Almond and apricot tart with amaretto custard

Neven Maguire adds a hint of Italian almond liqueur to this classic fruit tart
By Neven Maguire
Almond and apricot tart with amaretto custard
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus chilling time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 100 g chilled butter, diced
  • 175 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tbsp cream

For the amaretto custard

  • 150 ml double cream
  • 150 ml milk
  • 25 g ground almonds
  • ½ vanilla pods, split lengthways, seeds scraped
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp amaretto (almond liqueur)

For the filling

  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped
  • 2 tbsp amaretto (almond liqueur)
  • 1 large pinch ground cinnamon
  • 400 g canned apricot halves in natural juice, drained
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

Method

1. For the pastry: place the butter, flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and blend briefly until crumbs have formed. Add the egg yolk and cream and mix again briefly until the pastry comes together in a ball. Be careful not to over -ork or the pastry will be tough. Cover with cling film and chill for 1 hour.

2. For the amaretto custard: place the cream and milk in a saucepan with the almonds, vanilla pod and seeds. Bring to scalding point (just under boiling point), remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain into a jug and discard the ground almonds and vanilla pod.

3. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until well combined, then slowly pour in the infused cream mixture, stirring continuously to combine. Pour the custard into a clean pan and cook for about 10 minutes over a very low heat, stirring continuously until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the amaretto liqueur. Pour into a serving jug ready to serve hot or cold.

4. For the filling: preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Using a hand-held electric beater, cream the butter and icing sugar together in a large bowl. Add the flour and almonds and gradually beat in the eggs, vanilla, amaretto and cinnamon. Beat for another 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and use it to line a 23cm flan ring. Chill again for 15 minutes. Spread the almond filling in the pastry case and arrange the apricot halves on top, gently pressing the apricots down into the filling.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tart is cooked through and golden brown on top. Warm the jam in a small pan or in the microwave and use to brush over the tart, then sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

7. Cut the tart into slices and arrange on plates. Serve with the jug of amaretto custard, allowing guests to help themselves.

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