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Saturday, October 28, 2006
Quand j'étais petite... - Tarte à la figue et aux amandes

[When i was a child... - Figs and almonds tarts]

From Jamie's Italy


Indian summer they call it.
I would rather say ‘opportunity to still get figs at the end of October’.
In fact, France is being blessed with summer-like temperatures and I am, on the other hand, blessed with plump figues noires [black figs].

I am a devoted lover of figs. When I was a child, I used stand up on my balançoire [swing] to reach the higher branches of the fig tree of our backyard, and then eat the result of my harvest in less than ten minutes. But I was fooling no one, my stained fingers and lips spoke for themselves!


Crostata di fichi
This is the perfect way to use ripe figs. It makes a well balanced pudding – the tartness of the figs complements the sweet frangipane in such a delicious way.

I think it tastes even better the next day, just chilled. I even had it for breakfast with a generous dollop of yoghurt.

Just a short note - althought the tins i used are *supercute* i really advise you to bake the tart in a 28cm tart tin as the frangipane/fig ratio is slightly too high when using two small tins instead of a large one.
It does improve the taste and balance to have less frangipane per slice and thus to use a 28cm tin.


Crostata di fichi
serves 8

15 whole figs, washed
30g caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
zest of 1 orange

for the shortcrust pastry:
125g butter
100g icing sugar
a small pinch of salt
255g plain flour
1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds removed
zest of a lemon
2 large egg yolks, preferably organic
2 tablespoons cold milk or water

for the frangipane:
285g blanched whole almonds
55g plain flour
255g unsalted butter
255g caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds removed

First you will need to grease a loose-bottomed 28cm tart tin with a little of your butter.

To make your pastry, cream together the butter, icing sugar and salt and rub in the flour, vanilla seeds, lemon zest and egg yolks - you can do all this by hand or in a food processor. When the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs, add the cold milk or water. Pat and gently work the mixture together until you have a ball of dough, then flour it lightly. Don't work the pastry too much, otherwise it will become elastic and chewy, not flaky and short as you want it to be. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least an hour. Remove it from the fridge, roll it out and line your tart tin. Place in the freezer for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and bake the pastry case for around 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 170°C.

To make the frangipane, blitz 255g of the whole almonds in a food processor until you have a fine powder and transfer this to a bowl with the flour. Now blitz the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add this to the almonds with the lightly beaten eggs, the vanilla seeds and the grappa and fold in until completely mixed and smooth. Place in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up. Remove the stems from the figs, score each one on the top in the shape of a cross, then using your thumb push up from the base to open them out.

Spoon the chilled frangipane mixture into the pastry case, then lightly push the figs into the frangipane with the scored side up. Heat the sugar with the water and drizzle this syrup over the figs. Roughly chop the remaining almonds and sprinkle over the top with the thyme leaves and orange zest. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until the frangipane mixture has become firm and golden on the outside but is still soft in the middle. Allow to cool for about 30 to 40 minutes. Lovely served with a dollop of mascarpone or crème fraîche.

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28 sweets:
Anonymous Marieke said something sweet:

Hi Fanny,

Wow..I am jealous of those big black figs. I want them! On holiday in the Provence we picked figs straight from the tree. Over here they are delivered green and not ripe so they never taste like the real thing. I am also in love with that picture and the perfect little backing tins.

Marieke

28 October, 2006 15:52 

Anonymous dolce said something sweet:

Che buona la Crostata di fichi (only one c) :) Beautiful recipe Fanny!

28 October, 2006 16:48 

Anonymous Ivonne said something sweet:

Everything you make is always so beautiful! My mother is leaving for Italy today and I am hoping that she will be able to try a few of the last of the figs as it is still warm there.

What a beautiful crostata!

28 October, 2006 20:07 

Blogger L Vanel said something sweet:

Fanny, can you tell me about those tins? They are lovely! Great fig recipe too. I'll have to try that.

28 October, 2006 21:21 

Anonymous eva said something sweet:

Cela a l'air tout juste délicieux, l'occasion ou jamais d'utiliser les dernières figues fraîches sur le marché !
Bravo !

28 October, 2006 21:35 

Anonymous mickymath said something sweet:

tu fais de supers belles choses!! dommage que je ne comprend pas!! j'aurais voulu pouvoir faire une de tes recettes!! bises micheline

28 October, 2006 21:42 

Blogger Fabienne said something sweet:

Je possède ce livre de Jamie et je l'adore. Encore une fois tu as très bien interprété sa recette !

28 October, 2006 22:19 

Blogger Fanny said something sweet:

Hi Marieke - linving in the south of france has many advantages including getting delicious fresh figs!
I also love these tins my grandmother gave to me.

Hi Dolce - oops, i haven't spoken italian for ages and it shows.

Hi Ivonne - wow thank you. That's so nice. I'm sure your mother will spend a good time in Italy.

Hi Lucy - the tins comes from my grandmother. I have no idea where they are from, i should ask my grandma for this...
I also find them cute - love at the first sight!

Coucou Eva - merci de passer sur foodbeam. Et je suis carrément d'accord - le moment ou jamais!

Coucou Micheline - je devrais faire une version française, mais honnetement, j'ai peur de mal m'exprimé en français. Bien sur mon anglais est hesitant, mais comme j'ai appris à cuisiner en anglais il est difficile pour moi de parler de cuisine en français...

Coucou Fabienne - c'est vrai qu'il est genial ce livre. J'adore la section 'risottos'. Jamie est super fort dans ce domaine!

