Mary Berry’s Apricot Frangipane Tart (or could it be a Quiche?)

But first a Random Rant.

What the hell has happened to the BBC news website? It’s my go-to primary source of news (If, on the other hand, I want non-news I wind myself up by reading about the latest shenanigans relating to Kim Kardashian on the Daily Mail Online).

The BBC website used to just tell you what was going on in reasonably impartial terms (not bad for a leftie organisation). But now they seem to have employed a 21 year old to redesign the site so that it feels like you are looking at….well I’m not sure. It’s like its designed for people who don’t read the news. GREAT BIG pictures. Sentences of no more than a few words. Lots of videos.

They say it’s because most people view the BBC site on phones and tablets. But people know better than to view lots of videos on the move because it uses up the battery and their network credit.

So what’s the real reason? Money. Austerity. Over here everyone who has a TV has to pay the BBC a license fee. It began a looooong time ago. Before commercial channels with advertising and of course well before cable or satellite subscriptions.

But now, in the brave new world of dog-eat-dog, the license fee is under threat. We have to pay it even if we don’t watch it. Even Sky hasn’t managed to pull that trick (although you know they wish they could).

So the BBC is trying to shrink into the background. You can imagine them sitting in their very expensive new offices in Manchester sweating it out.

‘What can we do?’

‘Can we make them forget?’

‘Forget what?’

‘The license fee.’


‘Well, let’s not increase the price. They’ll forget about it.’

‘Well how are we going to afford our inclusive diversity training weekends at Gleneagles?’

‘We’ll slash the online budget. We’ll create one website that works across any device. It’ll look crap because it will have much less content, but it’ll be super cheap to run.’

‘Excellent! Pour the champagne and give yourself a pay rise.’

So there we have it. A vanilla news website which seems oddly devoid of news. It’s got big pictures and large areas of white space. Groovy.

Still awake? Looking for some food? How about this. It came from BBC GoodFood. Now they aren’t messing around with websites. They do spend a bit too much time messing around with foods you’ll never try (like most recently wild garlic. Come on, wild garlic) but they also do really good things. For instance, Apricot Frangipane Tart.


Now this is one of ‘Mary Berry’s Favourites’. She must have a lot of favourites. I thought it would be a bit like a Bakewell Tart with apricots but the texture was more like a quiche. Not unpleasant at all but more pudding than tart.

It might have done with more ground almonds or some flour in the mix, but who am I to argue with the Queen of Soggy Bottoms?

For Mary Berry’s Apricot Frangipane Tart you will need

  • A loose-bottomed pie dish 22cm to 28 cm across
  • 1 pack ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry (if you want to make your own, good for you)
  • 3oz butter, softened
  • 3oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3oz ground almonds, plus extra for sprinkling on the pastry before cooking (helps the pastry from getting soggy from the apricots)
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 tins of apricot halves in juice, drained (reserve the juice) and dried with lots of kitchen towel
  • 4½ oz icing sugar
  • At least 2 tbsp apricot juice from the tin


If you want to be really lazy then get some ready-rolled pastry. I did.

First heat the oven. Now after several years I have realised that our oven runs hot. So when it says 170 centigrade for a fan oven I should have set it to 160 centigrade (but I didn’t) and when it says cook for 45 to 50 mins it won’t take more than 35 mins. I mean who cooks something like this for nearly an hour? It’s a pie not turkey. Instructions can be so stupid. (You know when they state ‘tested in our kitchen’ that kind of guarantees it hasn’t been).

Put a baking tray in the oven.

Line the pie dish with the pastry. Prick the surface with a fork and set aside.


Using a food processor (or bowl and spoon), combine the caster sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Now the trick to doing this in a food processor is to get the butter really soft. Of course I didn’t so it just kept turning into a ball of sugary butter that avoided the processor blades as soon as it could.

Eventually however it went pale and fluffy, so I added the eggs, ground almonds and extract and whizzed for a min, to combine. You could at this point, if you wanted a slightly cakier texture, add some more almonds, or some flour. I think.


Making sure you have squeezed out as much juice as is practicable from the apricots, place them into the pie case.


Pour over the mixture and let it level out. Pop in the oven for half an hour or so, check and then continue for 5 or 10 mins if needed.


Once done it should look like a slightly less bronzed version of this….


Anywho, combine the icing sugar and juice to form some thick but pourable icing. I put mine in a bottle to make it easier to squeeze onto the pie. Once the pie has cooled properly, drizzle with icing.


You could serve slightly warmed with ice cream or whipped cream, neither of which I had. So I took it to work. This is the creation at circa 10.30…


And this is the tart at circa 12.30…


So it was a success! Someone thought it good enough to write a comment!


28 thoughts on “Mary Berry’s Apricot Frangipane Tart (or could it be a Quiche?)

