Killer Vegetarian Fig and Frangipane Tart Recipe
Figs Look as Exotic as They Taste.
Fig and Frangipane Tarts
How to Make fig and FrangipaneTarts.
These great little fig and frangipane tarts taste delicious, they are quite simple to make and are vegetarian-friendly. Figs are wonderful fruits native to warmer climes such as southwest Asia and the Mediterranean region. Introduced into England by the Romans they have become a firm favourite with many people for the sweet tasting, juicy flesh. They are an ideal fruit to make tarts out of because they retain both shape and colour so well when baked. Figs are a great source of potassium, a mineral known to help lower high blood pressure.
They are also high in fibre and calcium so they are very good for anyone following a vegetarian lifestyle. When buying fresh figs always remember that they don't keep very long, so only buy them the day before you are planning on using them. Chose figs that are plump and yield slightly when you give them a gentle squeeze, pick fruits that are deep purple in colour. Smell the figs and if they smell a bit on the sour side put them back and chose ones that have a sweet, almost perfume, smell.
This recipe uses ready prepared shortcrust pastry, you can, of course, make your own pastry from scratch but I've found that the ready-made stuff taste just as good if not better than homemade. Pastry making is a bit of an art and can be quite tricky and time-consuming. I never feel guilty for taking a shortcut in cooking and ready-made pastry is one of the best cookery shortcuts there are.
Baking Blind to Keep the Pastry Cases Crisp.
Baking blind is a method used to part cook pastry cases so that the base stays crisp and not soggy, you can use dried beans for this but then you can't eat the beans so I have found that using ceramic baking beans is the best method. You can buy these beans in cookware stores or online. They can be a bit pricey but are worth the investment as they will last forever. They are really handy when you are making quiches.
- 12oz pack readymade shortcrust pastry
- 3 1/20z caster sugar
- 3 1/2oz butter
- 3oz ground almonds
- 2 free range eggs, beaten
- 6 fresh figs
- 1 large orange, zest only
- Preheat the oven to 220c.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until it is the thickness of half your little finger.
- Line each pastry case with a circle of pastry big enough to reach up to the sides.
- Cut out the parchment paper and place a circle in each of the six five inch tart tins on top of the pastry. Fill with ceramic baking beans and bake blind for ten minutes.
- Remove the beans and the paper and return the cases to the oven for five minutes.
- In a large bowl beat together the sugar and the butter until smooth, pale and fluffy.
- Add the beaten eggs, ground almonds and the orange zest a little at a time. Keep stirring until this mixture forms a smooth paste
- Spoon this frangipane mixture into the pastry cases.
- Cut each fig into quarters and put the quarters into the pastry cases on top of the frangipane mixture.
- Cook for twenty-five minutes until the frangipane is golden and set and the pastry is nice and crisp. Serve hot or cold.
© 2010 Galaxy Harvey