Apricot Cinnamon Crumble Tart – my best cake ever!
by eat in my kitchen
According to my boyfriend, this is the best cake I have ever made. However, although I feel flattered by this compliment, his statement should be handled with care. Overwhelmed by a homemade sweet treat, he tends towards such passionate judgements, it wasn’t the first time. But I have to agree, it was an extremely good cake!
Let’s start with the base, the buttery short crust was crisp and slightly flaky, exactly how I love it. I also used this pastry for my Raspberry and Blueberry Tart with Bavarian Cream, it’s a classic for summer tarts. Fruit was next, apricots cut in half sprinkled with a little sugar to help them release their juices without taking away their natural fresh and sour sweetness. They were still in pieces when I took the tart our of the oven, soft but not mushy like a compote. For the cinnamon crumbles, I used the recipe from my old kitchen friend, my beloved rhubarb (or plum or apple!) crumble cake. The flavour of the spice is strong enough to stand up to the apricots, the crumbles stay beautifully in shape and you can taste that they are made with plenty of butter, they are pure crunchy bliss. Luckily, I made two cakes from the start, I had a strong feeling that this was going to be a luscious feast, but I didn’t expect that we would empty the pans so quick, it was insane. Slice after slice we just continued telling each other how delicious this tart is and all of a sudden it was all gone!
Apricot Cinnamon Crumble Tart
One of my tart pans has a loose bottom which helps to cut out slices, it also worked in the other pan, just a few crumbs fell off but it still looked pretty.
For 2 tarts in 23cm / 9″ tart pans you need
apricots, cut in half and pitted, 1kg / 2 1/4 pounds / about 20 fruits
sugar 2 tablespoons
For the short crust base
flour 390g / 14oz / 3 cups
sugar 100g / 3 1/2oz / 1/2 cup
salt 1/4 teaspoon
butter, cold, 200g / 7oz
organic egg yolks 3
water 2 tablespoons
Combine the flour with the sugar and salt. Cut the butter with a knife into the flour until there are just little pieces of butter left. Continue with your fingers and rub the butter into the flour until combined. Add the egg yolks and water and continue mixing with the hooks of your mixer until you have a crumbly mixture. Form 2 thick discs, wrap in cling film and put in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F (top/ bottom heat).
Roll out the dough between cling film and line your tart pans with the flat pastry. Prick with a fork and blind-bake in the hot oven for 12 minutes. Melt the butter for the crumbles while the tarts are in the oven (see recipe below).
Take the pans out of the oven, arrange the apricots (cut side up) in circles on top of the pastry, sprinkle each tart with 1 tablespoon of sugar and prepare the crumbles immediately.
For the crumbles / The tart
plain flour 200g / 7oz / 1 1/2 cups (you might need more if the crumbles are too sticky)
sugar 130g / 4 1/2oz / 2/3 cup
vanilla, scraped, 1/4 pod
cinnamon 2 teaspoons
butter, melted, 125g / 4 1/2oz (you might need more if the crumbles are too fine)
Have some extra flour and butter to melt close at hand so that you can add some immediately if necessary.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour the melted butter on top and mix quickly with the hooks of your mixer, stop as soon as it crumbles. If the crumbles are too moist and sticky add a little more flour (1-2 tablespoons). If they are too fine and don’t form bigger crumbles add more melted butter.
Spread quickly on top of the apricots, if you have bigger lumps of crumbles you may have to separate them with your fingers. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the pastry base and crumbles are golden brown. The fruits should start to release their juices, they will soften while the tart cools. You can serve the cakes with ice cream or whipped cream for tea time in the garden (or on your balcony) but we didn’t even have that – which allowed us to eat more of the tart!