This French Apricot Pastry Recipe is the perfect treat to serve at your next brunch. They are inspired by the Lunettes Aux Abricots, that you see in the French bakeries when traveling in France.
They are one of my favorite French recipes to make because they look so impressive but are actually a cinch to put together! What makes these so easy is the fact that you can use store-bought puff pastry and canned apricots! No apricots on hand? No problem! You could also use canned pears or peaches too!
For another wonderful French treat using apricots, try my Apricot Clafoutis Recipe. Super easy and super delicious too!
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Recipe Pairing Ideas:
- Serve these pastries as a starter to my delicious Egg Bake Souffle or Egg Bake Casserole
- Round out the main course with my crispy Home Fries or Smashed Potato recipes
- You could also pair these apricot pastries with my "Cheater" almond croissant and mini ham and cheese croissant recipes for a fun "French Pastry Theme!"
Why You'll Love These:
- They are filled with rich pastry cream and topped with tart apricots.
- Once baked they are lathered with warm apricot jam.
- The combination of the flakey puff pastry, the rich pastry cream, and the tart apricots is just divine!
Watch My Video Demo of This Recipe Below!
Step #1: Make the Pastry Cream
- The pastry cream can be made a day or two ahead, and it's really what makes these pastries so delicious!
- Pastry cream uses basic ingredients you probably already have on hand and the results are just divine!
- It's also pretty easy to do too! To a sauce pot, you'll add milk, sugar and a vanilla bean scraped of its seeds. Simmer the milk until the vanilla seeds float to the surface. Remove the pod.
Allow the milk to cool and meanwhile, you'll mix together egg yolks and cornstarch until a paste forms. The cornstarch will give the pastry cream its structure while thickening the mixture too.
Tempering the Eggs
- The secret to a smooth pastry cream comes down to tempering and straining.
- Tempering eggs essentially means bringing the temperature of the eggs up slowly, by adding the hot milk mixture, a little at a time, and whisking at the same time.
- This will prevent "scrambling" the eggs with the hot milk, which is what could happen if you poured the hot milk in all at once on top of the eggs.
- Be sure to remove the vanilla pod before straining.
The Straining the Custard
- The next step is to strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a cleaned-out saucepot.
- Starting with a clean pot will avoid any scorching of the custard while it cooks. And the straining will catch any bits of egg that did cook, or bits of vanilla pod.
- It will assure you will begin with a smooth custard base before it thickens as it cooks on the cooktop.
Cooking the Custard
- The secret to cooking the custard is low and slow. This will avoid overcooking it which can lead to lumps and a grainy texture.
- It's something you want to watch, and stir continually, to assure it's getting even heat distribution and doesn't become too hot, which will create lumps.
- It's ready when it has a pudding-like consistency. Transfer the custard to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Storing the Pastry Cream
- The plastic wrap should touch the pastry cream and have a tight seal. This will prevent a skin from forming.
- Pastry cream is a terrific recipe to master because you can use it in so many other delicious things! Such as my Chocolate Eclairs, Fruit Tart, or my Strawberry Pistachio Tart.
Step#2: Assemble the Apricot Pastries
To assemble the pastries, place one 5" x 5" (13cm x 13cm) puff pastry square on a cutting board. Add two tablespoons of the pastry cream in the center, and top with the apricot halves, cut side down.
- The best place to find pre-cut squares of puff pastry in the size is in the Mediterranean markets.
- Having the pastry pre-cut will assure that all your pastries are the same size and will bake at the same rate.
- It also saves a ton of time!
Sealing the Pastries
Just be careful not to over-fill the pastries or the filling will ooze out while baking in the oven. But the egg wash in the next step will help keep them tightly closed as they bake.
Once you've brushed the pastry with a beaten egg, then bring the corners to the center, covering the pastry cream, and leaving the apricots visible. Seal the pastry up with more egg wash.
If not baking right away you can transfer pastries to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover loosely with foil. Keep the tray refrigerated until ready to bake.
Step#3: Bake Your Apricot Pastries
An hour before your guests arrive, remove your pastries from the refrigerator. Bake at 400F (200) for 20-25 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.
Step#4: Glaze and Serve!
- Brush the apricot pastries with melted apricot jam, including the apricots.
- If you can't find apricot jam, apple jelly is a good substitute since it's clear and has a similar tart texture.
Pile on a large platter and serve! This is a great recipe for Easter Sunday, Mother's Day, or baby or bridal showers too! Guests are always impressed by them and will think you bought them at a fancy French bakery! They are that good!
More Puff Pastry Recipes!
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For the Pastry Cream:
- 1 cup (240ml) milk
- 2 tablespoon (25g) sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, scrapped of its seeds
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoon (15g) cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon (15g) butter
For the Pastries:
- 6 puff pastry squares 5” x 5” (13cm x 13cm)
- 2 15-ounce cans of canned apricots (you’ll need 12 apricot halves)
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¼ cup (60 ml) Apricot Jam
- The day before, make the pastry cream.
- In a medium sauce pan add the milk, sugar, and vanilla bean paste and pod. Bring to a simmer and the vanilla seeds rise to the top. Fish out the vanilla bean pod with tongs, and allow the milk mixture to cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl add egg yolks and cornstarch. Whisk together until a pale-yellow paste forms. Slowly add the milk mixture to the paste mixture, whisking until combined.
- Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a cleaned-out sauce pot. Heat mixture on medium high heat, whisking all the while until thickened. Soon after a pastry cream will begin to form. Whisk until it reaches pudding-like consistency. Whisk in butter.
- Transfer pastry cream to a shallow bowl and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or until completely cooled.
- Drain apricots of their syrup and place on a plate. Place 1 puff pastry square on a floured surface, rotating it to a diamond shape facing you. Spread 2 tablespoons of pastry cream in the center of the diamond. Spread out to about 3 inches long. Place apricots, cut side down at the edge of the pastry cream.
- Brush the perimeter of the pastry with egg wash. Then take the two-outer points of the diamond, at the sides and bring them towards the center, folding one over the other and brushing seal with the egg wash to affix it together. Brush the outer pastry area with egg wash as well.
- At this point, pastry cream should not be visible when you fold this up, only apricots should be visible.
- Gently place a floured metal spatula under the pastry and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Continue the process until 6 pastries are formed. Place the tray in the fridge, tented lightly with foil until ready to bake.
- To bake place pastries into a pre-heated 400F (200C) oven for 20-25 mins or until golden brown and puffed up. Allow to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile place the apricot jam in a sauce pan to melt the jam and liquefy. Brush the jam on the pastries and apricots to create a shiny surface. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.
- You can make the pastry cream up to 2 days before.
- You can also fill these with an almond filling too! You can see my recipe for Apricot Tarlettes and use the filling recipe. Just be careful not to over-fill the pastries if using the almond filling 1 good tablespoon is plenty, otherwise, the almond filling tends to seep out too much.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 88mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 3gSugar: 14gProtein: 6g