After a week of cold weather and grey skies the sun is finally shining in Munich. The salad greens I planted on the balcony have started to push through little green shoots and everybody has a smile on their face. The perfect day then for this elegant (and EASY!) Flaky Pastry Apricot Tart.
This tart is going to become your secret weapon. No, I’m serious. Just rustic enough so that people will believe you when you say you made it, but beautiful enough to have come from a fancy pâtisserie. I love the sweet, juiciness of apricots, but this tart will take most things that you throw at it – plums, peaches, nectarines or berries are all delicious, and if any juices leak out between the lattice pastry, so much the better.
The genius of this tart is in the simplicity, and that is what makes it so flexible. A puff pastry base – frozen or ready rolled is absolutely fine here – topped with an enriched cream cheese, or as I often use in Germany, quark, loaded up with fresh fruit, then the pastry is simply woven together and baked. Once you know the trick of weaving the pastry this recipe will be on constant rotation in your kitchen, I promise.
I use ready rolled puff pastry which is easy to come by in Germany. Elsewhere in the world puff pastry is often sold frozen. If that is the case where you are, simply join two defrosted squares of pastry together, using a little cold water to seal the join.
Do make sure to get a decent quality puff pastry – preferably with real butter! I experimented with the Home Brand pastry from Woolworths when we were in Australia and it left a lot to be desired. As is always the case when you bake with few ingredients, use the best quality you can afford to allow the flavours to really sing.
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
Flaky Pastry Apricot Tart
- 1-2 sheets puff pastry, rolled out to 25x30cm
- 125 g cream cheese or Quark
- 1 large egg, separated
- 5 Tbsp / 70g sugar
- 6 apricots, ca. 200g
- Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6. On a piece of baking paper lightly dusted with flour, roll out the puff pastry to a rectangle approximately 25 x 30cm, then lift the paper and pastry together onto a large baking tray.
- Using a sharp knife, cut horizontal strips 8cm long at 1.5cm intervals along two opposite sides of the dough (see photo).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of sugar until smooth. Pour over the centre of the dough, being sure to stay within the strips.
- Halve, de-stone and finely slice the apricots, then toss together with 1 tablespoon of sugar (or vanilla sugar, if you have it). Allow to rest for a couple of minutes, then divide evenly over the cream cheese mixture.
- Fold the strips diagonally over the tart filling, starting with the left side, then the right and continuing to the end to create a braid. Tuck or trim any loose ends under the tart at the end. Fold the pastry up a little bit at each end to enclose the filling.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white with 1 tablespoon of sugar, then brush evenly over the tart. Sprinkle over the remaining tablespoon of sugar, then bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool on the tray for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
TIPS & TRICKS:
Pastry is always easier to work with in a cool environment – if it is particularly hot where you are, consider making the tart early in the morning (it makes a fabulous breakfast) or, if you have space, chill a large chopping board in the fridge and roll your pastry out on that.
It goes without saying really, but this tart is wonderful with whipped cream, or a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Keeps well for 2-3 days, but I guarantee it will be eaten before that!