I have never been a big fan of apricots. I think it must be something subliminal about the association of marzipan and apricot jam on cakes which is something I have never really liked. When we were doing our shopping just before midnight on Friday, waiting for Harry Potter to come on sale, I was clearly not thinking straight and when I got home I found I had put a punnet of apricots in my trolley. Perhaps I was hit by a "buy apricots" spell from the lovely shop assistant!
Anyway, rather half heartedly I used them to make a tart tatin. There is lots of debate about whether a tart tatin should be made with puff or shortcrust pastry. Personally I use either depending if I have any pastry in the fridge, but have a slight preference for short. The apricots were far nicer than I imagined and were really quite sour which went very well with the sweetness of the caramel. Not saying that I have overnight become an apricot fan but it was quite a nice dessert, served with a dollop of clotted cream.
Apricot Tart Tatin
500grams short or puff pastry
1 punnet of apricots
1 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp salted butter
1 tbsp Dulce de leche (toffee sauce)
(If you don't have any toffee sauce just add a bit more golden syrup)
In a saucepan, simmer the syrup, sugar, butter and toffee sauce until the sugar has dissolved. Wash and cut the apricots in half. Roll out the pastry to the size of the dish you are using. I usually use a 10inch round pie dish but have recently invested in a cast iron tart tatin dish. Pour the caramel mixture over the bottom of the dish, uncut site into the caramel and cover with the pastry. Press the pastry down of the apricots and bake in a hot oven Gas Mark 5/190C/375F/Aga roasting oven bottom shelf for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Leave the tart to cool for five minutes - place a plate on top and a hand under the dish and flip it over. You need to be really careful not to cover your kitchen in the caramel sauce so I usually do it over the sink.
Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx