It’s that time of the year again when beautiful figs can be found everywhere . If you’re a fig freak like me, chances are this tart will make you run around in circles and roll around in the grass. Side effects varies, so talk to your doctor to see if this is right for you. You know you’re in trouble when a recipe starts with a sweet tart dough with a thin layer of frangipane (almond cream) on the bottom, then figs are gently sauteed in butter, sugar and vanilla to bring out their jammy texture and placed on top, a step that is optional but i’m all about ‘layering flavors’ (you can keep some uncooked figs quarters and let them stick out for a more dramatic look). Last, an easy custard flavored with Cognac is poured in and topped with almonds for the crunch. The tart is baked until the frangipane puffs and the custard sets, et voila! It’s a bit like a Tarte Bourdaloue, but with figs instead of pears. How bad could it be!?
Since we’re on the subject of tarts i have some exciting news. TheGreen tea tart with Lychee & Raspberries i made last year is featured in the newly released foodie tale ‘Table Manners‘, a book written by the lovely and talented Mia King. Without divulging too much the story takes you to a fabulous buffet that features food (and recipes) by blogging superstars like David Lebovitz, Molly ‘Orangette’ and Clotilde of ‘Chocolate & Zuchinni’ to name a few. Needless to say how thrilled i am to be in the company of such luminaries at the buffet table. Yes, i know. They probably think i’m the waiter. Thanks for reminding me. [sigh]
Today i’m giving away one copy of the book, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post and a winner will be picked at random on sunday, september 6th at midnight (eastern time). Tweet about this giveaway and link to this post and you can comment twice (don’t forget to put @zenchef in the tweet). I’ve never been good at math and/or logic but i think it increases your chances of winning.
You can also buy the book by clicking on the ‘Table Manner’ link above. All the proceeds from my affiliate program will be put toward a pint of Grom ice cream. Clicking that link will increase my cholesterol levels which will freak out my doctor who, as a result, will yell at me. Don’t let it stop you!
In the meantime, enjoy this delicious Fig & Almond tart and good luck!
- Serves 6
For the sweet tart dough (enough for two 9 1/2 inch tarts):
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
For the frangipane:
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
For the figs, custard and finishing:
- 3/4 cup frangipane
- One 9-1/2 inch tart shell made from sweet tart dough, unbaked
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Cognac (or to taste)
- 2 pints fresh figs, quartered
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 vanilla bean, split & scraped
- sugar to taste
- slivered almonds
For the sweet tart dough:
- Sift together the confectioners’ sugar, flour and salt into a bowl.
- Place the butter into a food processor and process until smooth.
- Scatter the flour mixture over the butter, add the egg and process just until the dough forms a mass; do not overmix.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least for an hour.
- When ready, line a greased 9 1/2 inch tart pan with half the dough and chill for 30 minutes. Keep the rest for another use.
For the frangipane:
- Place the sugar and the slivered almonds in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. About 2 minutes.
- Add the butter and process until combined.
- Add the eggs and the almond extract if using and process until smooth. About 1 minute.
- Add the flour and process until combined. Reserve. The extra almond cream can be frozen until another use.
For the figs, custard & finishing:
- Preheat the oven to 325′F.
- Scrape 3/4 cup of almond cream into the chilled tart shell and spread it into an even layer. Bake for 14 minutes, until the almond layer is puffed but not set. Cool.
- Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the cream and cognac.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pan, add the vanilla seeds and beans and the quartered figs and sautee until they’re jammy but somewhat retain their shape. Use sugar to taste. Arrange some uncooked figs quarters around the edge of the tart and the fig ‘jam’ mixture on the almond layer. Pour the custard mixture over the figs and sprinkle the top with some slivered almonds.
- Bake for 50 minutes, until the custard is set and the pastry is golden brown.
- Cool the tart completely on a wire rack.