Not long ago I've purchased this rectangular tin and ever since I was dreaming to make something beautiful in it. Its inauguration was celebrated with making this gorgeous apricot, coconut and mint tart, what a beauty you might say! You are so right to say and believe this, it really is to die for.
For me was never my passion although I do enjoy it most of the times whenever I choose to do it. But... since my 12 year old darling gets in the kitcken baking, I do enjoy it more than ever before.
She helps mainly with the stuff that I don’t always enjoy like blending ingredients, etc. I just help with pastry or something that it’s hard for her to make and I enjoy making.
It’s also fun to make a team in the kitchen; we work particularly well together, she is great and has got loads of patience which I don’t always.
I’m not entirely sure why I prefer cooking to baking. Especially when I could easily spend a whole day without moaning in the kitchen. I guess savoury wins over sweet because there is a lot more room for creation. Well, for me of course and allows a lot more juggling with ingredients.
I have made this almond cake with apricot, coconut and mint many times before. It really is a beautiful, full of flavours and super easy to make dessert.
If you choose to work with a ready made pastry, this tart will be prepared in 10-15 min plus baking. Hmm, something to think about, I know. Ready bought pastry is great and delivers quickness but it is not to be compared with the homemade version.
We had guests on that day thus this tart varnished immediately once the pictures were taken. My son asked if any was left and to his profound disappointment the answer was, no! We did make it again the next day and added rosemary this time, again a real success.
You can turn this tart into a perfect vegan delicious one too (see recipe notes).
And...If you like this type of desserts, here are some more of this kind to enjoy! You can also try this gorgeous apricot and limoncello torte, or this yummy peach almond and thyme tart or why not this absolutely amazing and healthy almond, poppy seeds and blubery cake?
Plain Deliciousness! Let’s get baking folks!
Almond flour cake with apricots, coconut and mint
For the pastry:
- 250 g flour I use light spelt flour
- 125 g unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 50 g icing sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp buttermilk or yoghurt
- 1 pinch salt pink Himalayan
For the tart:
- 120 g canned apricots approx 6 med halves
- 125 g cream cheese
- 100 g cane sugar
- 125 g ground almonds
- 2 eggs medium
- 1 tbsp fresh mint finely chopped plus few leaves to decorate
- 2-3 drops apricot extract For extra flavour - optional
- 3 tbsp desiccated coconut plus extra to sprinkle over
- 1 tbsp almond flakes to sprinkle over
- Preheat the oven to 170°/160°C fan assisted or 325°F and grease a tart tin or pan. I used a rectangular tin (36cm x 12cm x 2.5 cm) 14“ x 4.75“ x 0.98". I have lined this with parchment paper.
- To make the pastry start by placing the flour into a bowl and mix together the cold cubed butter, icing sugar and the pinch of salt until it resembles a breadcrumb texture. Mix in the egg yolks and the yoghurt or the buttermilk. Mix further until it begins to come together. Take out on a floured surface and knead for a further two minutes.
- Place in the fridge for a good 10 minutes to chill.
- While the pastry is chilling nicely in the fridge let’s prepare the filling by beating together the cream cheese (I used full fat Philadelphia cheese) and the sugar until pale and smooth.
- Add one egg at the time while continuing to mix, a pinch of salt, apricot extract, the finely chopped mint, the ground almonds and mix further at a lower speed until it is of a nice consistency.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge and place on a floured or oiled surface. Using a rolling pin roll the pastry into a rectangle until it gets to approximately 3-4 mm thick.
- Transfer the pastry into the tin, arrange it nicely and gently prick the bottom using a fork.
- Place another parchment sheet over the pastry, put the baking beans slightly pushing those around to spread evenly. Blind bake it in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes at 170°C/325F.
- When ready, take the pastry out of the oven, carefully remove the baking beans (caution, they are hot!. I do this operation by picking the 4 corners of the parchment paper. Allow it to rest for 5-10 mins.
- Pour the filling mixture in spreading it uniformly and add approx 7 halved apricots arranged nicely on top. I used canned halves and these were on the smaller side.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 170°C gas mark 4 until it get to a golden colour or becomes lightly brown (just as I like it).
- Once baked, take out of the oven, allow it to cool slightly. Sprinkle some almond flakes and coconut over, decorate with some mint leaves and serve.
* You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl in between adding the ingredients. * Transferring the pastry into the tin can be tricky sometimes. To avoid any surprises ️I always fold the pastry on the rolling pin and transfer it gently into the tin. It’s easier and it will not break. Easy trick indeed, but will save possible aggravations. Want it vegan...? No problem at all. Replace the butter and the cheese with coconut oil and the eggs with chia seeds. I have tried it and it’s really nice! One tablespoon of chia seeds soaked in almond milk to replace one egg. The pastry can be made with no egg nor chia seeds but by using almond, coconut or soya milk instead of the dairy ingredients. Want this gluten free...? Simply replace the flour with gluten free one or buy a ready made gluten free pastry. Cutting corners... always welcome and... it does happen ... If time is not on your favour and have no time to make own pastry, use ready rolled shortcrust pastry. Using a ready made pastry might reduce the sweetness slightly but you can just add a sprinkle of sugar over just before blind baking the pastry. I personally think this is okay and sufficiently sweet as it is. Even quicker than you think but it will compromise on the taste slightly. Homemade pastry is by far the best so if you have an extra 15-20 min to make your own it is definitely what I recommend you do.