When I spied a very large box of fresh figs in the supermarket, I knew I had to have them. I had no idea what I was going to make with them, but their perfect purple forms were calling me. When I got them home I eventually decided on a simple fig jam to preserve the majority of them, and with the rest of them something sweet and nutty to show off their flavor.
Years ago we went on a holiday to Portugal and I fell in love with fig and almond tarts. These Portuguese fig tarts were available in almost every restaurant we went to. Everywhere we went I asked for the recipe, but nobody would part with their secret. To this day, I have no idea what the recipe for this tart is. I have looked up lots of recipes online, but nothing has ever come close to those delicious tarts from Alvor. It was reminiscent of a bakewell, so in the end I decided to make up my own fig bakewell tart recipe. The combination of fresh figs, buttery almond frangipane, sweet raspberry jam and crisp short crust pastry work so well together. It’s not quite the same as this mysterious Portuguese fig and almond tart, but it’s definitely a delicious alternative. One day, I will find their secret!
- 190g all-purpose flour
- 110g Kerrygold salted butter
- 1 tablespoon of white sugar
- 1 or 2 tablespoons water
- 100g Kerrygold salted butter, softened
- 100g white sugar
- 2 medium free-range eggs
- 50g ground almonds
- 50g self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 6 teaspoons of raspberry jam
- 6 fresh figs, cut into quarters
- Begin by preheating the oven to 180 C / 350 F.
- Grease six 4 inch round tart tins with a little butter.
- Sieve the flour into a large bowl.
- Add the butter and then using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs.
- Add the water a little at a time. You just need enough to bring the pastry into a loose dough. I don’t give exact amounts of liquid, as I find each brand of flour is different.
- Bring the pastry together with a fork, then take the pastry dough into your hands and wrap it in cling wrap.
- Place it in the fridge and leave it rest for at least thirty minutes.
- Meanwhile to make the frangipane, put the softened butter in a large bowl with the white sugar.
- Using an electric hand beaters, beat the butter and sugar together until it becomes light and fluffy.
- Turn the machine off, and add one egg and one heaped spoon of ground almonds.
- Beat the mixture again, until the egg and almonds have fully combined.
- Add the second egg, another spoon of ground almonds and mix well.
- Turn off the whisk and add the flour, remaining ground almonds and almond essence.
- Beat the mixture until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Once the pastry has rested, roll it out on a floured surface until it is about ¼ inch thick.
- Line the buttered cases with the pastry.
- Spoon a teaspoon of the jam into each pastry case and spread it evenly on the pastry with the back of the spoon.
- Carefully spoon the frangipane mixture on top of the jam.
- Arrange the fig quarters in each tart.
- Put the tarts in the oven and cook for for 35 – 40 minutes.
- When cooked the tarts should be golden and slightly firm to touch. To test them, stick a knife in the center, and the knife will come out clean when cooked.
- Leave the tarts to cool on a wire rack, and remove them from their tins.
- Serve the tarts warm with some cream or ice-cream.