I give up. Almost. I’ve had a crap day. This morning I was pretty much declared a legal burden on my husband because I chose to stay at home to look after our two sons. It doesn’t matter that I have three honours degrees. That I’ve had a job since I was 16. That a rough estimate of the salary I would need to pay for childcare for my two sons is 32,000. That it might be a positive choice for a woman to make to raise her children as a full time occupation.
No. I married my husband so we are assessed as a single unit and as such my husband has three dependents. I’m in the same class as someone who has only just realised he has limbs and another who spent twenty minutes walking backwards while turning a radio on and off.
Thank you Ireland. Feeling pretty deadly about myself now.
To compound horrible matters, my cable to make my photos magically jump from my camera to my computer (so technical) has died. Brilliant. So this post is photoless for now. I will do my best to get the photos up at some stage in the next few days.
So. This week, ranting aside, is orange poached apricot frangipane tart. The frangipane recipe is from Mary Berry. She was a little stingy on her proportions so I doubled them. It’s been that kind of a week.
I didn’t really read the recipe first so I did everything a little strangely and over cooked my apricots but I was actually quite happy with the result.
Last thing, it’s a big old tart. An 28cm round one so I hope you’re hungry or very sociable.
Oven temperature 180 Celsius
Plain Flour 220g
Salt a healthy pinch
Egg yolk 1
Water 2 tablespoon
For the Apricots:
The juice of 1 orange and a few peels of skin
Caster sugar 100ml
Caster sugar 150ml
Ground almonds 150ml
Apricot jam 1 tablespoon
Poaching liquor 1 tablespoon
Preheat the oven and butter and flour a 28cm round flan dish.
Make your pastry by rubbing the flour, butter, sugar and salt together to get to a coarse sandy texture and then add in the egg yolk and water.
Knead gently till the dough just comes together.
Not detailed enough for you. For the full pastry making breakdown click here.
Once you’ve made the pastry, rolled it and filled the flan dish with it pop it in the fridge for about 20mins.
You can poach your apricots in this time.
Slice the apricots in half, along the little arse-crack bit of them and put them into a large pan.
Add in all the other apricot poaching ingredients. When I say a few peels of skin I mean use a vegetable peeler to take a few 5cm, or thereabout, sized pieces of skin.
Bring the pot of loveliness up to a lively simmer before dropping the heat to a scarce simmer.
The apricots only take about 10 – 15mins to soften depending on their ripeness.
After they become nice and soft drain them but reserve the poaching liquor for the glaze.
The pastry should be sufficiently relaxed now so put a piece of scrunched up baking parchment in on top of it and weigh it down with baking beans.
Bake it blind for 12mins before removing the parchment and returning the dish to the oven for another 12mins to cook completely.
The frangipane is the easiest bit, don’t worry.
Put the butter and caster sugar into a food processor and blitz. Add in an egg and blitz some more.
One by one add the other eggs, blitzing in between.
It might look a bit curdled but worry not.
Add in the ground almonds and blitz for a final time.
When the pastry is cooked remove it from the oven and pour in the frangipane. It’ll look gross and start to melt at the edges but let there be no panic.
Arrange the drained apricots on top of the frangipane and put the whole lot back in the oven.
My tart took about 45mins to cook. You’ll know it’s done when it’s all a lovely deep brown colour on top and there is no wobble left. Maybe a slight suggestion of a quiver in the very centre but no more than that.
Take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely.
To make the glaze (which is entirely optional) put the jam and liquor into a little saucepan and heat gently till lovely and smooth.
Get yourself a pastry brush and brush the glaze all over the top of the tart so it’s all shiny and wonderfully sticky.
It’s better eaten a little bit warm and with tea.