the tinned apricots are sweeter than your average fresh apricots so I only added a spoonful of sugar for balance. It’s good to keep this part quite tangy as the top layer, if the apricots are sweet, will balance that right out.
Next step: mix the juicy goodness together and then slather it over the base of almonds.
Next, chop the rest of the apricots into segments and place them on top, working your way in from the outside.
Finally, grind up the rest of your almonds with a little sugar and sprinkle over the top.
The waiting game
Stick it in the oven! It should take around 25-30 minutes but have a peek at 20 to check on those edges not getting burned. Take it out and leave it sitting there to cool for a bit, then eat it all, leaving none for anyone else to steal.
So that’s it. C’est de la tarte!
I hope you enjoyed my first ever recipe for the blog. If you did please let me know. If not, just let me down gently.