There are a few situations in life where you just can’t say no – like, when your best friend asks you to be the chief bridesmaid at her wedding (just literally had to google to see if that was a thing) or when your boss finally offers you the promotion you wanted
or when your boyfriend’s mum gives you approximately 3 kilograms of fresh green figs from a fig tree in her garden so you can take them to your home thousands of miles away in your hand luggage (YOUR GYM BAG). I had these figs in my work fridge for a week sharing them with anyone who looked their way but come Friday, I was still left with more than 15.
So what do you then?
Although frangipane filling is typical for Italian pastries, it really reminds me of Portuguese flavours and works really well with super-buttery shortcrust pastry with jammy figs on top adding another level of texture.
The result is amazing: comforting but complex, sweet but not-sickly. This is a tart you want to serve, still slightly warm, with a scoop of good ice cream, to someone you want to impress. And yes, I know that the edges of mine are still slightly… rustic but I am also known as the clumsiest person in the world so I am still very happy with the outcome ;).
Fig Frangipane Tart
For the Pastry:
250g plain flour
125 g unsalted butter, cold
1tbsp caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
pinch of salt
For the Filling:
100g caster sugar
125 unsalted butter, softened
1 and 1/2 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
40g plain flour
170g ground almonds
10 ripe figs
- Grease a tart/pie dish with a bit of soft butter
- Make the pastry:
In food processor: add the flour, cold butter, salt and caster sugar and blitz on high speed until the consistency resembles breadcrumbs, change the speed to medium and gradually add in the beaten egg until the mixtures begin to form a dough
By hand: in big bowl, mix cold butter and flour. Using a knife, chop butter into smaller pieces and add salt and caster sugar. Mix the mixture by hand and gradually start adding the egg until it starts to from a dough – add a bit more flour if needed.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface, bring together with your hands. Wrap the pastry in the cling and chill in the fridge for 45 minutes.
3. Make the frangipane feeling: in a large mixing bowl beat the butter until soft and creamy. This in the sugar, honey and vanilla paste until combined. Gradually whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Add flour and ground almonds and mix until fully combined.
4. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
5. Remove the pastry from the fridge and tip it out onto a floured work surface. Roll the pastry out into a large circle, using a rolling pin, to the thickness of a 1 pound coin.
6. (Carefully!) Lift the pastry over the tart case and then push it into the sides of the case.
7. Line the case with baking paper and top with baking beans/rice/anything that will weight the pastry down. Bake the tart case in the preheated over for 10-12 minutes
8. Remove the tart case from the over and dispose the baking paper.
9. Fill the pastry case with the frangipane filling, spreading it evenly.
10. Cut each fig into 8 equal slices and arrange them on top of the frangipane mixture pushing them slightly down into the batter.
11. Return the tart to the oven at 180 degrees Celsius and bake for 25 minutes. After that, reduce the heat to 170 degrees Celsius and bake for additional 20 minutes adding two layers of tinfoil on top (to prevent figs from burning)
12. Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool slightly