Apricot, Almond & Ricotta Frangipane Tart

As a friend of mine once said: “You are visually greedy”. After careful consideration of this statement, I have decided to embrace this gluttonous description wholeheartedly. With this in mind, I realise that my love of baking is fast becoming a physical manifestation of my visual appetite. I avidly collect recipes from an array of different sources including cookbooks, the internet, old ladies, and through good old-fashioned word of mouth. A tart has to look beautiful yet rustic before it can entice this little baker to whip out the rolling pin. I know it’s not polite to be superficial, but you really can tell a lot about a dessert from a quick glance. You know, that buttery blanket of perfectly crumbly pastry that the French do so well? Or that irresistible crunch on the rough edge of a provincial tart. Once you’ve devoured it for the first time, you will never be fooled by those visually drab pastry imposters ever again. Fact.

I discovered this particular apricot tart recipe trawling through Pinterest one evening, probably whilst drooling over photos of ceramics or other people’s kitchens. It’s buttery goodness appealed instantly. The original recipe called for tinned apricots but I prefer to use fresh, it’s just as easy and doesn’t contain all that added sugar (there’s plenty of that in the tart, don’t worry). I baked this delicious treat on Christmas day and it was a huge hit with my family. Some even tried to forgo a slice but were soon unable to resist the lure of caremalised apricots and buttery goodness. They made the right choice.

This beautiful recipe was adapted from supergoldenbakes.com, click here to view Lucy Parissi’s original recipe

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CRUST

• 150g (5.3oz) all purpose flour
• 115g (4oz)1 stick unsalted butter, softened.
• 70g (2.5oz) almond meal
• 3 tbsp granulated sugar
• ¼ tsp salt
• ½ vanilla extract (you can use almond extract, I couldn’t find it at short notice)
• 2 tbsp butter unsalted butter, melted to grease the tart case

FOR THE FILLING

• 6-8 ripe apricots
• 3 large eggs
• 100g (3.5oz) caster sugar
• 60g (2oz) almond meal
• 50g (6 tbsp) plain flour
• 4 tbsp ricotta cheese (I recommend fresh ricotta if possible. If you can’t find it you can use ricotta in a tub)
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp vanilla extract (you can use almond extract, I couldn’t find it at short notice)
• 3 tbsp flaked almonds, to sprinkle on top
• 2 tbsp granulated sugar, to sprinkle on top

METHOD

1. Grease a 23cm (9 inch) non-stick fluted tart tin with loose base.

2. Mix the flour, almond meal, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl until combined. Add the softened butter and vanilla extract until combined well. Pinch some of the crust between your fingers – if it is too crumbly you might want to add a little melted butter (you should have some leftover from greasing the tin) until it sticks together when pressed.

3. Press the crust evenly into the bottom and up the sides of your tin and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).

4. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

5. Peel and slice apricots into halves, set aside.

6. Put all the dry ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and then whisk in the eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract and finally the ricotta until smooth and well combined.

7. Pour the filling into the crust.

8. Arrange the apricots, cut side up, over the filling and sprinkle with the flaked almonds and sugar. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the filling is puffed and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before carefully removing from the tin.

9. Serve slightly warm with a generous scoop of natural greek yoghurt or crème fraiche

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