Monday, September 16, 2013

Fig & Frangipane in a Cornmeal Crusted Thyme Tart

Every year I get fig-envy.  Growing up, my grandmothers had fig trees right outside their back doors.  Today, I cringe just a bit as I buy that little basket of figs from the farmer's market or shop.  At premium prices I want to make the most of every fig.  
When I've had my feel of just eating them sliced and dotted with goat cheese, I start developing other ways to savor the figgy-goodness.

On a recent trip to New York, I had the pleasure of eating at Orso and enjoying their Fig and Thyme Crostata.
It inspired me to use that combo, but in a different way. I added a little crunch to the bite with corn meal, and some sweet with francipane (a paste or filling made from or with almonds.)
The inside beauty of the figs give this tart an elegance that hides how easy it is to make.  

You can bake it any shape, my rectangle pan is just one of my favorites. Enjoy and please send figs. :D
RECIPE: Fig & Francipane Cornmeal Crusted Thyme Tart

Cornmeal Thyme Tart Shell-
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1 Tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
1 stick butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme leaves, chopped
4 - 5 Tablespoons Cold Water

1)  In a bowl (or food processor) whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt.
2)  Work in the butter with your finger tips til grainy (or pulse a few times) then toss in thyme leaves.
3)  Using a fork, add the water a little at a time and toss until the ingredients hold together when squeezed in the palm of your hand.
4)  Pour out into a tart pan (6x14, or 8x8 preferably with removable bottom), and press into the bottom and sides.  You may not need the whole amount, depending on your pan. Using the bottom of a measuring cup is helpful, too.
5)  Chill the pan for at least 20 minutes, then bake for 20 minutes at 325F.

Recipe -Francipane:
3/4 cup Ground Almonds
1/3 cup Sugar
6 Tbls. Butter (soft)
1 egg
pinch of salt

In a Food Processor, pulse all ingredients to a paste.

Putting The Tart Together:

1 Pre-cooked Tart Shell (see above)
1 Prepared Francipane (see above)
1 basket of Fresh Figs
2 Tbls. Honey

1) Spread the Francipane over the pre-cooked tart shell.
2) Slice figs cross-wise and lay in overlapping rows down the tart.  Drizzle honey over the top.
3) Bake in preheated oven at 300F for about 30 minutes to set.
Serve warm or room temperature.


lynn said...

I can't imagine what it'd be like to grow up with a fig tree. Heaven!

Khali//Bandit and the Scene Stealers said...

Oh this looks amazing and no doubt tastes amazing as well. We have a fig tree but it just wont give us figs. I promise if it ever does I will send you baskets and baskets at just below premium price. hehe just kidding you can have em!!!