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Apricot and Almond Tart

In this tart, by including a layer of sweet almond on the pastry base, the soft caramelised apricots are more contained and delicious.

ingredients

serves 8
225 g (8 oz) rich sweet shortcrust pastry
55 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
115 g (4 oz) caster sugar
450 g (1 lb) juicy ripe apricots, cut in half and stoned
2 tablespoons amaretto
1 teaspoon almond essence
1 fresh sweet plain muffin about
100 g (3 1/2 oz), crumbled (or similar amount of Madeira cake)
55 g (2 oz) ground almonds
40 g (1 1/2 oz) light soft brown sugar

method

1. Line a shallow 23 cm (9 in) tart tin with the pastry and pre-bake or bake blind.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.

3. Put the butter, caster sugar and 4 tablespoons of water in a heavy-bottomed wide pan. Heat gently until the sugar starts to turn slightly coloured, stirring occasionally. Add the apricot halves and stir to coat in the caramel mixture. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the amaretto and almond essence. >
4. Put the crumbled muffin, ground almonds and soft brown sugar in a bowl and mix together. Spread over the pastry base.
Lift the apricots out of the pan and place on top of the muffin and almond mixture with their rounded sides facing upwards.
Scrape out all the delicious juices from the pan and pour over the apricots. Bake in the oven for 30 - 35 minutes or until the tops of the apricots are nicely browned.

5. Serve Hot, warm or cold with cream or creme fraiche.

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