September 28, 2021

APRICOT PIE - things to do with apricots part one and my own tarte tatin moment.

One of the things we love so much about France is the availability of fruit and veg that sometimes have a fairly short lived supply in the UK.  In the French markets and supermarkets during August there are often mountains of apricots for sale.  Usually loose, sometimes prepacked in punnets and often in large trays.  They are hard to resist.  Then when I get them home I have to think what to do with them.

With guests coming for dinner I decided to make an adaptation of one of my recent favourite desserts to a Mary Berry recipe.  Part way through I had a senior moment.

I used the recipe for an apple brioche pudding which I have made before.   It's one of those recipes that is very adaptable and always turns out well.  If you make it right it has a distinct "patisserie" look to it. 

The basic idea is that you line the dish with sliced brioche which forms a nice base for the tart.  Then you spread a frangipane mixture on top and arrange the fruit over it.  After baking you glaze it with an apricot jam glaze.

I realised something was not quite right as I shut the oven door.  Looking at the pie through the glass I muttered "you stupid woman"  in the fashion of René in Allo, Allo (a favourite expression in my kitchen these days) as it dawned on me what I had done wrong.  I clearly had not been concentrating as I carefully arranged the fruit on the brioche base and spread the frangipane mixture on top instead of the other way round!

Still, it looked good when I took it out of the oven so I shrugged, glazed it with the apricot jam as usual and scattered a few bits of crushed sugar on top for a bit of glamour.  As I brushed the warmed jam over the top I couldn't help thinking of the other famous culinary mistake of the Loire Valley, the Tarte Tatin.  The story goes.........well, you can read about it here.

It was still delicious!

The last four slices came in handy the next day when we were invited to an impromptu alfresco lunch at the house of some other friends - another of the things I love about our life in France.  (Impromptu alfresco lunches are an uncommon event in the UK!)  They had phoned to say the weather was perfect for lunch outdoors (which it frankly hadn't been for some time)  and they had made a quiche but hadn't got a dessert.  So I took the last of my pie. 

If you would like to make it, see my blog post here and simply put the frangipane mixture on top of the fruit, not underneath !!

Cuts into 8-10 generous slices.


  1. That looks splendid. Who was it said"ever apologise, never explain" when you serve a baking "accident" to your guests. Definitely worthy of the Patisserie shop window

    1. Angela, it was a good pie in its own right, one I shall definitely make again in.

  2. Apologies if this comment appears more than once but I seemed to get an error on my first attempt.
    Apricots are a delight and this is a lovely way to show them at their best. I'm not sure that impromptu alfresco lunches are uncommon for everyone in the UK. I can remember many such happy occasions. But not most of this year, admittedly. It seems to rain on me every time I venture into the garden.
    Your mishap reminded me a little of the famous Bakewell pudding tale as well as the Tatin story. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure that either of these legends are entirely true.

    1. It’s only a coincidence that I happen to live within a few miles of where both famous culinary mistakes allegedly took place, Bakewell and the Loire Valley! I have yet to attempt the Bakewell pudding, it's on my list of things to do when we're not sitting in the garden enjoying an alfresco lunch!