This is the ultimate “go to” dessert if you’ve got people coming over for morning or afternoon tea, or you’re looking for an impressive dessert for a dinner party. You can double this recipe, freeze half of the pastry and almond frangipane and then you’re ready to go next time with very little preparation. The great thing is you can use pretty much any fruit that’s in season; berries, apples, peaches, pears, quinces, so you can whip up a truly seasonal tart using whatever’s good at the time.
250gm plain flour
125gm unsalted butter
50ml cold water
120gm unsalted butter
150gm castor sugar
200gm almond meal
2 tbs Cointreau
4 -5 figs, sliced top to bottom
75gm apricot jam
2 tbs boiling water
In a food processor, process the flour and butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
With the motor running, add the cold water and continue to process until the pastry comes together.
Wrap and rest for 15 minutes.
Roll the pastry into a rectangular shape to 5mm thick and large enough to line a 35cm x 12 cm rectangular tart tin with a removable base. (or you could use a 28cm round tin)
Lightly oil the tart tin and line with the pastry, pressing firmly into the sides. Cut off any overhanging pieces by rolling the rolling pin over the top of the tin.
Prick the base of the pastry with a fork, line with baking paper and fill with uncooked rice or beans.
Bake the pastry for 15 minutes at 180°C. Gently lift out the baking paper with the rice in it.
To make the almond filling, place the butter, sugar, almond meal, eggs and Cointreau (or any other sort of alcohol you like) into the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.
Scrape the mixture into the pastry shell and spread evenly with a spatula.
Arrange the slices of fig on top and bake at 170°C for 45 minutes.
Heat the jam and hot water in the microwave or a small saucepan on the stove and brush over the baked tart.
Cool to room temperature before slicing and serving with double cream or mascarpone.
Note: You can make this tart skipping the blind baking step and just putting the almond mix straight into the raw pastry shell, however I have found that depending on what oven you have you can end up with raw pastry on the bottom. Which is why I like to blind bake the pastry shell till at least half cooked to avoid disappointment at the end.