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Recipe: Apricot and pistachio tart with orange blossom cream

24 May 2016
Recipe: Apricot and pistachio tart with orange blossom cream

The orange blossom water, made from the distilled spring flowers of the Seville orange, is used in many Persian sweets, teas and jams, and goes so well with the apricots. You can find it in the baking aisle of most large supermarkets.

Bake the tart in a 20cm cake tin if your frying pan doesn't go in the oven.

Serves 4

  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 2tbs cold water
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 x 410g tin of apricot halves in fruit juice, drained
  • Plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 x 375g sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 2tsp sliced pistachios (or roughly chopped pistachios)

For the orange blossom cream

  • 125g mascarpone
  • ½ tsp orange blossom water
  • 1tsp orange zest
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • 2tsp icing sugar

Put the sugar and water into a 20cm heavy-based ovenproof frying pan and cook over a medium heat until the sugar begins to caramelise. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

Keep stirring the caramel for a few minutes until the butter is fully combined, then remove from the heat and arrange the apricot halves in the pan, cut side up; bear in mind that the caramel will still be hot. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C. Lightly dust your work surface with some flour and then roll out your pastry to 5mm thick. Place a dinner plate on top of the pastry, and then cut around it. Place this disc on top of the fruit in your frying pan and tuck in the edges around the fruit. If you are using a cake tin to bake the tart, transfer the fruit to this first and put the pastry on top, remembering to tuck in the edges.

Prick the surface of the pastry a few times with a fork and then place the tart in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp on top.

Meanwhile, prepare your cream by combining the mascarpone with the orange blossom water, orange zest, lemon juice and sugar.

Lightly toast the pistachios in a small pan over a low heat for a minute or two and then set aside.

When the tart is ready, remove from the oven and place a large plate over the tin or pan. With oven gloves on, quickly and decisively invert the tart onto your plate. You need to be very strong and steady with your hands to avoid hot caramel spilling.

Leave the tart to cool for a few minutes to allow the caramel to set. Serve warm with a sprinkling of pistachios on top and a dollop of orange blossom cream on the side of each serving.

Recipe taken from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan (reviewed here). Photography by Matt Russell

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