“When we first got together with chef instructor Robynne Maii over the summer, it was pretty apparent just how passionate this girl was about her food – from the photos she shared of her recent Persian pilaf obsession, to the very patient way she handled her gorgeous apricot tart. One look at her meticulously organised cabinets seriously had us itching to run home and clean out our own unkempt pantries.” Hana and Christine, Pantry Confidential
- 500 g apricots
- 160 g (½ cup) apricot jam
- 2 tbsp apricot or cherry brandy (optional)
- 35 g (¼ cup) pistachios, toasted, roughly crushed
Pâte brisée (flaky tart pastry)
- 185 g (1¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 125 g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 3-5 tbsp iced water
Frangipane (almond cream)
- 200 g almond paste (see Note)
- 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 50 g unsalted butter, chopped and softened
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: 2½ hours
To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of peas. Add the water, starting with 3 tablespoons, and use the tips of your fingers to toss until the dough holds together when squeezed. Add a little more water if necessary. Form the pastry into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to rest. The pastry may be stored in freezer for up to 2 months.
Meanwhile, to make the frangipane, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the almond paste, sugar, extracts and salt on medium speed until uniform in texture. Add the butter, in chunks, scraping down the bowl between additions. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl and beating well after each addition. Add the flour and beat to combine.
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Roll out the pastry and use to line a 25 cm-long rectangular tart tin. Dock with a fork and refrigerate until firm. Blind bake the tart shell for 10-15 minutes, then cool.
Spread the frangipane over tart shell. Halve or quarter the apricots and nestle in a decorative pattern in the frangipane. Bake the tart for 35-40 minutes or until the crust and frangipane is golden brown (the frangipane will puff up around the fruit).
Place the apricot jam in a small saucepan and loosen with 1 tbsp water. Bring to a simmer and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and add the brandy, if using. Brush the apricot mixture over tart (be generous). Sprinkle the nuts on the tart as a decorative border.
• Almond paste is available from specialty food shops and online.
Recipe by Robynne Maii. Introduction by Hana Choi and photography by Christine Han. Published on Pantry Confidential.