Monday, July 02, 2007

Apricot tartlets with pistachio paste

K and I were hosting a very sweet couple from Norway and their two adorable children, a 4-year old Hanna and a 7-month old Fergus, over the last weekend. They left today for a six-day break on Saaremaa/Ösel, after which they'll head to Latvia for a few days and then back to Norway. As far as I could tell, they had great time in Tallinn, and we enjoyed hosting them. And cooking for them, obviously. Here's one of the cakes we made last Friday that we all liked. Easy and quick to make, plus tasty.

Again, I had picked up some really nice and plump Provencal apricots from the market. Most of them were made into apricot jam by K (3 jars are stored in the fridge, one was mostly used on Sunday pancakes and some ended up accompanying vareniki), but I managed to save some of the apricots for these tartlets. The original BBC Good Food recipe used marzipan, but as I had used up all the marzipan for the Marzipan Cake with Strawberries, I used some pistachio paste instead. And apricots and pistachios really do go well together indeed.

Apricots tartlets with pistachio paste
Adapted from BBC Good Food, originally from Olive Magazine
Yields 12 tartlets

300 grams store-bought puff pastry
100 grams pistachio paste (or plain marzipan)
6 large ripe apricots, halved and pitted
muscovado sugar for sprinkling
sliced pistachio nuts for garnishing

Heat the oven to 200C.
Roll out the puff pastry and cut 12 circles using a large glass (about 8 cm diametre). Using a slightly smaller glass, score a line about 1 cm from the edge (that will help the rims to raise). Place pastry circles on a lined baking sheet.
Place a spoonful of flattened pistachio paste or marzipan in the middle of the smaller circle.
Place an apricot half, cut-side up, on each marzipan spoonful, sprinkle with some sugar.
Place the baking sheet in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is puffed up (it's a puff pastry, remember:) and golden brown, apricots slightly caramelised and sugar melted.
Sprinkle with sliced pistachio nuts and serve with a spoonful of softly whipped cream or mascarpone cheese.

Two years ago I posted a recipe for Pasta alla Vodka, based on a recipe from Nigella Lawson's Feast. It's still one of my very favourite quick pasta dishes. Go and have a look - it's got a new photo as well!


Kärt said...

Väga fäänsid näevad välja, mul hakkasid kohe neelud käima. Juba tahan! :D

Lydia said...

I love the way the pastry just wraps right around the apricots. Beautiful!

Alanna said...

Very pretty! Angelika turned me into an apricot fiend last year ... not it's you!

Village Vegan said...

This is so funny! I made apricot pastries today, and you're the second blog in my bloglines that's also made them today. It must be in the air or weather or something.

Anyway, yours look so yummy.

Andrew said...

now they do look scrummy...

lobstersquad said...

these look beautiful, but mostly I´m beginning to wonder where you keep all those jam jars!?! you must put up tons of fruit, I´m so impressed.

Tea said...

My goodness, those look good! Can I volunteer to be your houseguest next? Might be dangerous--with treats like that I wouldn't want to leave!:-)

Jeanne said...

Oh good grief, those look good! I may want to try them out on some guests this weekend. Any ideas on how to make pistachip paste if I don't have any (and I don't!)? Neither Nick nor I like marzipan at all, so that's probably not an option for substitution...

Pille said...

Kärt - aga kähku turule siis!

Lydia - thanks! I tried to cut the circles exactly to 'snugly fit' the apricot halves.

Alanna - Angelika is lucky to have her apricots locally, mine are all imported, as they don't grow here..

Village Vegan - definitely something in the air. Or just the season:)

Andrew - thanks! And so nice to see you here again - it's been a while..

Lobstersquad - there's not so many?! Some of them are in the fridge, some on the stone floor in the garage. You'll see soon :)

Tea - I'll add you to the list :)

Jeanne - they're easy to make, so perfect when you're hosting and preparing other dishes! Re: pistachio paste - try this recipe from Accidental Hedonist!

Bob said...

I've learned that many people are using the raw apricot kernel or seed as a spice or food. I've consumed apricot seeds myself and

found them to be bitter tasting but good. The company Nu-Gen Nutrition, Inc. at or sells apricot kernels.