  1. I can tell you that over in the States, the news channels are a joke. We’ve got one channel dedicated to bashing everything that isn’t extreme right wing nuts yammering at each other and the rest just rely on the cheap way out of buying into a new service so they can cut out any correspondents. It doesn’t matter what idiotic statement a politician makes – it makes the news with no counterbalance as to any fact checking. There, got that off my chest.
    Now this lovely tart would make me feel even better.

    • Now my old man loves watching Fox News – that would be the same news channel that had an American expert telling everyone that Birmingham, England was a no-go area for the English. That went down well over here….

      • How did you know I was talking about Faux News? It’s incredible the stuff they just make up. Most of the time they don’t go back to correct (or apologize) but when they do, they usually make up some excuse about how it was “almost” correct.
        I remember Jon Stewart of the Daily Show doing a segment about that ‘situation’ you have over there with the no-go area in Birmingham. If it weren’t for Fox News, Jon Stewart wouldn’t have enough material to do his show. So – did the price of real estate go up in Birmingham? I can see where that information would have been very helpful.

  2. “Apricot frangipane” sold it to me, “sweet quiche” not so much 😉

    BBC Good Food messed up their website a couple of years back. I’m no technophobe but it took a while to get over the sense of betrayal it instilled in me.

    Love the dialogue between the execs in BBC Towers. I can totally imagine that.

    • They do love tinkering don’t they. I prefer the Daily Mail online anyway, Proper quality news. Actually its the comments people leave that i like

      Agreed sweet quiche doesnt sound quite right – A Home Cook suggeests below its more of a custard tart which i think is quite apt!,

  3. From one curmudgeon to another – I often turn to the BBC or NYT for news. Too bad they seem to be going the way of ABC, CBS, and NBC, the US’s “news” channels. Like reading People Magazine. Your apricot frangipane tart looks like a good antidote, both making and eating.

    • It’s funny how the designers have been asking for feedback on the new site for months. Either everyone else thought it was great, or they ignored everyone and just went ahead and did it anyway. What a surprise!

  4. The juxtaposition of ‘the Queen of Soggy Bottoms’ and a ‘loose-bottomed pie dish’ threw me for a moment. What kind of site is this? For a moment I thought I was on a trashy pseudo-news site (you know, one with lots of white space, videos and endless chatter about Kim Kardashian), but then I realized I was at Happiness Stan, learning about tarts. As in pies, should clarification be required.

    Now that I’ve got that all straightened out, wow, this pie/tart/whatever the heck looks really good.

    • Yes I was conflicted, All I really wanted to do was rant about websites, but I know the golden rule of blogging is have a theme and stick to it. So this one was a rant/tart mash-up!

  5. What a nice thought to take it in to work…. wish I had colleagues like you! 😉 I am glad to learn that it wasn’t due to our intermittent internet this morning and it was indeed the bbc website that was looking odd. I hate change, but suppose I will have to get used to it! (Maybe I’m just getting old?)

  6. The biggest BBC news over here has been the release of Mr Clarkson. I’m not sure watching Messrs May and Hammond along with someone else will be as enjoyable. Separately they leave a lot to be desired but together the entertainment value is huge.
    Sadly replicas like the Australian version were orders of magnitude inferior. Hopefully Messrs Clarkson, May and Hammond will reunite somewhere else. Perhaps on-line.

    • They will. Channel 4. Apparently it will be called Full Throttle. Over the Clarkson affair I am conflicted. On one hand the BBC just waved goodbye to their most popular star and programme (and also £50m). On the other you can’t be sticking one on your staff (even if the guy is called Oishin; I mean what kind of name is that anyway)

      • Very true, tapping a kid on the lip is not appropriate in this modern era, especially over what’s for tea. The BBC will now have to make do on the licence fee.
        As on-line programming improves I wonder how many people will discard their television sets to avoid the fee and remain content with paying for on-line content.

      • Just imagine how all this could have been avoided is young Oishin had gone the extra kilometre (haha) and organised a hot steak meal. No blood from his lip. No yelling and screaming. BBC would have kept Mr Clarkson and the millions of pounds Mr Clarkson generates for the BBC. I don’t know if it was Oishin’s job to manage the entire production process during a shooting session. If it was then catering should be part of that and a good manager would have had that sorted out. A good manager would know how to handle ‘talent’.
        Clarkson reacted badly and childishly but management should have taken the steps necessary to keep the whole team happy.

        • Well the news just focuses on what he did – yelling for a long time in the bar, whacking hime etc – but no mention of what the run up was – did this guy just stand there? Or did he kick off first? Mystery. Anyway the BBC are already backtracking, saying he could be reinstated in the future. No matter they will bugger off to Channel 4 or Sky. Adverts but that’s okay,

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