Apricot Macaroon Tart

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Adapted from Orangette.

Baking in a kitchen that isn’t yours can be a bit tricky. I’m in the South of France, enjoying the sun and the smell of Summer and the sounds around my parents’ house (we have dormice, they wake up at night and make squeaky sounds at each other in the trees around the veranda).

Here are a few random shots – one of the light on the kitchen floor, and another one of a heart-shaped rock I found when we went hiking the other day:

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Today we went to a market in a town nearby and I got this apricot jam that makes me giddy, as well as these little turtle ear studs, that make me happy.

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Oh but the apricot jam. Super fragrant and not too sweet, a deep amber-orange hue. Oh dear.

So, riding the apricot wave, I decided to make this apricot macaroon tart, using fresh apricots. I first tried making this tart in this very house, and it doesn’t need precision (which is good, as there are no kitchen scales in this kitchen). I came upon the recipe last year on one of my top two favourite food blogs, Orangette, and have made it many times over the past year. She (Molly, of Orangette) suggests using a variety of flours; so far I’ve only tried it with plain old white flour, as well as ‘farine semi complète’ (a mixture of whole wheat and plain wheat flour); I prefer the whole wheat version.

I’ve also made this back home, where the apricots where a whole lot less interesting than here, and it still turned out beautiful; less-than-perfect apricots somehow sweeten and ‘ripen’ when baked. I imagine you could easily make this with other fruits, but I like the tart sweetness of the apricots so much, especially with the coconut macaroon topping, that I’ve yet to try it with any other fruit. I also add more apricots than the original recipe calls for, because I like for each bite to have a bit of fruit in it.

Alright! Here’s what you need:

For the tart crust:

  • 170 g / 1 ½ cups half whole wheat / half wheat flour
  • 60 g / 3/4 cup desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
  • 100 g / 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 140 g / 10 tbsp butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 5-6 large apricots (about 300-350 g), pitted and quartered
  • 4 egg whites
  • 140 g desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
  • 70 g sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit / gas mark 4. Grease a baking tin or tart pan of approximately 22 cm / 9 inches (I used a square tin because it’s what I could find, and I quite like cutting the finished tart into squares).

Start by mixing the flour, desiccated coconut, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and mix with a fork until all the butter has been absorbed.  Turn into your baking dish, and press into a firm, flat layer.

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Bake for about 15 minutes, but keep an eye on it and take it out when it is just beginning to brown.

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Meanwhile quarter the apricots, and mix the macaroon ingredients in a bowl until well combined.

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Scatter the apricots over the tart crust and cover with the macaroon, using a spatula and/or your hands to spread the macaroon evenly over and between the pieces of apricot. I’ve decided that next time I make this, I’m going to let the fruit peak out a bit more through the macaroon topping.

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Bake for about 25-30 mins until the macaroon has turned a deep golden brown.

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If you can, wait for it to cool a bit before cutting yourself a slice; or do like me and immediately eat some. The warm apricots are just… I can’t even speak, as I’ve just eaten some.

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P.s.: Dormice are little squirrel-mouse-like creatures that sleep most of the time – the mouse in the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, at the unbirthday, is a dormouse! Here’s one in real life! 🙂

 

 

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