HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here's to hoping you've survived the festivities! May the next year bring you joy and laughter. Make it the year to surround yourself with friends. The year you read more. The year you give back. The year you say yes. The best year yet!
This is honestly the easiest tart you could make. Sure it involves pastry - don't be scared - but it's super easy. You could do it with your eyes closed, whilst still sporting the worlds worst new years hangover ever. I promise you you'll whip this number up in no time and still manage to impress everyone lucky enough to be granted a slice. It also goes down beautifully with a cold glass of bubbly. In case hair of the dog is your kind of thing.
You may have made the usual resolutions of hitting the gym or giving up carbs or dropping 3 dress sizes. Please don't. For one you'll never, ever stick to them, and two life is boring without carbs. Just think about it no more pork hot dogs. No caramel and salt popcorn. No more lemon yoghurt cake. No more cinnamon pull apart bread. No more fun.
Instead I reckon you should try something new. Something that terrifies you. Make pastry. Have a go at pasta from scratch. Give that sourdough starter another go. Cook a roast with trimmings. Just plunge in and don't look down. This year I'm going to master the macaron. To me there isn't much else scarier than that darn little almond meringue biscuit. Those french sure know how to make things tricky. Past experience has taught me to buy triple the almond meal, eggs and sugar - and be prepared for your kitchen to be covered in all of it. But I'm determined to get there.
Let's do it together. Roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty and have a bit of fun. Here's to 2013!
Apricot and Cardamon Tart
recipe adapted from Delicious Magazine Summer Special 2013
makes 1 tart
1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
1/4 cup (35g) icing sugar
125 unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 cup (30g) almond meal
100g caster sugar
6 cardamon pods
1 kg apricots (about 12) halved and stoned
In a food processor blend the flour with icing sugar. Add the cubes of butter until the mixture starts to resemble breadcrumbs. Add in about 1-2tbs chilled water until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Be careful not to process it too much. Shape dough into a rough circle and chill in the fridge for an hour.
In the meantime preheat the oven to 200ºC. Using a mortar and pestle crack the cardamon pods. Discard the green shells, and pound the black seeds to a fine powder. Set aside.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and between two sheets of baking paper, gently roll it out until it's about 35cm round. Place one a lined baking tray.
For the filling, mix the almond meal with half the sugar and the cardamon and spread evenly across the pastry, leaving a 5 cm edge all the way round. Top with apricots, snugly fitting them within the 5cm edge. Gently bring the pastry up and over the apricots, forming a pleated rim. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake in oven for about 35 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the apricots have coloured and softened. Don't worry if a bit of apricoty, sugary liquid seeps out a little bit. It's bound to happen! Once out of the oven, leave sit for 5-10 minutes to settle before cutting into it. Serve warm with double cream. It will last for another day or two in an airtight container, but is best eaten on the day it's made.