Apricot tart with almond and hazelnut crust

It has been hard, and actually quite emotional, deciding what recipe to do for our finale column, we listed many but kept coming back to a beautiful seasonal tart – it seemed appropriate. When we started this business, seven years ago, catering for big shoots, we were coined the nickname the ‘kitchen tarts’ and it stuck. We thought we should close this chapter by honouring the place it began. We chose a tart, not just because it was a nickname bestowed upon us, but because tarts encompass so much of what we love about cooking and eating. The hypnotic pleasure of baking and the smells it produces, to the end result of a mouth-watering- glistening presentation and something that can be shared and enjoyed at the end. Tarts are an ideal classic desert at this time of year, they are light and surprisingly simple, filled to the brim with brightly coloured summer fruits- either fresh juicy berries or slow roasted-sticky, caramelised stone fruits. This recipe is an adaptation of one we love using- The crust is one that we have been doing for years. We came up with it when returning late from photoshoots and having to whip up dessert for a job the next day – this we could make in minutes. It’s a crunchy, nutty base that can take on a wide range of fillings. A very fun version is to paint, with melted hot chocolate, and a pastry brush the inside of the tart and let it dry, spooning on a rich whipped mascarpone and lemons curd and then generously scattering raspberries over the top. A juicy ripe, honey sweet apricot is a rare and exciting find, its sun blushed cheeks flushing with pleasure, such an apricot is available in abundance overseas under the hazy sun of Italy, France and Spain. For us we mostly come across a hard, slightly fluffy apricot that’s been picked too early. You can however usually pick up a deliciously scented apricot in good green grocers, markets and Natoora has peach perfect ones. If you are unlucky with your find and receive a hard little nugget then place it in a bowl in the sun and it will come to life in a couple of days. Another way to save it is to roast or stew it with a little sweetener, we like to use brown sugar or honey. You can substitute the apricot in this recipe for peach, nectarine or fig and as we move forward into autumn plum or greengage, for the autumnal fruits add a little spice into the honey glaze, such as cinnamon or cardamom. This is a delightful tart to finish a summer feast, sitting out in a balmy evening sipping on a chilled buttery white wine– this for us is perfection.


    150g chocolate hobnobs

    100g almonds, toasted

    100g hazelnuts, toasted

    150g butter

    1 tsp sea salt


    500g apricots, quartered 

    50g butter, cut into small cubes

    1 tbsp demerara sugar

    bunch of thyme

    ½ glass of masala or white wine


    200g mascarpone

    200g yoghurt

    1 tsp vanilla extra

    150g lemon curd

    zest of 1 lemon


    150g honey


    Juice of ½ lemon


1.     Whiz the hobnobs in a food processor (or bash in a bag) to a fine crumb and place in a bowl. Roughly chop the nuts and add to the hobnobs. Place the butter in a small pan and melt then add to the nut mixture with the salt and combine.

2.     Tip the mixture into the tart case and push to create a tart shell, spread evenly and place in the fridge to harden.

3.     Heat the oven to 190c.

4.     Half the apricots and destone, place on a baking tray, drizzle with the wine and sugar, sprinkle over the thyme and dot over the butter. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Take out and cool.

5.     Mix together the mascarpone, yoghurt, vanilla, lemon curd and lemon juice – combine and leave to one side.

6.     Place the honey and the thyme in small pan bring to a simmer then take off the heat and add the lemon juice.

7.     Take the crust out of the fridge dollop in the mascarpone mixture and spread evenly. Place the apricots over the top then take a pastry brush and brush over the honey mixture. Either eat straight away or place back in the fridge till needed but serve within 24 hours.


TIP: To take the tart out of its tin place on top of a can of beans take a cloth and dip into hot water and run around the tin case – repeat until the case comes loose.