For the pastry
- 125g cold butter, cubed, plus extar for greasing
- 250g flour, sifted
- 1 egg, beaten
For the filling
- 225g butter, at room temperature
- 15ml vanilla extract
- 225g caster sugar
- 5 eggs
- 225g blanched almonds, finely ground (blend until finely ground in a food processor)
- 100g dried apricots, finely chopped
- 5 medium red apples, quartered and cored
- 30g smooth apricot jam, melted
- vanilla bean ice cream, to serve
Tip: Grease your tart case tin with non-stick cooking spray and line the base with a circle of baking paper to make it easier to remove the tart out of the tin once it’s cooled.
Preheat the oven to 150˚C. Grease and line a 23cm tart tin.
To make the pastry blend the butter and flour in a food processor until it recembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the beaten egg and continue to blend for a few seconds. Carefully turn out the crumbly mixture and knead it gently on a clean surface to form a pastry dough. Don’t knead for too long – only about three to five minutes until the dough is soft and silky. Wrap it in clingfilm and chill it for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper to keep it from sticking to the preparation surface and rolling pin. Press the pastry firmly into the tin when it is big enough to fit generously but ensure some hangs slightly over the sides to prevent shrinkage. Chill the pastry base in the fridge while you make the filling.
Cream the butter, vanilla extract and sugar with an electric beater or in a mixer for five minutes until it is pale and fluffy. Thoroughly beat in the eggs one at a time until each is incorporated. Fold in the ground almonds by hand. Sprinkle the chopped apricots evenly over the chilled pastry base and spoon in the almond filling. Arrange apple slices on top in a fan like pattern and place the tin in the oven to bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until it is golden brown and the filling is set in the middle.
Remove the tart and leave it to cool completely before removing it from the tin.
Before serving lightly brush the melted apricot jam over the tart for a lovely glossy finish. Serve the tart slightly warmed, if you prefer, with vanilla bean ice cream.