Killer vegetarian Fig and Frangipane tart Recipe.
Figs look as exotic as they taste.
How to make fig and frangipane tarts.
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 yeild 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 short crust 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.
Ingredients and method.
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 on line.
1 12oz pack ready prepared shortcrust pastry.
3 1/2oz caster sugar.
3 1/2oz butter.
3oz ground almonds.
2 beaten free range eggs.
6 fresh figs.
zest of 1 large orange.
Pre heat the oven to 220c. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until it is the thickness of half your little finger. Cut out and use to line six five inch tart tins. Line each pastry case with a circle of baking parchment 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 stiring 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 untilt he frangipane is golden and set and the pastry is nice and crisp. Serve hot or cold.
Check out my blog for more great tasting vegetarian recipes and tips.