There is nothing like the unique taste and texture of luscious, ripe figs. In season from late summer through to mid autumn, they are perfect in this simple fig tart. If making your own pastry seems too much of a challenge, a good quality bought one can be substituted.
Rough puff pastry
270gm plain flour
270gm unsalted butter
135ml iced water
pinch salt flakes
240gm unsalted butter
300gm caster sugar
2 tblsp coffee liqueur
400gm almond meal
5 ripe figs, trimmed and sliced in half
honey for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 220°C or 200°C fan forced.
To make the pastry tip the flour onto the bench and make a well in the centre. Dice the butter and put it along with the salt into the well, then use pastry scraper to cut the butter into the flour. Make a well again and gently pour in the cold water. Use the pastry scraper to work the ingredients together but do not knead the dough. The dough will look very lumpy and the butter will still be in clumps but the dough should hold together.
Flour your working bench, and roll out the pastry to make a rectangle about 1cm thick. Keeping the longer side of the rectangle parallel to the bench, fold both ends into the centre – it will look like an open book. Then fold one side over the other as if you were closing the book. Cover gently with plastic wrap and place the pastry in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the fridge, repeat the rolling and folding process above. Then pop it back into the fridge for another 10 minutes.
To make the frangipane, place the butter and caster sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer and light and creamy. Still beating, add the eggs one at a time, then the coffee liqueur. Beat for a further minute, then add the flour and the almond meal and mix until well combined. Set the frangipane aside until ready to use. You will only need ¼ of this volume for one tart. The rest can be kept in the fridge or frozen.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and repeat the rolling and folding for a third and final time. Rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured bench until it is 4mm thick, then cut out a rectangle 12cm by 30cm. Score the pastry 1 ½ – 2cm inside the edge but do not cut through. Prick the centre with a fork and place into the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and flatten the middle section of the pastry by gently pressing down on it with a clean piece of paper towel. Spread the almond frangipane evenly over the base and bake for another 5 minutes.
Remove tart from oven and turn the grill element onto 200°C.
Place the fig halves in two rows down the centre of the tart with the edges slightly overlapping. Drizzle lightly with honey and place under the grill (but not so close the pastry burns) for 3-5 minutes.
Remove the fig tart from the grill, cut into portions with one row of figs per slice, and serve, preferably with ice-cream.