Fig and Almond Tart

  • 180g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar, plus 1 tbsp
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 140g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1-cm pieces
  • 3 tbsp ice water
  • 100g almond paste, at room temperature, cut into 1-cm pieces
  • 75g mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 6 large or 12 small fresh figs, sliced, stems removed or 20 dried figs, reconstituted *see Cook\s Note
  • 80g apricot jam
1) Combine the flour, two tablespoons sugar, lemon zest, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until blended. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, gradually add the water until moist clumps form. Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and form into a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap in cling film. Chill the dough for one hour.

2) In a clean food processor bowl, combine remaining sugar, almond paste, mascarpone cheese, vanilla essence, and honey. Blend until smooth.

3) Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ gas mark 6.

4) On a large sheet of parchment paper, roll out the dough into an 30cm circle. Transfer the dough to a large, heavy baking sheet. Spread the almond filling over the dough, leaving a 5cm border. Arrange the figs on top of the almond filling. Spoon the jam over the figs. Fold the dough border over the filling to form an 20cm round, pleating the crust loosely and pinching to seal any cracks in the dough.

5) Bake the tart until the crust is golden, about 40 minutes. Place the baking sheet on a rack to cool for 10 minutes, then slide a metal spatula under the crust to free the tart from the parchment. Transfer the tart to a platter and serve.

Cook's Note: To reconstitute dried figs, simmer in water for 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool completely. Strain before using.

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