Saturday, 1 December 2012

Earl Grey apricot Tartlets


dried apricots, 2 earl grey teabags,
25g sugar, Pastry: 1 tsp sugar, 250g butter, 250g plain flour.

Makes: 6 Preparation: X

I am a huge lover of Earl Grey tea. For me the traditional delicacy of assam and ceylon leaves infused with the richness of bergamot oil can only be beaten with a Provenciale twist of lavender. I keep desperately trying to like Teapigs' twist of using Darjeeling leaves, but the flavour is far too alien for me to convince my brain, unless I sugar it, which goes against my purist principles! Sweetness is the key though, and these exquisite little apricot tartlets are just perfect for the unique flavour of Teapigs Darjeeling Earl Grey.

1) Put the apricots into a pyrex jug along with your teabags, and pour over just enough hot water to cover them. Leave to soak (ideally overnight but 5 hours will suffice if you're pressed for time!) until the apricots puff up.

2) To make sweet puff pastry: Add the room temperature butter to the flour and sugar and rub together loosely. Don't mix it too thoroughly - you want to still see the butter. Add about 100ml of COLD water and mix until you have a rough but firm dough. Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes. Roll out from left to right onto a lightly floured surface - you should see marbled butter at this stage. Fold in half and roll out again from left to right. Fold once more, then cover with cling film and chill for another 20 minutes before using.

3) Roll out the pastry and cut out circles of dough.

4) Pour out the tea into the saucepan, add 25g caster sugar and reduce to a sugar syrup.

3) Slice the apricots in half and add to the pan. Allow to simmer in the syrup for 2-3 minutes, then spoon a sticky, syrupy apricot half onto each pastry circle.

4) Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 200 degrees until the pastry has just puffed up and the apricot has just begun to caramelise in the sugar. Serve hot or cold

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