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Tag Archives: Maggie Beer

Fig and Frangipane Tart



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 butter

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.


Raspberry and Macadamia Pavlova Revisited

IMG_8972 2I described recently in this blog a wonderful meringue concoction created by my friend the Architect. I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of tasting this amazing dessert…

Today, on a beautiful Sydney day in beautiful Palm Beach, I was treated to this dessert. Maggie Beer, from whom the recipe emanates, calls it a meringue; I would describe it as a vacherin (layered meringue), but to all intents and purposes it’s a wonderful Australian pavlova – all three payers!

Meringue + raspberries + creme fraiche and whipped cream + macadamias = Nirvana!

Here is the link to the recipe and thank you to the Birthday Boy for providing the impetus for such a sensational end to the lunch!


Leek and Free Range Bacon Quiche

IMG_5806A leek and bacon quiche is more interesting than straight quiche Lorraine, the leeks adding a subtle depth of flavour.

I also made a little vegetarian quiche with just leeks and onion as well – just follow the recipe below omitting the bacon. You will need to fry the leeks and onions in butter, adding this at the start of cooking.


The short crust pastry recipe for the pastry base is Maggie Beer’s full proof sour cream pastry – very easy to make, easy to roll out and tastes delicious.

Maggie Beer’s Sour Cream Pastry
200g chilled unsalted butter
250g plain flour
135g sour cream

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, 170 degrees C fan forced.
To make the sour cream pastry, pulse butter and flour 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 to 3mm thick and place in a well greased fluted quiche tin.
Rest for 15 minutes in refrigerator. This helps reduce shrinkage when cooking. Remove from the fridge, place some pie weights on baking paper inside the tart, and bake blind in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and baking paper.
Decrease oven temperature to 170 degrees C, 160 degrees C fan forced.

6 rashers of free range bacon
I large onion finely chopped
1 extra large leek or 2 medium leeks, finely chopped
A knob of butter
Salt, pepper
4 free range eggs
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup milk
Salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg
Handful of grated cheddar

Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Add finely chopped bacon rashers over medium heat, and fry till bacon fat is translucent. Add finely chopped onion, and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add finely chopped leek and the knob of butter.
Stir gently, cover and cook on very low heat until onions and leeks are soft. (About 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, in a bowl or large jug (the latter is very useful as you can pour the custard into the quiche tin easily), beat the eggs, cream and milk together until thoroughly combined. Add salt, pepper, fresh nutmeg and cheddar.
Spoon the leek, onion and bacon mixture into the tart.
Carefully pour the custard mixture into the tin. (I find it easiest to place the tin in the oven first before pouring).
Bake until the custard is just set but still wobbly – about 30-40 mintues depending on your oven.
Carefully remove and leave to cool slightly before serving, or alternatively leave to cool before freezing.


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