Seasonal Fruit



The time has come again for the fridge to be stuffed full of ripe, juicy, seasonal fruit. The riper it is, the cheaper it is, and it is hard to resist over-buying. Right now, apricots are enormous and perfect for eating fresh, stewing, jamming and definitely for cooking. 

Just like last year, I have so much fruit at home that I risk letting it go bad. My favourite way of using up surplus fruit is to make tarts. It is such an easy and quick way of making the most of fruit when it is at its best and so delicious at the end of a meal, enjoyed with yoghurt or cream, when steaming hot. They are so simple to make and the messier they are, the more rustic they look, which takes away all the stress of having perfectly trimmed pastry edges and worrying about holes.

Individual apricot crostatas 

I always use Ottolenghi's sweet pastry recipe as it is by far my favourite.

Sweet Pastry

165g plain flour
50g icing sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
90g cold butter, cubed
1 free-range egg yolk
1tbsp cold water

-Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the butter, rubbing between fingers until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs
-Add the egg yolk and cold water and mix until it just comes together
-Remove from the bowl and knead briefly before forming a disc shape and wrapping it in cling film
-Use straight away or keep in fridge until needed

Apricot Filling

12 ripe apricots 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
generous squeeze of lemon juice

-Cut the apricots into small pieces
-Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well
-Leave to rest while rolling out the pastry

Assembling the crostatas

-Preheat the oven to 200C
-Flour a clean surface, cut the pastry into 8 equal portions and then roll them roughly into rounds
-Spoon the apricot mixture into the middle of the pastry rounds, leaving at least an inch of space all around
-Fold the sides of the pastry up and pinch folds so that it holds
-(optional) brush the pastry with a beaten egg yolk
-Place on a baking tray with baking parchment and bake for 20 mins or until bubbling and golden

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