Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fig, strawberry, and almond frangipane tart

I normally make my own pie crusts from scratch, but a couple of weeks back I was doing some weeknight entertaining and wanted to serve a home made dessert. A ready made pie crust was perfect for the quick berry crostata. As you know, each package contains two crusts. I still had one left and wanted to make something different. The stores are full of bright and juicy fruits at this time of the year and I decided to make a fig and strawberry tart. While looking for ideas to fill my tart, I came across Martha Stewart's Fig and Strawberry Tart recipe. Her filling had hazelnuts which I did not have and substituted with almonds. It was a superb tart - wish I had made the crust from scratch to get that nice flaky crust, but even so, it was delicious. The combination of figs and strawberries worked really well - sweetness from the figs, complemented the slight tartness of the strawberries.

Fig, strawberry and almond frangipane tart

One pie crust to fit a 10 inch fluted tart pan [I used Immaculate Baking crusts available at Whole Foods]
3/4 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
Scant 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 oz fresh ripe figs, trimmed and halved lengthwise
8 oz strawberries, halved {really small ones can be kept whole}
  1. Preheat the oven as per the directions on the pie crust box. Place the pie dough into the tart pan carefully so as no to tear it. Gently press down the sides to ensure the dough is evenly spread and roll off the extra with a rolling pin to trim the edges. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake as per instructions for a tart which needs to be filled after the shell is cooked till light brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool. 
  2. In the meantime, pulse the almonds in the food processor till they are finely chopped. Add the granulated sugar and the brown sugar and salt and pulse to combine with the almonds.
  3. Add the butter, eggs and vanilla and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into the baked tart shell and spread evenly. Place the halved figs cut side up around the tart and then arrange the strawberries in the center.
  4. The tart filling needs to be cooked at 350 F. If the shell was cooked at a higher temperature, make sure you check and reduce it to 350 F. Place the filled tart in the center rack of the oven on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 F and cook for another half hour. By now, the tart will have a dark brown color. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6

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