I made this tart a couple of weeks ago when figs were plentiful, cheap and very luscious. Even now, on April 1st, they can still be got at farmers’ markets, the very last of the bounty of a long Indian summer.
Figs and frangipane go well together, the lovely almond cream complementing the juicy sweetness of the figs. A few posts go I made fig and frangipane muffins – here is the link – and this is the same combination in a more refined tart form.
The shortcrust pastry is based on the great Maggie Beer’s recipe using sour cream.
For the shortcrust pastry base:
200gm chilled unsalted butter
250gm plain flour
1 tsp caster sugar
135gm sour cream
For the Frangipane:
100gm caster sugar
100gm ground almonds
1 free-range egg
10 fresh figs, quartered
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C fan forced, (180 degrees C non fan forced).
Butter a 23cm (9 inch) fluted flan tin with a removable bottom.
To make the pastry, pulse butter, flour and caster sugar in a food processor until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Add the sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough starts to incorporate into a ball. Using your hands, shape pastry into a ball. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Roll the pastry out and place into the buttered flan tin.
To make the frangipane, cream the butter and sugar in a food processor or you can use an electric mixer. Add the ground almonds and egg and mix well.
Spoon the frangipane over the tart base. You may not need all the mixture – the idea is to have a base on which to sit the figs. Arrange the fig quarters in a circular pattern over the frangipane. You needn’t be too precise. The figs should be sitting on top of the frangipane. If they sink in, you probably have too much frangipane and may need to take some out.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the frangipane is set and the pastry looks cooked round the edges. Don’t overcook so that the pastry edge burns.
Remove from the oven, and after 10 minutes, when the tart has cooled slightly, carefully remove the outer ring of the flan tin.
Serve at room temperature on its own, or with cream or yoghurt.