ApricotTart_7
It's hard to resist beautiful fruits like apricots when they start appearing in shops all plump and fragrant.  Although they are best enjoyed eaten as they are, a simple free form tart like this apricot galette can really celebrate them while they are at their best.

Serves 4-6
8 ripe apricots
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split and beans scraped

For the pastry:
200g of plain flour
140g of butter, cold and cut in cubes
2 tablespoon of caster sugar
Zest of 1/2 an orange, optional
1 large free range egg, lightly beaten

To make the pastry combine the flour and butter in a bowl and using your finger tips, rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture which resembles rough breadcrumbs.  Stir through the sugar and orange zest and using 1-2 tablespoons of cold water, bring together the dough to form a rough ball.  Press this flat and cover with cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Prepare the apricots by carefully slicing down from the stalk to the base and all the way around.  Twist the two halves apart and pull out the stone.
Toss the apricot halves in a bowl with the caster sugar and vanilla beans until completely coated.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out a 30cm round, 5mm in thickness between two sheets of parchment paper.
Transfer to a baking sheet and remove the top layer of parchment.
Arrange the apricots in the centre of the pastry leaving about 5cm free around the sides.  Carefully bring the sides of the pastry up and over the apricots all the way around.  You can use the parchment paper to help you.
Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and place in the oven on the middle rack to cook for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit has reduced and caramelised.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Serve warm slices with vanilla ice cream or lightly whipped cold cream.