I don’t know if you have noticed this… spring is in the air. Beautiful, flower-scented, honest-to-goodness SPRING. And even though the weather is torn between sunny/cloudy/rainy/stormy, cycling between all four options sometimes in a single day, I am still elated by the sights and sounds of spring. Apparently her infectious spirit has also inspired Häagen-Dazs because they have just launched two delicately delicious new flavours: Lychee Raspberry Rose and Apricot Lavender. The Häagen-Dazs Little Gardens Limited Edition range strikes a perfect balance between fruity and floral but you have to shake a leg if you want to try these new flavours – the range is available exclusively at Liberty London from the 11th of April for a limited period only.
I think my favourite way to eat ice cream is in a cone – ice cream in a bowl seems lacking in poetry somehow. But even better than ice cream in a cone, is ice cream served over slightly warm pie so that it’s creamy sweetness blends with the buttery crust and fruit filling. The minute I tasted the new Apricot Lavender Häagen-Dazs flavour I knew it was time for pie. Or, actually, time for a tart. Fresh apricots were sadly unavailable but using tinned halved apricots worked a treat – this was a truly lovely tart! I imagine it would taste great with other fruit also and if you happen to have any Lavender Sugar*, a light sprinkling on top would round off the taste very nicely.
The tart recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts* book which tends to be my bible where pie making is concerned – I can’t recommend it highly enough! Another thing to invest in if you like tarts is a non-stick fluted tart tin with loose base*. I have tried making tarts in springform cake tins in the past but this foolish enterprise always ends in tears.
Check out more Haagen Dazs recipes from around the blogosphere…
Chocolate cookie cups with coffee ice cream from Maison Cupcake.
Pistachio mini cake from Your Sunny Side Up.
French toast with ice cream from Botanical Baker.
Makes a 23cm | 9 inch tart
For the crust
150g | 5.3oz all purpose flour
115g | 4oz | 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
70g | 2.5oz ground almonds
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp butter unsalted butter, melted to grease the tart case
For the filling
400g | 14oz tin apricot halves in juice
3 large eggs
100g | 3.5oz caster sugar
60g | 2oz ground almonds
50g | 6 tbsp plain flour
4 tbsp ricotta cheese
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 tbsp flaked almonds, to sprinkle on top
2. Pulse the flour, ground almonds, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the butter and almond extract and pulse again until combined. Pinch some of the crust between your fingers – if it is too crumply you might want to add a little melted butter (you should have some leftover from greasing the tin) until it sticks together when pressed.
3. Press the crust evenly into the bottom and up the sides of your tin and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
4. Bake the crust for 20-25 minutes until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
5. Put all the dry ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and then whisk in the eggs, melted butter, almond extract and finally the ricotta until smooth and well combined.
6. Pour the filling into the crust. Drain the apricots of their juice (keep to use in cocktails or smoothies) and pat dry with some kitchen towel.
7. Arrange the halves, cut side up, over the filling and sprinkle with the flaked almonds and sugar. Bake for about an hour, or until the filling is puffed and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before carefully removing from the tin.
8. Serve slightly warm with a generous scoop of Apricot Lavender Ice cream and some extra flaked almonds on top.