First, make the pastry:
- Sift the flour into a medium-size bowl and add the salt.
- Cut the butter into small cubes (done as part of your mise en place), then use cutlery knives in a scissor motion to chop the butter and flour together, this will take about 5 minutes. Do this until the butter has been broken into small pea-sized pieces.
- Then, using your thumbs and fingertips, gently rub the flour and butter together until it resembles fresh breadcrumbs.
- Finally, stir in the sugar.
Prepare and add the liquid to the pastry:
- In a small bowl combine the egg yolk and 30ml cold water. Beat with a fork to prevent streaks of yolk.
- Weigh 25g of this egg yolk mixture and then add it to the crumb, using a cutlery knife to distribute the liquid as quickly as possible. This will create flakes of pastry - if there are dry flakes at the bottom of the bowl, add 1 tsp more liquid to any dry areas of crumb.
- Use the flat of the knife to bring a few of the flakes and dry crumbs together, then pull the pastry together with your hands, ensuring it is homogenous and well bonded.
Bring the pastry together:
- Shape the pastry into 4 flat discs and wrap them in cling film.
- Place your discs in the fridge to chill for 30 mins.
Cutting and rolling and chilling:
- Place the pastry on a lightly floured surface. First ‘ridge’ the pastry discs: hold the rolling pin in both hands loosely and tap it lightly over the entire surface of the pastry 3 or 4 times. Turn the pastry 90° and ridge again. Repeat until the circle has at least doubled in size. Don’t turn the pastry over; it is unnecessary and can result in overworking.
- Now roll your pastry to 3mm thickness and line each case, being mindful to get right into the edges. Roll-off the excess pastry with your rolling pin. Repeat with the rest of the pastry.
- Chill the lined cases in the fridge until firm for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven:
- Heat the oven to 190°C conventional/170°C fan assisted.
Whilst your tart cases are chilling, make the frangipane:
- Using hand beaters, cream the butter and sugar until pale. Mix the egg and egg yolk together and add a tbsp at a time until you have incorporated all the egg.
- Stir in the ground almonds and flour until a thick smooth paste has formed.
- Finally, add the calvados and a couple of drops of almond extract and stir to combine.
- Transfer to a piping bag and keep it at room temperature until ready to use.
Note that the frangipane can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge. If it is cold, allow sufficient time for the mixture to temper and soften before using, this will make piping much easier and controlled.
Blind bake the pastry cases:
- Blind bake the tarts. Prepare 4 cartouches and scrunch up your paper tightly. Line the chilled cases with the paper and fill them with baking beans.
- Transfer the cases to a baking sheet and bake on the top third of the oven for 8 -10 minutes or until the sides are set. Remove the baking beans and give the pastry a couple of extra minutes until the base has nearly dried out. Remove the cases from the oven. The cases in the video were baked for a total of 14 minutes.
Lower the oven to 170°C conventional/150°C fan assisted.
Assemble and bake the filled tarts:
- To assemble, put ½ tbsp jam in the base of each case.
- Pipe the frangipane evenly into each case and top with a few flaked almonds.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until the frangipane is set and golden.
Cool and remove from cases:
- Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before carefully removing from the cases and transferring the tarts to a wire rack.
Apricot glaze and glacé icing:
- Whilst the baked tarts are cooling, prepare the glaze by melting the apricot jam and water together in a pan, then pass through a fine sieve.
- Make the glacé icing by adding a small amount of hot water at a time to the icing sugar until you have a thick drizzling consistency. Add more icing sugar if it is too thin, then also a small amount of pink food paste to the glacé icing until the desired colour is reached.
- Using a pastry brush carefully dab the glaze over the cooled tarts. Then allow the glaze to set for a few minutes.
- Finally, pipe or drizzle the glacé icing over the top of your tarts.
Storage: The complete tarts will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container
If wishing to get ahead the pastry can be made, lined and frozen in advance of baking, alternately it can be baked and stored for up to 2 days before being filled and finished.