Heat oven 170C/ fan 150C/ gas 4. Line a 23cm loose bottomed tart tin with the pastry, chill for 15 minutes. Scrunch up a piece of nonstick baking paper then pour in baking beans and bake the case for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, pour out the beans and lift out the paper then return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes.
To make the filling, put the pudding rice in a pan with the milk, bring to the boil, stirring frequently until the rice is just tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Mix the eggs, cream and sugar with the almond essence then stir in the cooled rice pudding.
Pour the filling into the tart case, lay the apricots cut side down then return to the oven for 40 minutes, or until the filling is set and the top is turning golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature, serve with cream or ice cream if you like.
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