Apricot Tart With Pistachio Frangipane

Apricot Tart With Pistachio Frangipane

This tart requires a time commitment: There are several elements, and while each is simple, they need to be prepared and cooled before the tart is assembled. But it pays back in complexity of flavor and by looking particularly impressive. It will make a remarkable dessert at the end of a lavish summer feast. You can start the day before, making all the elements and baking the frangipane and apricots in the tart. Once it has cooled completely, wrap it in plastic wrap overnight. The next day, fill with the crème pâtissière and top with the remaining ingredients. Other light dessert wines can be used instead of Sauternes.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 8 persons



  1. Step 1

    Start with the pastry shell: Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/190 degrees Celsius. Prepare a 9-inch/23-centimeter nonstick tart pan with a removable base by lining the bottom with parchment and greasing the sides with butter. If needed, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a circle roughly 1/8- to 1/4-inch/3- to 5-millimeters thick and large enough to line the base and sides of the tin, plus extra to poke above the edge by about 1/2 inch/1 centimeter. (Some store-bought doughs may be the perfect size right out of the package.) Carefully line the pan with the pastry and press it down so it covers the base and sides, with excess overhang.
  2. Step 2

    Cover the pastry with parchment paper or waxed paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the paper with the beans. Prick the pastry base and sides with a fork about 15 times, then bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  3. Step 3

    Poach the apricots: Add Sauternes, lime half, vanilla, sugar and 3 tablespoons/40 milliliters water to a saucepan that is just big enough to hold the apricot halves in one layer. Place the pan over high heat and cook until the sugar has melted and the liquid boils.
  4. Step 4

    Remove the pan from the heat and place the apricots in the hot liquid, cut-sides down. Leave them to poach in the residual heat until they are soft but still hold their shape (20 to 40 minutes, depending on how ripe they are) flipping them every 10 minutes. Transfer the apricots to a covered container and refrigerate until needed. Squeeze the lime into the syrup and then discard it; return the saucepan with the syrup to medium-high heat and simmer until reduced to 2 tablespoons, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside at room temperature until needed.
  5. Step 5

    Next, make the frangipane: Set aside 2 tablespoons of pistachios for serving. In a food processor, blitz the remaining pistachios until coarsely ground. Add the marzipan and blitz to a coarse crumb. Add all the remaining frangipane ingredients and blitz for 30 seconds, until everything just comes together.
  6. Step 6

    Once the tart shell has cooled completely, spoon the frangipane back in and spread it flat with the back of a spoon. Cut 3 1/2 ounces/100 grams of the apricot halves (3 or 4 of them) into quarters (or sixths if larger) and arrange evenly over the frangipane, pushing them down gently. Bake tart for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and just set. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the tart from the tin and set on a wire rack to cool completely. If making the recipe over two days, wrap the pastry in plastic wrap (cling film) once it has cooled completely.
  7. Step 7

    While the frangipane is baking (or the next day), make the crème pâtissière: In a medium bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons sugar with the cornstarch (cornflour), flour and yolks until smooth. Add milk, butter, vanilla and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar to a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until warm but not boiling. Remove the milk from the heat. While whisking, pour a third of the warm milk into the egg mix, and whisk well. Pour the mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk and return to medium-low heat. Continue cooking, whisking vigorously, until mixture bubbles and becomes very thick. Remove pan from heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then spoon on top of the cooled frangipane, smoothing with the back of a spoon. Cover surface with plastic wrap (cling film) and refrigerate for 2 hours until completely set.
  8. Step 8

    Just before serving, cut the remaining apricot halves into quarters (or sixths if larger). Arrange the apricots evenly in circles over the crème pâtissière, cut-side up, leaving a 2-inch/5-centimeter gap between each apricot (push them into the crème slightly as you go). Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the reduced poaching syrup evenly over the tart, then drizzle the orange blossom water over the tart. Roughly chop the reserved pistachios and mix with 1 teaspoon sugar. Sprinkle the pistachio mix in the gaps between the apricots to cover the crème pâtissière and serve at once with the remaining syrup drizzled over each piece once sliced.