Thank you so much for all the nice words.

fanny

28 October, 2006 22:25 

Anonymous Kate said something sweet:

Mon anglais est vraiment trop pitoyable mais tes photos me parlent, ces tartelettes aux figues sont gourmandes à souhait .

Très joli blog que je vais continuer à décourvrir ^_^

28 October, 2006 22:29 

Blogger Melissa said something sweet:

Hi Fanny!
I love those little baking pans you have used....where did you get those?
Great recipe!

29 October, 2006 10:17 

Blogger La maisonnette de Barbichounette said something sweet:

C'est très gourmand !!!!!
Les plats sont très rigolos !!!!
Bizzzzzzzzzzzzz
Barbichounette

29 October, 2006 10:56 

Blogger Lilo said something sweet:

Je suis fan de figues et ta recette me tente pas mal ;) petite question : où as-tu déniché ces moules sublimes ? En brocante ? Merci pour ta réponse ;)

30 October, 2006 00:30 

Anonymous Dianka said something sweet:

Those look stunning! Anything with figs wins my heart =)

30 October, 2006 22:04 

Blogger Julie said something sweet:

You are so lucky to have had a fig tree when you were young. They are my favorite food. I recently got a food scale, so I can weigh out the ingredients for your wonderful recipes in grams. I really like this one, and I hope I can fit in some baking time soon.

30 October, 2006 22:18 

Blogger Aimée said something sweet:

Great blog! I am realizing how vast and wonderful this food blogosphere really is.
Cheers from Canada.

30 October, 2006 23:44 

Blogger Anali said something sweet:

The tart looks delicious and those pans are wonderful too!

31 October, 2006 07:25 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

hi fanny,
what a super cute, delicious looking creation you made once again...!
and that picture with those figs popping out...I love it, can't think of a better breakfast -yum!

31 October, 2006 12:51 

Anonymous Nicole said something sweet:

This recipe sounds absolutely wonderful! I've also loved figs since I was young!

31 October, 2006 19:44 

Blogger J said something sweet:

hi fanny, the combination of figs and frangipane is pure heaven and your gorgeous tarts must have tasted as divine as they look...just exquisite!

01 November, 2006 08:31 

Anonymous Framboiz said something sweet:

I'm so mad at you !! Where did you get those beautiful tins !! When are you gonna post an average recipe with an average picture ?

03 November, 2006 05:24 

Blogger yaezakura said something sweet:

What a wonderful cake!!!!O(≧∇≦)O

I want to make it next seaosn.

Actually my gareden has a tree of figs. But bird eat them...

03 November, 2006 07:09 

Anonymous Mae said something sweet:

Fanny, this is gorgeous!!!

Please, please, where can i get those pans? They are adorable :)

03 November, 2006 18:20 

Anonymous Don said something sweet:

I have similar tins! They're wonderful, aren't they? I have every intention of attempting this recipe. Thank you Fanny.

03 November, 2006 23:08 

Anonymous Y said something sweet:

Your description of eating figs reminds me of my childhood memory of eating (stealing) mulberries from the tree with similar resulting stained hands. Those tins you've baked your tarts in are definitely very covetable!

04 November, 2006 15:23 

Blogger Fanny said something sweet:

Hi everyone - thank you so much for all the nice comments.

Coucou Kate - merci de passer sur foodbeam.

Hi Melissa - my rand mother gave me these tins. I love them SO much.

Coucou Barbichounette - merci, c'est très gentil.

Coucou Lilo - désolée, mais les moules viennent de chez ma grand mère. Elle me les a donnés. Si tu veux, je pourrai lui demamnder où elle les a eus...

Hi Dianka - so i'm not the only one, am i? I'm just a fig 'admirateur'!

Hi Julie - you'll see, baking by weight is far more precise than baking by volume.
And by the way, ***happy baking***.

Hi Aimée - yes, foodbeam is just a tiny little blog amongst tons and tons of delicious blogs!

Hi Anali - thanks for dropping by.

Hi Julia - it made a great breakfast. Luscious but great!

Hi Nicole - another member of the fig loving community. Hourray!

Hi Joycelyn - thank you thank you thank you. Have i just said 'thank you' three times in a row? Well nevermind!

Hi Framboise - i try to do my best.
But, you know what, i didn't think i would post this recipe because i didn't like the picture. But then i decided to go for it because i liked the crostate.

Hi Yaezakura - birds definitely have good taste. Homegrown figs - yummy!

Hi Mae - i am so sorry i don't know where the pans are from. I'll ask my grand mother - who gave them to me. Aren't they supercute?

Hi Don - i think you're going to make some people envious out there with these adorable pans!!!

Hi Y - i also used to steal mulberries from my neighbour garden when i was a child!

04 November, 2006 23:29 

Blogger L Vanel said something sweet:

Oh Faaannnnnnyyy! Est-ce que tu as demande ta grand-mere about those beautiful tins? Desperate for the tins.

05 November, 2006 00:06 

Anonymous joey said something sweet:

Hi Fanny! I haven't commented in a while although I have visited still...your site has grown so lovely! Beautiful :) And those tarts look both delicious and adorable. I have only recently tased my first fresh fig (there are no fresh figs where I live...never ever, can you imagine?) and fell madly in love...I wish I had some now to make that tart! :)

06 November, 2006 15:06 

Blogger Camille said something sweet:

Un pur bonheur pour les sens que ces sublimes tartes aux figues et aux amandes. Je suis folle de frangipane... alors merci Fanny.

06 November, 2006 19:42 

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