About 10 years ago I randomly tried a homemade fig tart and was so shocked by how good it is that it stuck in my mind. It was both, the fact that I hadn’t expected it and that it was so different to any other dessert I had tried. Since then I have been wanting to make one. Well, the time has come! It’s easy to make, it’s quite sweet and rich, and it’s tasty. I don’t think it’s for all taste buds but the ones who know a good tart will love it.
For the pastry
- 475g of plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 160g butter
- 9-10 tbs water
- OR alternatively 500g pack shortcrust pastry at room temperature, thawed if frozen
For the filling
- 8 ripe figs, stalks trimmed
- finely grated zest and juice of one large juicy orange
- 1 tbsp clear honey
- 200g softened butter
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 200g packet ground almonds
- 2 medium egg yolks
To make the pastry: cut the butter in cubes and mix with the flour using your fingers. A crumbly substance will be formed. Add the water and mix. Combine and spread on a 25cm pie tray. Make sure it goes over the edge as the filling may spill. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
For the filling:
- Cut the figs in half lengthways and sit them cut side up on a roasting tray. Mix the orange juice and honey in a bowl, pour over the figs and roast for 10-12 minutes until just soft. Drain off any juice into a saucepan and reserve.
- Prick the base of the chilled pastry case all over with a fork, then line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to fan 130C/conventional 150C/ gas 2. Leave the pastry case to cool slightly before filling.
- Cream butter and sugar in a food processor or with an electric beater until smooth and pale. Tip in the ground almonds and zest and whizz briefly to combine. Add egg yolks and 1 tbsp of the reserved fig juice and whizz again until smooth. Spread evenly over the pastry case.
- Gently press the figs cut side up into the almond mixture. Bake for 11⁄4 hours or until it’s golden all over (don’t worry if the centre still seems soft – a little gooeyness is good). Leave in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove sides and transfer on its base to a wire rack to cool.
- Before serving, take the tart off its base and transfer to a flat platter or board. If you have juice left from roasting the figs, bring it to the boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes until sticky and syrupy. Brush this over the figs and serve as soon as possible, while the syrup is still glossy on the figs (it will start to seep through into the filling if you leave it too long).
Recipe taken and adapted from bbcgoodfood.com