I've been baking a lot with figs lately, all because of a Grosvenor Hotel fig tart photo. This photo just drew me in and had me salivating. Unfortunately, when I went, they had sold out of the tarts. So, if you can't go to the fig tart, you bring the fig tart to you. The stars were aligned when my Aunty brought over a small bag of fresh figs from her tree, which I duly made into a tart. Then, she brought over an even bigger bag of figs. I had hit the fig jackpot. So, I made a tart again, but inspiration struck and I improved it even more.
I have not made a tart in a long long time. I used to remember the results were not so good and it was so hard to make. However, my baking skills have improved and I found this fig tart to be so easy to make and the results are mind blowingly good. So good in fact that the tart is gone way too fast, but that's another issue I'll have to deal with when I buy some new stretchy elastic pants.
Here is the final Fig Pistachio Frangipane Tart that I came up with. It's a mix and match of a few recipes and some adaptations. The flavour profile is just stunning. The pistachio is a strong hit in the frangipane mixture and pair perfectly with the caramelised figs. The soft texture of the frangipane contrast well with the super crumbly buttery shortcrust pastry and the slightly chewy figs. I don't want to sound like a egotist but I rate this fig tart ten out of ten.
This recipe makes a massive 32cm tin tart, but trust me, it will disappear fast. You can always make a smaller tin and some mini tarts. Look how beautiful the tart looks with the geometric pattern that I designed.
I also made a traditional almond frangipane version of this tart and it too is sensational. The smell of the almond is more subdued and the figs come through more in this one, but I personally think the pistachio version is the best as I love pistachios.
As usual, some tips to help you make the best fig tart possible.
*With pastry, the butter and water must be cold to get the best results. Once the dough comes slightly together in the food processor, stop it and take it out. Don't roll it or anything as overworking it makes it a little bit less crumbly as I found out on my first attempt.
*The figs you use really need to be ripe for this tart to work best. The figs are not completely dried out in the baking and you can still taste the freshness and ripe sweetness.
*I ground up some natural pistachio in a coffee grinder so the meal was very smooth. If you don't have a coffee grinder, you can use a food processor but the results won't be as good and the final frangipane won't be as smooth.
*I don't bother waiting for the pastry shell to cool before putting my frangipane and figs on. I didn't encounter any problems.
*I cover my pastry with foil rather than silicone paper as I can wrap it around the sides when I'm blind baking so the tart does not go too brown.
Fig Pistachio Frangipane Tart
Recipe from Belinda Jeffrey
1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
125g cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup (60ml) iced water
1. Put the flour and salt into a food processor, and whiz them together.
2. Add the butter and whiz everything again until the mixture resembles medium-fine breadcrumbs.
3. With the processor running, pour in the iced water and process only until the dough forms a ball around the blade.
4. Tip the dough out onto a board and shape it into a ball.
5. Flatten it into a disc and wrap it tightly in cling film.
6. Chill the disc for about 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is firm, but supple enough to roll.
7. Roll out the pastry on a floured benchtop until large enough to fill out a tart tin. I used a 32cm tin and so the pastry was about 1mm thick, very fine.
8. Place the pastry into the tart tin by wrapping the pastry around the rolling pin and then unrolling it into tin. Trim and neaten the edges of the pastry around the tin.
9. Place tin back into fridge to cool for 20 minutes and preheat oven to 200C.
10. Take tin out of the fridge and cover the pastry with foil.
11. Blind bake the pastry using rice, beans or any other weights for 25 minutes.
Recipe adapted from The Hungry Excavator
You can make this frangipane mixture while the pastry is blind baking in the oven. It doesn't take long to make this.
125g butter (softened)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup pistachio meal (almond meal can be substituted as well)
1/2 cup plain flour
1. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
2. Add the egg yolk, egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined
3. Add the flour and pistachio meal and beat until well combined
1 blind baked tart shell
1 portion of the pistachio frangipane
20 or so fresh figs cut up to cover a 32cm tin
1. Take pastry out of the oven, remove foil and weights. Turn oven down to 180C.
2. Spread frangipane mixture evenly onto tart shell.
3. Arrange cut up figs onto frangipane mixture in a nice pattern of your choice.
4. Bake tart for 35 minutes or until the frangipane looks set.
5. Cool in the tin and then take out.