This classic French custard tart is a favourite of mine and traditionally prepared with apples, but I've used apricots for a change. As ever, make sure the fruits are at their best to ensure the best possible results.

Apricot tarte Alsacienne

Serves 4

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170g unsalted butter

85g icing sugar

330g flour

5 eggs

110g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod

220ml milk

220ml double cream

8 apricots

Start by making the pastry. Place the butter and icing sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth and light. Next add the flour and beat to form the texture of breadcrumbs.

Crack one egg open and add it to the bowl. As soon as the dough comes together, stop the mixer, remove the dough and knead it once by hand to form a ball. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and place it in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

Place a 26cm x 4cm baking ring on a baking sheet lined with a non-stick baking sheet.

Roll the dough with a rolling pin to form a large circle, 3mm thick. Place this into the tart ring, making sure the sides are pressed in. Prick the base well with a fork and leave any excess pastry overhanging.

Place the lined tart into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. Once rested remove it from the fridge and cut the excess pastry away. Line the tart with a sheet of non-stick parchment paper and fill it with baking beans.

Set the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Place the tart into the oven for 12-15 minutes until the edges turn light gold.

Take the tart out of the oven and remove the baking beans, then return the tart to the oven for 10 minutes until the base is light golden and cooked.

Now make the filling. Place the remaining eggs and sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk together until light. Split and scrape the vanilla pod and add the seeds to the bowl.

Add the milk, cream and vanilla pod to a large saucepan and bring to the boil before pouring it over the eggs and sugar and whisking well. Leave to infuse for 15 minutes before straining the custard through a fine sieve.

Cut the apricots into quarters and arrange these uniformly round the tart before pouring the filling over them.

Increase the oven temperature to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 5 and place the tart back in the oven for 15 minutes until deep golden.

Take the tart out of the oven and leave to cool before removing the ring and serving.