Fig and Frangipane Tart
As I had four ripe figs, some leftover pastry and some frangipane mixture. I decided to make these three small tarts for an autumn picnic in Kew Gardens last week. Sadly, I don’t have a fig tree in my garden but as figs are plentiful this time of use I was spoilt for choice. I used a Turkish variety called Black Bursa. You can pick figs up for as little as 37p each right now. I go for the plump black ones bursting with a sweet jammy texture and rich flavour. Once bought they must be consumed quickly as they don’t keep well.
This recipe is for two medium size tarts or one large one but you can easily adapt it to make smaller tarts like mine. I used three, 10cm loose-bottomed fluted flan tins.
for the pastry
350g plain flour
a pinch of salt
175g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar
3 egg yolks
for the filling
250g unsalted butter, room temperature
250g caster sugar
3 eggs lightly beaten
250 g ground almonds
50g plain flour
12-14 figs, stems trimmed, cut lengthways in 1/4s or 1/8s according to their size
Start with pastry as it needs to rest for at least one hour while you make the filling. In a food processor pulse the flour, salt, butter and sugar until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and pulse a little more until just combined. Bring together quickly on a cold work surface, wrap in cling film and chill for at least an hour. If you have any pastry left once you’ve made your tart, it will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days. It also freezes very well too.
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Coarsely grate the pastry into a 25cm loose-bottomed fluted flan tin, pressing it well into the sides and base. Try not to over work the pastry too much. Put the tart shell in the freezer for 15mins, then blind bake for about 15 mins until firm and slightly golden. Put tart shell aside to cool. Turn the oven down to 150ºC/300ºF/gas mark 3.
For the filling, cream the butter and sugar in a food processor until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each one. In a separate bowl combine the ground almonds with the flour. Add the ground almonds to the butter mixture and mix well.
Spread the almond paste over the base of the tart shell/s. Arrange your figs artfully, pressing them lightly, bottoms down, into the almond paste. If you are making one large tart then place them in concentric circles with their cut sides facing upwards. Bake for about 60 mins or until firm and golden. You can dust with a little icing sugar if you like and serve warm or cold. Serve with a spoonfull of Greek yogourt or better still Turkish yogourt!
Enjoy this very autumnal delight!