Fresh figs, aren't they just a delight to each fresh? Little brightly jewelled red centers - sweet as can be. They are a strange looking fruit and I have only just recently been converted to loving fresh figs.
I just don't think I realised how good they were until probably about a year ago........
We were travelling around Tasmania about a year and a bit ago now and we stopped off at a great deli in Hobart at Salamanca Place. We were trying to find some nice ingredients to make for dinner that night. Of course we had to find something for dessert and me being dairy intolerant that is a feat in itself. However the shop keeper recommended trying some of the fresh figs they had on their counter.
I picked one up and it was heavy in the hand, firm and plump - just like a good fig should be to eat. We took these back to our camper van and put them aside for after dinner. Boy oh boy was I in for a treat. They were divine.... to say the least. I have since had pretty under ripe, average figs from the supermarket and they just don't cut it like these figs did.
I stumbled across these figs at my local IGA supermarket. I was a little wary of them at first considering my experience with under ripe figs previously. I picked one up - it felt heavy and plump, I gave it a sniff - well it really didn't have a smell, maybe slightly sweet. I gave it a slight sqeeze nice - firm but with a slight give in it..... perfect I thought.
I bought a half dozen of them with no idea what I was going to do with them - of course I would eat some fresh but I remembered a recipe that Gary on Master chef made a few weeks ago - it was a fig and pistachio tart. Of course his was extravagant and full of many different elements to the dish but I thought these figs would make a great basis for the dish.
I didn't have the time nor the inclination to come up with something just at extravagant - I thought the figs should speak for themselves and let the other ingredients compliment them subtly. So i used the basis of his recipe and stripped it of all it's fanciness and brought it back to basics. I changed the crust recipe to some thing more rustic and healthy - not containing a lot of butter and sugar like most shortcrust pastries do.
I left the frangipane filling simple with a touch of freshness and zing from the lemon zest. A simple glaze of honey on the finished tart and your in business to eat the delicious winter dessert. I would wholly reccommend serving this with a dollop of double cream on the side.
This is a perfect dessert to make now as figs are probably just finishing up their season now if not already. So dash into your local IGA and beg them to stock some fresh figs for you!
Fig & Almond Frangipane Tart
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 35-40 min
Ingredients (1 large tart or 4 small ones)
- 5 Tbsp Butter, melted
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 4 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp chia seed
- 4 Tbsp water + 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups oat flour (grind whole oats in a food processor)
- 1 Tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 120g unsalted butter, softened
- 120g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 120g ground almonds
- 40g plain flour
- 6 fresh figs, cut into 6-8 wedges each
- 1/2 cup honey, warmed, to glaze
- Double cream, to serve
InstructionsAlmond & Oat Base:
Combine water, maple syrup and chia seeds together in a small bowl and stir well. Set aside for at least 15 min to form a gel.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a 25cm tart tin
Bleand oats in a food processor to make oat flour (2 cups should make the required 1 1/2 cups of oat flour).
Add oat flour to a bowl along with ground almonds, baking soda, salt, sugar, vanilla extract, and melted butter. Add the chia gel and stir to combine. If the dough is very sticky add a tablespoon at a time more oat flour until a stiff dough is formed.
Press the mixture into the tart tin and refidgerate for 15 min or until firm.
Place a sheet of baking paper into the chilled pastry in the tart tin, half-fill with baking beads or rice and bake for 12-15 minutes until edges are light golden. Remove weights and baking paper and bake for 5-10 minutes or until base is dry. Set aside to cool.Frangipane Filling
For frangipane filling, whisk butter and sugar in an electric mixer until creamy. With the motor running, add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, continuing to mix after each addition. Add lemon zest, ground almonds and flour and whisk until combined.
Spoon almond mixture into tart shell until ¾ full. (Left over frangipane can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week). Gently press in fig wedges, placing them at regular intervals along the tart. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
Remove tart from oven, brush with warm honey and leave to cool. Sprinkle the crumble generously over the tart and serve with double cream on the side.
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If you have any of the Almond & Oat base mixture left over - use it up by making biscuits with it as that is what the original recipe was for. They go great with a cup of tea.
On another note just a reminder that the Twisted Pieces giveaway ends tommorrow at midnight so don't forget to get your entry in to be in the chance to win!
Happy tuesday everyone......