Glazing a fruit tart helps to prevent it from drying out and retain its texture, as well as adding a beautiful shine to emphasise the colour and freshness of the fruit. Some enriched sweet breads are also traditionally glazed with a fruit glaze.

...Make a jam glaze

Ingredients

Makes enough to glaze a 24cm tart
250g apricot jam (not whole fruit)
1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Put the jam into a small saucepan. Using a swivel peeler, pare a strip or two of lemon zest, add to the pan and heat gently over a low heat until the jam has melted, without letting it boil. Avoid stirring the jam too much or too vigorously or you will incorporate air bubbles that can cause it to cloud.
  2. Once melted, if the jam is still very thick add 2–3 tbsp warm water to loosen it, then pass it through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, discarding the zest.
  3. Adjust the consistency with a little more warm water until the glaze coats a pastry brush evenly and is the consistency of runny honey. It should come off the brush in a single stream for about 2–3cm, then start to drip off. Some jam will not need any water added and some might need more, but take care as too much water will thin the jam too much and it will not adhere properly.
  4. When applying glaze, dab it on the fruit or bread rather than brushing or using strokes. This will give a much more even finish, as long as the consistency is correct. As you use the glaze, keep checking the consistency and adding water as necessary, as it will thicken as it cools.

Variation - Redcurrant glaze

Replace the apricot jam with redcurrant jelly. Generally, on warming, redcurrant jelly melts to a much looser consistency, so you won’t need to add as much water.

General Tips

Use a cold glaze for fresh fruit and a warm glaze for cooked fruit. The amount of water you need to add to the jam depends on the jam. You are looking for a light syrupy consistency rather than a thick coarse texture, which would not look attractive on the fruit.

Apricot glaze, because of its pale and neutral colour, is very useful as a general purpose glaze and is best for pale fruits and breads, while a redcurrant glaze works well for red fruits.

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