Has it really been more than a month? The last recipe I posted here, with its cucumber and elderflower flavours, tried to captured the height of summer. This one feels like summer's crescendo. There is something about plums and apricots, the way their flavours change, intensify and darken during baking that defines early autumn for me. And autumn has certainly arrived with fierce conviction, first with mists and then with lashing winds and rain as soon as September began. Now that it's made its point, the season has settled into sparkling cool mornings and first fallen leaves. And perhaps it's this that made me think that the apricots in these little tarts looked like they were buried in the frangipane like in a warm duvet.
This recipe is so easy and plums or other season fruit - even apples - can easily be substituted.
For the pastry:
- 200g plain flour
- 80g icing sugar
- 100g butter, very cold and cut into squares
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-3 Tbsp ice water to bind
For the frangipane and fruit:
- 2 eggs
- 175g icing sugar
- 175g ground almonds
- 175g unsalted butter, room temperature
- A few drops almond essence
1 lbs apricots, sliced into 8 even pieces
8 or so 3-4" tart cases
For the pastry: blitz the flour and sugar together in a food processor. Tip in the cold, diced butter and blitz again until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the egg yolk and water, processing until the mixture almost comes together. Press into a disk, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes. Once it's rested, roll out the dough thinly and cut out to line the mini tart cases. Chill again while you make the frangipane.
For the frangipane: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Process all frangipane ingredients in a food processor until combined. Smooth the mixture into the chilled tart cases, then gently press in the sliced fruit. Bake for 20 or so minutes, until the frangipane is puffed and golden all over.