One evening, my Nanna came over for dinner and brought with her a whole plate of beautiful fresh figs, grown on her own backyard tree. It was absolutely the best kind of gift that ever! I think I even did a little happy dance.
While I was a little tempted to just eat them all, I knew that I wanted to create some kind of wonderful dessert to share with fellow fig-lovers here on the blog. But inspiration wasn’t forthcoming and I kept going back to a suggestion that an Instagram friend Thahn had made (a little while ago now)… Fig and Almond Tart.
Out of all the social media networks, Instagram is my favourite. They say a picture is worth, well, way more than 140 characters! I am inspired constantly by the talented individuals that I follow, from bloggers to chefs to photographers and designers of all kinds. I love the glimpses into their lives, sneak peeks of their projects, snaps of their breakfasts and pets. I have a rather irrational hatred of hashtags, but that’s another story.
But back to the tart. It’s the perfect thing to bake and eat at this time of year, for afternoon tea with a big mug of hot tea. It’s a simple dessert, but these figs were absolutely beautiful and it was a great way to show them off.
The slightly sweet frangipane mixture puffed up around them as it baked to hold them in a buttery hug, while the figs took on a sweet jammy texture. It was wonderful, and is now my Mum’s new favourite dessert. Apart from a scattering of icing sugar, I served it plain, but a dollop of mascarpone, double cream or ice cream would be perfect too.
Who are your favourite people to follow on Instagram?
- 190g plain flour
- 80g caster sugar
- 80g cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1 egg
Frangipane (adapted from Citrus & Candy)
- 150g butter, slightly softened
- 150g icing sugar
- 150g almond meal
- 2 eggs
- 20ml Frangelico or Amaretto liqueur
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 30g plain flour
- 10 fresh figs, thinly sliced
- Icing sugar, to serve
To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg and process until dough just starts to come together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and very gently knead until smooth. Flatten into a disc shape, wrap in clingwrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick. Line the base and sides of a tart tin with the pastry, and trim any excess. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking weights or rice. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180°C rotating at the halfway mark. When the edges are browned, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
To make the frangipane, cream butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy (at least 5 minutes). Add the almond meal and beat until mixed. Add the eggs, liqueur, vanilla and flour and beat until combined. Mixture can be refrigerated covered for a couple of days or frozen. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature to soften before adding to pastry case.
Spoon enough frangipane into your cooled pastry case and use an offset spatula to even it out (do not fill more than 1/2 cm below the top of pastry case). Arrange sliced figs on top of frangipane, pressing in slightly. Bake for around 20-25 minutes until frangipane is puffed, cooked through and lightly golden (it’s ready when the centre springs back). Remove tart and cool on wire rack. Just before serving, sift icing sugar over the top.