It’s that time of year where my favourite fruit is in season, the apricot. To be honest I am perfectly happy eating the treat of my childhood: a rather non-gourmet combination of warm stewed apricot, a handful of crunched up special k and a scoop of vanilla ice cream (try it, trust me!)…however I don’t think that would quite cut it for Island Menu.
So this weekend I went to the little apricot tree that lives near my clothesline (hopefully the landlord doesn’t mind!), raided a few for this dish and decided to try out a variation on the tarte tatin, using apricots and a few raspberries. The dish is very straight forward and while it looks a little bit like an undignified big red mush of fruit, the flavor was good, especially with the nice crispy puff pastry and some vanilla cinnamon cream.
For the Tart: 100g sugar 1/3 cup of brandy (I didn’t have quite enough so used a little water as well) 1 vanilla bean 6-8 apricots stone removed and cut in half (enough to cover the bottom of your fry pan) Handful of fresh raspberries 1 sheet of puff pastry (I used the Careme one as it is rather good)
Cream: 1 tub of cream (I used Mersey Valley) 2 teaspoons (or more if you prefer it sweeter) icing sugar ½ teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and preheat the oven to 190 Celcius. In an oven proof frying pan on a medium heat put the sugar, brandy, scrapped vanilla bean and seeds. Allow this to cook for a while until the sugar has dissolved and the colour is a nice caramel one. Add the halved apricots and cook for 2-3 minutes in the caramel. Then drop a few raspberries in and around the apricots, place the puff pastry over the top and tuck it in around the sides. Place the frypan in the preheated oven and cook for around 25-30minutes or until the pastry looks golden and flaky. Once done remove from the oven and carefully place a plate over the top of the fry pan and turn the pie out, make sure you do this over a bench top as some of the juices may run a little.
Serve warm with the cream.
To make the cream gently whip up some cream and add the icing sugar, cinnamon and vanilla paste.