Fig & orange tart
The best figs I have ever eaten were from my friend’s tree on the Ile de Ré – lovingly wrapped individually in kitchen paper and transported to me with great care and attention in an empty shoe box. I can only imagine what they would have tasted like directly from the tree and still warm from the sun.
If you only have a package of figs bought from the supermarket then this is a great way to spruce them up a bit. I made it for my monthly book club meet up and there wasn’t a whole lot left…
This recipe uses my flour blend and makes a lovely sweet pastry tart case. It is unusual as in this recipe there is no blind baking involved at all. If you use the tart pastry in another recipe stipulating blind baking, then line your tin(s) with the pastry, prick the base all over with a fork and bake it blind at 180C/160C Fan. It will take about 10-15mins (until it looks dry on the surface) if you’re using it for a recipe that needs a second bake once filled, and 15-25 mins if the filling is already cooked separately and no second bake is required.
Yes, you read it right, no messing around with baking beans for this recipe. Your eternal thanks are duly noted.
- 2 egg yolks
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour in UK)
- 250ml full fat or semi-skimmed milk
- grated zest of half an orange
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp cold butter, unsalted
- 150g my four flour blend
- 30g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- pinch of sea salt
- 80g cold unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 12-15 small fresh figs, halved lengthways
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1. Make the pastry by combining the flour, icing sugar, xanthan gum and sea salt. Add the butter, cut into cubes and rub into the mixture until it looks like gravel - with some larger pieces of butter still visible NOT like sand. If you use a food processor then use the pulse function for several second long bursts.
- 2. Add the egg and combine to a dough. Wrap in a piece of cling film and refrigerate for 2 hours (or pop in the freezer for 30mins).
- 3. Meanwhile make the orange pastry cream. In a medium bowl using a whisk, mix the egg yolks, half the sugar, cornstarch, orange zest, vanilla, sea salt and about 50ml of the total measured milk to make a paste.
- 4. Heat the remaining milk and sugar until it just starts to come to a boil, then slowly add it to the orange and egg yolk paste, whisking all the while. Return the custard to the saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking all the time. The mixture will thicken as you let it bubble gently for 10 secs. Remove it from the heat, still whisking, add the butter, whisk again and then transfer it to a clean dry bowl. Cover the surface with cling film and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
- 5. Place a rectangular flan tin on a baking tray. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of clingfilm until it is large enough to line the tin. If the pastry gets too warm to handle, place the rolled out dough on a cutting board or baking sheet and allow it to cool and harden in the fridge.
- 6. Remove the top clingfilm, place your hand under the rolled out sheet of pastry and flip it into the tin. Press the pastry dough into the corners of the tin, patching if necessary. Remove the top layer of cling film. Trim the top edges of the pastry level with the top of the tin and put the tin on its tray back in the fridge for 30mins to harden.
- 7. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan.
- 8. Spread the pastry cream in the lined tin evenly. Arrange the halved figs on top, cut side up. Brush the surface of the figs with melted butter and sprinkle with a little caster sugar.
- 9. Place in the oven and bake for 20mins. Turn the tin around, place a piece of aluminium foil loosely over the top of the tart (without pressing it down) to prevent the figs from browning too much. Bake for a further 20mins.
- 10. Remove carefully from the oven (there might be some very hot juices) and allow to cool. Serve at room temperature.