A French Fig Tart
Last year in Nice, my well-travelled mum had a moment with a slice of fig tart.
It must have been quite a moment because she has been talking about it ever since, and as I'm her nearest thing to a personal baker, she has been in my ear to make one.
I had my first go at a recent family lunch, using beautiful late harvest fruit and a frangipane filling spiked with Grand Marnier.
This photo, taken by Mum at La Rotonde at the Hotel Negresco in Nice, was my brief.
While nowhere near as sophisticated in its presentation, the taste and texture of my tart were bang on according to mum, aka chief judge and fig tart connoisseur.
I pressed thick slices of figs into my filling, but I think I would use halves next time. In the very wise words of Mae West, too much of a good thing can be wonderful.
If figs are out of season, this tart would work just as well with other fruit like pears, apricots, frozen berries or plums. Roast the stone fruits with a little sugar for about 10 minutes first if they're a bit hard.
Have you ever tried to recreate a recipe tasted overseas? How did you go?
Fig and Grand Marnier Tart
250g plain flour
50g icing sugar
125g cold butter, cubed
Dash of milk
125g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
325g almond meal
1 tablespoon self-raising flour
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur (or liqueur of your choice)
6-8 ripe figs, halved
2 heaped tablespoons apricot jam, warmed (for glazing)
For pastry, blitz the plain flour and icing sugar together in a food processor.
Add the cubed butter and pulse until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Whisk together the egg and milk. Add to the food processor with the motor running and then pulse until the mixture forms a dough. Form the dough loosely into the shape of your tin (I used a rectangular tart tin) then wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 180C.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to an even 1.5ml thickness and line your tart tin with it.
Blind bake it using non-stick baking paper filled with baking weights or dried rice for 10 mins.
Remove the baking paper and weights and fill with frangipane.
Press fig halves into the frangipane in whatever pattern you like.
Bake the tart for 30-35 mins, or until the frangipane is golden brown and the figs are caramelised.
While the tart is warm, brush the top with warmed apricot jam to glaze.
Serve warm or cooled with vanilla bean ice cream, double cream or honeyed yoghurt and a glass of dessert wine or a strong espresso.
Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer.
Add the eggs and beat until just combined.
Add the flour, orange zest and almond meal and mix again until just combined.
Stir through the vanilla and Grand Marnier.