Recipe for Fig and Frangipane Tart: Anthea Tsaousis

There is nothing that screams ‘French’ to me more than French pâtisserie. Whether it is the smell of it, the taste of it, or simply walking into a store and daydreaming about tasting all the beautiful petits gâteaux, French pâtisserie will forever remain for me the emblem for the graceful and artistic country France is.

Fig tart 1

During my first trip to Paris I remember stumbling upon the adorable and utterly tantalising Ladurée Pâtisserie. I was instantly transported into sweet heaven. Never had I seen so many glistening pastries, decorated with bright and zingy berries, coated with sleek and smooth ganache and packaged in the most exquisite boxes (so exquisite that I started collecting them). So, with an abundance of fresh figs from grandmother’s tree and not enough mouths to eat them fresh, it didn’t take me long before I opened Ladurée Sucre and got inspired to make this luscious Fig and Frangipane Tart.

As much as the phrase ‘melts in your mouth’ is over-used, there is seriously no other way to describe the pastry for this tart. The butter lends it a crisp short texture, which paired with the soft scent of almonds, makes you just want to eat the pastry on its own. But, the frangipane filling itself is too sublime to go unnoticed. It is both fluffy and moist, and the nuttiness provided by the almonds marries so elegantly with the figs.

Fig tart 3

The pastry recipe is enough for two tarts, and although it may seem a little bit hedonistic to make two at the one time, I urge you to wipe away any fear of being labelled a gourmand and double the Frangipane filling dose, because there is no time for guilt when French Pâtisserie is at hand.


Pâte Sucrée aux Almonds (Ladurée’s Almond Pastry):

120 grams butter, very cold

70 grams icing sugar

25 grams almond meal

1 pinch of fleur de sel

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, at room temperature

200 grams cake flour

Sift the icing sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Work the butter to homogenize and then add the following ingredients, one by one, making sure to fully incorporate each into the mixture before the next addition: sifted icing sugar, almond meal, fleur de sel, vanilla, egg and flour. Combine ingredients until the dough comes together; do not overwork the dough. This will give the pastry its desired crumbly texture.

Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours before using. If possible, it is better to prepare the dough one day ahead; it will be easier to roll out. This pastry will keep (unrolled) in the fridge for a maximum of 5 days.

Grease a regular tart tin with butter. Take the pastry out of the fridge and divide into two. Lightly flour a sheet of greaseproof parchment paper. Place one of the dough halves on the paper and begin to roll out into the shape of the tart tin. Roll out the pastry to a size that it is big enough to cover the base of the tin and reach up the sides. Gently flip the pastry onto the tart tin. This is where the greaseproof paper comes in handy as it allows you to flip the pastry onto the tin without hurting the pastry. Press the pastry into the sides of the tin. Using the handle of a wooden spoon press the edges of the pastry into the grooves of the tin. Place in the fridge until ready to use/fill.

Fig tart 2

Frangipane Filling:

100 grams butter, softened

100 grams caster sugar

100 grams almond meal

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 egg, at room temperature

1 tablespoon amaretto

5 figs, ends trimmed and halved

2 tablespoons honey (or your favourite jam), warmed

Mascarpone to serve

Fig tart 4

Pre-heat oven to 180°C. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the almond meal and flour and beat until just incorporated. Add the egg and amaretto and beat until combined.

Spread mixture gently into the tart shell. Top with figs, skin-side facing upwards. Bake in the oven, on one of the lower racks for 40 – 45 minutes, or until the filling is puffed and golden. Allow the tart to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before taking it out of the tin. Gaze the tart with warmed jam or honey using a pastry brush. Serve with mascarpone and enjoy!

By Anthea Tsaousis.


About frenchatmelbourne

Students, alumni and friends of the Melbourne University French Studies Network

One comment

  1. Pingback: The Year in Review | French at Melbourne

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: