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Recipe  •  7 February 2020

 

Fig and frangipane tarts

Rick Stein's French fig and frangipane tarts feature a buttery shortcrust pastry case filled with sweet almond and verdant fig.

The idea for these little tarts comes from the delightful southern town of Uzès. At dinner one night, I had a fig tart and was intrigued by the fact that it had this delicious moelleux texture in the centre. On leaving, I asked for the recipe and was told, sorry, they bought it in. Sadly, this happens so much in French restaurants – the cost of staff I’m afraid. What I took to be subtlety was probably simply that the tart had been cooked from frozen and was still slightly underdone in the centre. This is a proper version and quite delicious. I favour crème fraiche with these.

FIG AND FRANGIPANE TARTS

MAKES 6 x 10CM TARTLETS

Shortcrust pastry

  • 170g plain white flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 100g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 tbsp ice-cold water

Filling

  • 100g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 9 figs, quartered
  • 1 tbsp flaked almonds

To serve

  • 1 tsp icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp crème fraiche

Essential Kit

  • You will need 6 loose-bottomed 10-12cm tarlet tins

For the pastry, put the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl and add the egg yolk mixed with a tablespoon of cold water to make a smooth but not sticky dough. Add the extra water if required.

Put the dough on a floured work surface, roll it out and line 6 loose-bottomed 10–12cm tartlet tins. Chill for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

Line each tin with a circle of baking parchment or foil, add baking beans and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, then put the tins back in the oven for a further 5 minutes. Turn the oven down to 190°C/Fan 170°C.

While the pastry cases are cooking make the frangipane. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until you have a smooth paste. Gradually whisk in the eggs and almond extract, then stir in the ground almonds and mix well. Divide the mixture between the pastry cases and arrange 6 fig wedges on top of each tart. Scatter with some of the flaked almonds and bake for 20–25 minutes until golden. Dust with a little icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature with some crème fraiche.


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Almost twenty years after French Odyssey, which sold 280,000 copies, Rick returns to his beloved France to discover real, simple French cooking, distilled into this collection of 120 brand-new delicious recipes.

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