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Alsace tart

19 JANUARY 2012
Alsace tart Enlarge
Ingredients (Serves 6)
  • 400g/14oz shortcrust pastry
  • 500g/1lb 2oz fresh apricots, washed, halved and the stones removed. Alternatively use apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 50g/2oz plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g/4oz caster sugar
  • 100ml/4fl oz crème fraîche

For the shortcrust pastry (called pâte brisée in France)
  • 250g/9oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tbsp flavourless oil, such as sunflower or rapeseed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 125g/4½oz butter, chilled and diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 1-2 tbsp iced water

Method

1. First make the shortcrust pastry. Put the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the oil, salt and butter. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Moisten with enough iced water to bring the dough together. Briefly knead the dough by hand. It is important that this is done quickly – the less the pastry is handled, the better it will be.

2. Cover the pastry with clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes but anything up to 24 hours. Bring the pastry back to room temperature before rolling it out.

3. When you’re ready to make the tart, preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4 and grease a 20cm/8in tart tin (preferably one that has a removable base). On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry very thinly to make a circle then use this to line the greased tart tin.

4. Arrange the apricot halves, or apple slices if using, attractively in the pastry case.

5. In a bowl, beat together the flour, eggs, sugar and crème fraîche until just smooth. Pour over the fruit and bake for 30-40 minutes in the preheated oven.

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