Still dealing with the glut of figs. I had a little pastry left over from my last tart, and I was passed a recipe from Delicious magazine for this variation, so I adapted it to what I had. Notably, instead of making one huge tart, I made two individual tartlets as that’s all I had pastry for. This used, erm, four figs. Here I’ve adjusted quantities to make a normal-sized (20 cm) single tart as in the photo, but the individual ones are very pretty. Note: purple figs look prettier than green, but this is a counsel of perfection. The combination of frangipane and figs is good, and I loved the ginger custard. It would go with a lot of other dishes too. The recipe suggests serving it warm, but I did it French-style, room-temperature tart with chilled custard.
You can use the pastry recipe here. It makes enough for at least two tarts, so I always split it in two and put one half in the freezer, saving time next time I want to make a sweet tart.
Planning: there are several different elements, but you can make the pastry, frangipane, and even the custard a day ahead and store them in the fridge. Remove pastry at least half an hour before trying to roll it out.
Sweet shortcrust pastry, enough to line a 20-cm tin.
About 8-10 ripe figs, depending on size
1-2 tbs good-quality runny honey
A few flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
For the frangipane:
100 g butter, softened
100 g caster sugar
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
50 g plain flour
100 g ground almonds
For the ginger custard:
25 ml syrup from a jar of stem ginger
1 piece stem ginger (optional)
400 ml milk
4 egg yolks
90 g caster sugar
First, roll out the pastry and line a 20-cm tart tin. It can be a bit difficult to handle, but if it cracks just patch it up. Chill for half an hour. Heat the oven to 170C and blind-bake the pastry, weighing it down with baking parchment and dried beans. After 15 minutes, remove paper and beans and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes so the pastry is dry and lightly coloured.
To make the frangipane, cream together the butter and sugar either by hand or with a stand mixer. Gradually add the beaten eggs a little at a time. If it looks as if it’s curdling, whisk in a bit of the flour before adding more egg. Beat in the flour and almonds. Cover and chill for half an hour.
When the pastry is ready, spread the chilled frangipane evenly over it. Cut the figs in half and arrange in an attractive pattern, cut side up, pressing them lightly into the frangipane. Bake for 30-40 minutes, till the frangipane is firmly set and slightly golden. While the tart is still warm, drizzle over the honey and sprinkle on the toasted flaked almonds.
To make the custard, heat the milk and ginger syrup till almost boiling. Beat the eggs and sugar in a jug and gradually pour on half the hot milk, whisking to stop it curdling. Return to the pan and cook on a low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens to about the consistency of pouring cream. Taste it, and if you don’t think it’s gingery enough you can very finely chop some stem ginger and add it. Serve warm or chilled with the tart.