Fig Frangipane Tart

I hate to admit it, but I'm a hoarder. Except my compulsion is in ensuring I have a sufficient supply of baking ingredients in my pantry (thanks, mum, for allocating an entire section of the pantry for me); I can't walk past a grocery store without buying a block of butter, a bag of flour, and at least one special ingredient (usually a type of fruit to incorporate into the dessert). So what I'm left with at the end of the day is a pantry filled with flour, sugar, and for some reason... ground almonds.

In keeping with the New Years theme, as all my friends and acquaintances reflect on the Gregorian calendar year that just whizzed past us (seriously, is it just me or did 2013 sneak by us?), I made it my personal mission to use up the stuff I have in my pantry. Adopting the First In First Out method (I've been spending a lot of time with a particular chartered accountant... but that's a story for another day *grin*) I've stacked my ingredients properly and in plain sight where I can't avoid them.

There's a recipe I've been dying to try that uses up quite a lot of ground almonds, so this was the way to go. It's also perfect that it's Fig season (though they still cost a helluva lot of moolah here in Malaysia) as I love fig tarts! I tried a Fig Mascarpone tart in London when I was up there in October and kind of fell in love, but I'll save the mascarpone tarts for later. This week is about clearing the almonds before they become unusable! This tart was a hit in my household, as soon as I declared it OK for consumption, my family (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins) dove in and it was all gone within the half hour. So if you're short on time and you want a dessert to impress, this may be the one to go with.

Fresh Fig Frangipane Tart
Time: 1 1/2 hours (prep & baking)
9inch springform tin

For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 114g / 1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp cream or lukewarm water
  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in your food processor and whizz to mix
  2. Add the cubed cold butter in one shot and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  3. Add the egg and cream and pulse again, but don't leave it for too long or you'll get a tough crust
  4. Transfer the dough into a prepared springform tin and press up the sides and bottom. Freeze the crust for up to 30 minutes
  5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180°C and pop the tin into the oven for 30 minutes. There's no need to weigh the crust down as it was frozen, but you can do so if you want to
For the frangipane filling:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 230g ground almonds
  • 141g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cream (other recipes call for dark rum, but I chose to use cream)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the butter until it boils and turns brown and a gorgeous aroma rises
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the ground almonds, sugar, eggs, almond and vanilla extracts, cream, salt and lemon zest
  3. Pour the browned butter into the mixture and stir to combine
  4. Pour the frangipane into the baked crust
  5. Slice figs into quarters or lengthwise and arrange over the frangipane filling. Bake at 180°C for 40 minutes, remove from the oven when the frangipane has turned golden and allow to cool before serving. Best to serve this tart fresh and warm with a dollop of freshly whipped cream

Whether or not you're celebrating the New Year, bake a tart and eat it too! 
Much love,

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