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Tarte Francaise

ingredients

serves 6 - 8
8 oz (225 g) puff pastry
plain flour to dredge
beaten egg to glaze
3 tbsp (60 ml) apricot jam, sieved and warmed
canned or fresh fruit

method

1. Roll out the pastry to an oblong measuring about 30.5 x 15 cm (12 x 6 inches) and 0.5-1 cm (1/2 - 1 inch) thick.

2. Dredge lightly with flour. Trim the edges and fold in half lengthways. Cut a rectangle from the pastry, cutting across the fold and leaving a border of 2.5 - 4 cm (1 - 2 inches) on three sides. Unfold the border, giving a 'picture frame'.

3. Roll out the rectangle to the same size as the frame and place it on a dampened baking sheet.

4. Brush the edges of the rectangle with the beaten egg. Carefully lift the frame, without stretching it, place it in position on the rectangle and press lightly. Mark the border in a lattice pattern with the back of a knife.

5. Prick the base of the tart and brush the border with beaten egg, being careful not to let any drip down the sides. Put in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.

6. Bake in the oven at 220°C (425°F) mark 7 for about 20 minutes until well risen, crisp and golden. If the edges show signs of over-browning, cover with damp greaseproof paper. Remove from the baking sheet and leave to cool on a wire rack.

7. To finish, brush the centre of the tart with apricot glaze, arrange the drained canned fruit or prepared fresh fruit in rows over it and brush again with glaze.

note

Apricots, grapes, peaches, stoned cherries, mandarins and strawberries are all suitable. If canned fruit is used, the juice may be thickened with arrowroot and sharpened with lemon juice to use as a glaze, or make up a jelly glaze, to use instead of apricot glaze.

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