Fig Frangipane Tart
Succulent figs seduce our senses from late Summer through to Autumn and this year they seem to be exceptionally tasty. As you can tell from my masthead, I adore figs, both black fleshed and white, and could happily devour several of them fresh from the hand in one sitting. To my mind, a plate of fresh figs is the perfect dessert when they are in season. I also enjoy them in a range of sweet and savoury dishes and feel they need very little fussing over. One of my favourite Australian poets, Kate Llewellyn, reminds us in her poem titled Figs how good this fruit is:
'Figs are old
each tree looks it too
before people spoke
they ate figs
and no doubt
found them good'.
Indeed, figs are good and were love at first bite for me, but that slightly furry skin and granular flesh isn't for everyone's palate... Llewllyn continues...
'brown or purple
the skin is queer
striped furry sandpaper
the rent flesh lies
pink gorgeous wet
it doesn't throb
but it might
and the scent
and something green'.
Until this season, my Peter wasn't so keen on figs. He surprised me by sampling the Salad of Figs, Buffalo Mozzarella and Mint that I posted recently. Even more surprising, he didn't turn up his nose or complain. And, to my delight, when I served this Fig Frangipane Tart a few weeks ago, he ate it with gusto and even made that low grumbling, sexy, Lurch-like Mmmmmm sound he does when he loves the food I've prepared. I have made this tart several times since and he loves it. Win win!!
So, here is my take on Lorenza De Medici's recipe for Fig Tart from her stunning A Passion for Fruit. I quickly prepared it while Peter was barbecuing our steaks. This is a simply delicious tart, love at first bite and my kind of food. As such, the recipe was perfect for the February Sweet Adventures Blog Hop. Thanks to Nic, from Dining with a Stud, for hosting this month's SABH. Make sure you dip into the other links down below and tantalise your tastebuds with all the different variations on the Love at First Bite theme! Yum.
FIG FRANGIPANE TART
1-2 sheets ready made puff pastry
1/2 kg fresh ripe figs
2-3 tablespoons honey
For the frangipane:
60g unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
60g vanilla infused caster sugar
60g almond meal
3 drops almond essence (optional)
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C or 350 degrees F. Place the pastry onto a 20x 30-cm oblong tart tin* and blind bake it until the pastry is light golden in colour. Carefully rinse the figs, pat dry with paper towelling and *slice them in half lengthways. Meanwhile, make the frangipane by combining the butter, sugar and almond meal in a food processor and blend until well mixed. Add the egg and the almond essence, if using, and process until the mixture is smooth. Spread the frangipane inside the cooked pastry shell, smoothing it over with a spatula. Arrange the figs on top and bake for 45 minutes or so. Heat the honey briefly in a microwave and brush over the top of the figs, then pop the tart back into the oven and bake for five minutes more. Serve slices warm with dollop cream, Lush yoghurt or home made vanilla bean ice cream. Serves 4-6.
*I used a round tart tin on the first occasion that I made the tart and cut the figs into slices rather than in half, per the photographs. I have also made it with the figs sliced in half. I must say that Peter and I preferred the thinner fig slices rather than halves, somehow they were much sweeter.
Incidentally, Kaye Llewellyn's poem, Figs, can be read in full here. It is from her book with the same title. See below.
Note: if you are interested in growing figs, Gardening Australia has some really useful fact sheets here. Interesting to note that 'a slab of concrete or slate in the bottom of the planting hole will force the plant to spread shallow roots and encourage it to produce heavily'. Hmm, I wonder if I could successfully grow a fig tree in a pot. *Scratches head*. Must investigate.
Thanks again to Nic, from Dining with a Stud, for hosting this month's SABH. Make sure you dip into the other links and tantalise your tastebuds with all the different variations on the Love at First Bite theme! Yum.
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.