Martha Collison's cherry & apricot frangipane tart

This stunning, summery tart uses a simple technique that transforms apricots to look like flowers

 

  • Preparation time: 45-60 minutes + chilling
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes to 45 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes–1 hour 45 minutes + chilling

Serves: 8

Ingredients

FOR THE PASTRY
200g plain flour
20g ground almonds
35g icing sugar
125g butter, chilled and diced
1 Waitrose British Blacktail Medium Free Range Egg yolk

FOR THE FILLING
75g butter, at room temperature
75g light brown soft sugar
2 Waitrose British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs, beaten
75g ground almonds
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
5 ripe apricots, halved and stoned
½ x 180g pack cherries, halved and stoned
2 tbsp flaked almonds
 

Method

1. To make the pastry, place the flour, almonds and icing sugar into a large bowl and mix together until they are well combined. Add the butter and rub the cubes into the flour until you get a mixture that looks like fine breadcrumbs.

2. Add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cold water and stir into the flour with a round ended knife. The mixture will start to clump together after you have mixed for a minute or so. Turn out onto a large piece of clingfilm and knead briefly until all the pastry has come together into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until needed.

3. Place a shallow 23cm fluted square loose-bottomed tart tin onto a baking tray. Roll the chilled pastry out between 2 pieces of clingfilm until about 5cm larger than the tin. Line the tin with the pastry, leaving the excess overhanging, then chill for 15 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. To make the filling, cream together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, then add the eggs and beat again. Fold through the ground almonds and almond extract (if using) until the batter is smooth. Spread the frangipane into the base of the tart, using a spatula to get a thin, even layer.

5. Place the apricots onto a chopping board cut-side down and slice each one as finely as you can. Use your fingers to spread an apricot out into a long line, then roll the line up on itself to form a rose. Carefully place into the centre of the frangipane, pushing in slightly. Repeat with 3 more apricots, then place a cherry half into the centre of each ‘flower’. Fan out the remaining apricots and arrange around the edges. Scatter over the remaining cherries and flaked almonds.

6. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the pastry is golden and the frangipane is cooked all the way through. Allow the tart to cool for 5-10 minutes, then use a sharp serrated knife to trim off the excess pastry. Serve the tart hot or cold.