<p>We have this amazing tree at the back of our house, that is full of apricots every summer. They are so sweet, but sour at the same time, so they kind of form the perfect balance. A couple of days ago we made our Tart dough recipe, which makes 2 tart shells. We baked one for blueberry tart and saved the other for this awesome apricot tart. I improvised a bit with what was in the pantry and I came up with this recipe, which is actually incredibly delicious. Beautiful combination of apricots, hazelnuts and mint.</p>
Prepare and bake your tart dough. If you are going to bake our Tart dough, you can click on the ingredients list and follow the instructions.
Wash the apricots under running water and drain them well. Cut them in half and remove the kernels. Set a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the apricots with the cut side down. Fry for about 5 minutes or until they get black, they should not be cooked or softened. Transfer the apricots with the burnt side up to a large plate. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of caster sugar, cover with mint leaves and wrap in plastic wrap to infuse the mint flavor. Set aside until needed.
You have to use a non stick frying pan, otherwise your apricots will stick to the pan and you will end up with a mash of apricots.
Roast and Skin Hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 355 °F. To roast the hazelnuts, spread them in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 9 minutes. Take care not to over roast. To remove the skin, wrap warm hazelnuts in a towel and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Rub vigorously in towel. Transfer the hazelnuts to a blender and blitz.
In a bowl, mix together butter, the rest of the sugar, pinch of salt and lemon zest, using a hand electric mixer. Mix for about 5 minutes or until you get a fluffy texture. Separate egg yolks and egg whites. Add the egg yolks, one by one to your butter mix, mixing constantly, add the hazelnut flour, mix well and refrigerate. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until you get a soft peak.
Bake and Serve
Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the mixing bowl where you have your butter - hazelnut mixture and combine well, using a spatula. Gently fold the rest of the egg whites. Spread the filling evenly onto the bottom of the prebaked tart crust, using a flexible spatula. Remove the mint leaves from the apricots and arrange them to your liking, burnt side up. Bake for 1 hour at 180°C / 355 °F. Let the apricot tart rest on a wire rack for about 1 hour, this way it will be easier to cut and serve. Serve with a tablespoon of greek yogurt or crème fraîche.