Apricot tart

Serves 6-8

This tart works beautifully with crème fraîche. I often use this pastry recipe for tarts as it's easy to make, and very buttery and crunchy. You will need a 23cm (9in) tart tin with a removable base.

For the pastry
250g/8oz plain organic flour
125g/4oz unsalted butter (really cold)
2-3 drops of vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1tbsp caster sugar
A pinch of sea-salt
For the filling
12 apricots
4tbsp sugar
The juice of half a lemon
1tbsp caster sugar

For the pastry, place the flour in a blender and add the whole egg, the yolk, vanilla, sugar, salt and butter cut into cubes. Pulse on and off until the mix resembles coarse sand. Continue to pulse until the pastry forms a homogenous ball (add a little cold water if necessary).

Wrap in parchment paper and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. When it's really cold, roll it out and line your tart tin. Prick the base all over with a fork and return to the fridge for 30 minutes.

For the filling, slice each of the apricots in half and remove the kernels. Place in a bowl and sprinkle on the sugar, squeeze over the lemon juice of half a lemon and set aside.

Next, blind bake the tart. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Line the tin with parchment paper and weight it down with baking beans (if you don't have any use dried lentils or rice). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully take off the paper and beans.

Arrange the apricots around the tart and sprinkle on the caster sugar. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, by which time the pastry should be nutty brown and the apricots soft and slightly caramelised.

I love to serve this not too hot but just warm. I think a big dollop of crème fraîche is the perfect accompaniment.

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