Gluten free apricot & quark tartlets with fresh mint

This summer there seem be a lot of apricots around. At least in Berlin, so much so that I have been eating them almost every day ever since they started appearing in the shops and farmers markets.  I am still not tired of them, quite the opposite, they are getting better by the week. This puts them right at the top of my list of nominees for favourite fruit of the summer.

Apricots belong to the cherry, peach, plum and almond family and are often baked into cakes and pastries as well as turned into delicious jams. I love using  unsulphured dried apricots as sweeteners for porridge, desserts and in baking. Did you know that almond oil is made from the kernels ? Apricots originate from China and were brought to Greece by Alexander the Great. He obviously was a bit of a foodie too.

These delicious and delicately soft  little golden orange balls are super good for you too. They provide a decent amount of fibre, potassium and iron and are rich in the carotenes, lutein and lycopene.  These two carotenes give orange, red and yellow fruit and vegetables their colour and  have been shown to be beneficial for eye and skin health. What better fruit to indulge on ? 🙂

There are so many ways to enjoy apricots, fresh being the quickest and easiest option. They  also make a bright and flavoursome addition to your porridge or Bircher muesli. I love an apricot cake, so thought I would share this quick and easy apricot tartlet recipe with you. It’s the perfect dessert for your next dinner party or BBQ, so let’s see what you need to make it.

Apricot & quark tartlets with fresh mint – makes 6 ( Ø 12cm)

Ingredients: (ideally organic)
125g butter (at room temperature)
8 (60g) soaked dates  ( soak for at least 2-3 hours)
1 egg
100g of quark cheese
180g of tiger nut or almond flour
300g ripe apricots
30g ground almonds
4 cardamom pods or 1/2 tsp of ground cardamom
6 sprigs of fresh mint

Add the soft butter and soaked dates to a food processor and mix until light and fluffy. Next add the egg and mix well, then add the quark and mix again until nice and creamy.  Now, gradually add the flour, mix until everything is well combined into a thick creamy dough and set aside .

Pre-heat the oven at 200C (Gas 6) and prepare 6 Ø 12cm tartlet forms by brushing them with a little butter or coconut oil, this will prevent the dough from sticking to the forms. Next wash, pit and cut the apricots into quarters. Mix ground cardamom and ground almonds in a small bowl and set aside.

Now, pour the dough into the tartlet forms, leaving 1cm to the edge, then dip the apricots into the almond and cardamom mix and arrange on top of the dough. Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.

To serve sprinkle the tartlets with some of the ground almond & cardamom mix and top with freshly chopped mint. They taste equally good cold, so you can prepare them in advance if you like and if needed, they can be re-heated in the oven at 160C before serving.

Enjoy x