The fig is an incredibly luscious fruit, with a delicate aroma and sweet flavour. Originally from Asia, figs are now grown across the Mediterranean and there are hundreds of different varieties.
Figs are amazingly versatile; they make attractive starters when served with Parma or Serrano ham and can be a great addition to an after-dinner cheese board. But one of our most popular fig recipes at the moment is a dessert – our mouthwatering Fig Tart. This is undoubtedly due to their exquisite taste, texture and colour.
We have been asked a few times recently for the recipe for this delicious dessert and so we thought we would share it with you. If you are planning on making the tart it is worth carefully selecting figs that are richly-coloured, clean and dry, with smooth, unbroken skin. The fruit should be plump and soft and yielding to the touch, but not mushy. At their best, they may be covered with a light, fuzzy bloom.
Finally, it’s worth noting that figs do not transport particularly well so the very best figs are only found in the countries where they grow. If you travel to a Mediterranean country during the season, be sure to try a local, freshly picked fig to experience how they should REALLY taste.
Knockderry Fig Tarts
Pastry Case Ingredients
515g plain flour (sifted)
170g icing sugar (sifted)
340g cold diced butter
2 egg yolks
Crème Pâtissière Ingredients
7 egg yolks
170g cold butter (diced)
85g icing sugar (sifted)
To make the pastry combine the flour, icing sugar and butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add the egg yolks to create a dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour.
Dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough to line a loose-bottomed baking tin.
Preheat oven to 360F/180C/Gas 4. Line pastry with baking parchment, fill with baking beans or rice and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove paper and beans. Cook for a further 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Lower temperature to 320F/160C/Gas 3.
To make the crème pâtissière, bring the milk and vanilla to the boil and then remove from the heat. Sift the flour and cornflour and combine with the sugar and egg yolks. Whisk the milk into the egg mixture, stirring continuously. Return the mixture to the heat until it starts to thicken.
Pass the mixture through a sieve and cool.
Cut the figs into segments and coat in honey. Warm for 10 minutes on a gentle heat to soften.
Mix the crumble ingredients together until they resemble breadcrumbs. Bake on a baking tray until golden brown.
To build the dessert pipe the crème pâtissière onto your pre-baked pastry tart case and arrange the softened fig segments on top. Cover with the pre-baked crumble mix and dust with icing sugar.
How you serve your fig tart is entirely up to you, but we like to add a scoop of homemade ice cream or mascarpone.