Living France - - À La Maison -

• 150g short­crust pas­try, rolled 2mm thick, and cut into 10 7cm discs • 10 canned apri­cot halves

For the al­mond cream:

• 110g ground al­monds • 110g ic­ing su­gar • 2 tsp corn­flour • 110g but­ter, soft­ened • 2 eggs • 1 tsp vanilla ex­tract

For the crum­ble:

40g plain flour 25g but­ter 25g caster su­gar 1 tbsp de­mer­ara su­gar

For the glaze:

• 250g home-made apri­cot jam • 4 fresh gar­den laven­der flower heads For the pra­linettes: • 80g nibbed al­monds • 60g caster su­gar This recipe comes from Benoit Blin MCA, who is head pas­try chef at Ray­mond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. For over 20 years, he has been able to source pro­duce from the or­ganic Le Manoir gar­dens, which has in­spired this beau­ti­ful pâtis­serie, which could be adapted to use other sea­sonal fruits.

1. First make the al­mond cream. Com­bine the dry in­gre­di­ents in a bowl. Put the but­ter in a stand mixer, beat in the dry in­gre­di­ents and slowly in­cor­po­rate the eggs and the vanilla ex­tract. Mix well and re­serve in the pip­ing/ pas­try bag.

2. Next, put all the crum­ble in­gre­di­ents into a large mix­ing bowl and work to­gether with fin­ger­tips to the con­sis­tency of bread­crumbs. Spread onto a bak­ing sheet and freeze. Blitz in a food pro­ces­sor from frozen, then store in the freezer un­til needed.

3. Put the apri­cot jam for the glaze in a pan with the laven­der and warm to about 50°C on a su­gar ther­mome­ter. Whisk well, then cover with cling film/plas­tic wrap to in­fuse for 45 min­utes. Blitz in the food pro­ces­sor for 10 sec­onds to break up the flow­ers and re­serve un­til needed. 4. To make the pra­linettes, bring the su­gar and two tea­spoons of water to 115°C. Add in the nuts and stir with a spat­ula. Al­low the su­gar to crys­tal­lize around the nuts, gen­tly stir­ring. Turn onto a cold bak­ing sheet to cool com­pletely.

5. Preheat the oven to 170°C.

6. To as­sem­ble, pat dry the apri­cot halves with pa­per tow­els. Ar­range the rings on a bak­ing sheet with a sil­i­con mat and place a pas­try disc in­side each ring. Pipe about 35g of al­mond cream into each ring. Place an apri­cot half in the cen­tre of each one, sliced­side down, and sprin­kle the crum­ble gen­er­ously around the edges. Bake in the pre­heated oven for 30-35 min­utes. Re­move the rings from around the al­mondines and al­low them to cool.

7. Re­heat the apri­cot and laven­der glaze and brush it over the top of each apri­cot. Sprin­kle the pra­linettes all around the edge of the apri­cots and dust with ic­ing su­gar.

Recipe and pho­to­graph taken from After­noon Tea at Home by Will Tor­rent and pho­tog­ra­phy by Matt Rus­sell. Ry­land Peters & Small, £19.99, hard­back

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