Fig and Almond Frangipane Tart

Fig and Almond Frangipane Tart

This recipe has 5 stages.

You will make sweet tart dough, frangipane, and sauté figs to make a jam, blend eggs for custard and then assemble and bake a beautiful tart.

You can make this in stages or in an afternoon, whatever you have time to do.

What is frangipane? Frangipane is a finely ground mixture of almonds, sugar and eggs. It is used as a filling for fine pastries: almond croissants, Danish pastries, underneath fruit in a fruit custard pie such as this recipe.

Frangipane is very similar to marzipan which does not have eggs.

Frangipane must be refrigerated or frozen. If kept fresh, use it within a week for best flavor.

You will have some of these components left to make other things with so get creative!

Pear tarts
The Port Poached Pears are in my “Draft” box.

I had sweet dough, frangipane, and custard left so I made two smaller tarts and topped them with Spicy Port Poached Pears.

For the sweet tart dough

Yield: two 9 1/2 inch tarts
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg

Sift together the confectioners’ sugar, flour and salt into a bowl.

Place the butter into a food processor and process until smooth.

Scatter the flour mixture over the butter, add the egg and process just until the dough forms a mass; do not over mix.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least for an hour.

Line a greased 9 1/2 inch tart pan with half the dough and chill for 30 minutes. Keep the other half for another use.

For the frangipane:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Place the sugar and the slivered almonds in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground; about 2 minutes.

Add the butter and process until combined.

Add the eggs and the almond extract, if using, and process until smooth; about 1 minute.

Add the flour and process until combined.

Use ¾ cup for this recipe. Extra frangipane can be frozen until another use. Use fresh frangipane within a week if kept refrigerated.

For the figs:

  • 2 pints fresh figs, quartered.

Keep enough uncooked figs aside to ring the outside of the tart

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, split & scraped
  • sugar to taste*

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pan, add the vanilla seeds and beans and the quartered figs and sauté until they have a jam like consistency but retain their shape.

Use sugar to taste.* Often you don’t need it.

Cool the mixture.

For the custard:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Cognac (or to taste)

Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the cream and cognac.

To assemble and finish this tart, you will need:

  • One 9-1/2 inch tart shell made from sweet tart dough, unbaked
  • 3/4 cup frangipane
  • Quartered figs and sautéed figs, cooled
  • Custard mixture
  • Slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

  1. Spread an even layer of frangipane over the prepared tart pan.

Bake for 14 minutes, until the frangipane layer is puffed but not set.

  1. Arrange some uncooked fig quarters around the edge of the tart
  2. Add the fig ‘jam’ inside of the ring you made with the quartered uncooked figs

    Pour the custard mix over the figs

    Bake the tart at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes. The crust will be golden.
    After making the tart, I had some ingredients left over. 2 small port poached pears with frangipane and custard and some decorative cookies from the remaining sweet tart dough.

    Add the fig ‘jam’ mixture on the baked frangipane layer, inside of the fresh fig ring.

  3. Pour the custard mixture over the figs.
  4. Sprinkle the top with some slivered almonds.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes, until the custard is set and the pastry is golden brown.

Cool the tart completely on a wire rack before cutting and serving.

This is an elegant tart. After putting all your time and effort into it, make it an occasion to eat it! Make up one if you have to.

My First Year of Blogging

Today marks the first year of Spoon Feast!

The first year went fast. I intended to have 150 posts by the first year anniversary; instead there are 122. Not bad, but not what I intended. There were many days off and sometimes weeks in between posts.

Learning about the blogging world has been amazing. Seeing the direction and growth of Spoon Feast has been fun.

I was hesitant to start this blog. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in reading an odd collection of stories, thoughts and recipes.

Like everyone else who starts a blog, you spend hours looking and commenting on other blogs.

It’s like a huge party where you “work the room” to get to know who’s who.

I have met some amazing people like Barbara in Sweden who writes My Italian Smorgasbord and Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

Mandy with the Complete Cook Book in South Africa taught me what a “brae” was; and Celia kindly explained what “chooks” are.

How else would you ever meet people like these but through the amazing blogosphere. (Is that a word?)

I have sat back and watched as new bloggers lit the stats on fire and racked up hits and followers while my own numbers slowly eeked up the numbers on daily hits and followers. I’m satisfied.

Our “Logo”

This is something I have no control over but I like seeing these numbers click upward. Sometimes I vision all these numbers are coming from one person who just clicks around to raise numbers and that the hits really don’t mean anything at all.

How do you get thousands of followers or even thousands of hits anyway? I clearly don’t know.

In February WordPress added the world hits – a stat keeper feature I love!

I discovered people from all over the world check in and read the words I write occasionally.

If anyone knows anyone in China or Greenland, send them a link to Spoon feast so those two chunks of land can get colored in too. 😉

Finding my voice in the beginning was hard, I hit writers blocks and couldn’t find anything to say about beloved food.

My son asked me to write a series of things to cook since he was in his first apartment with a real kitchen. So I started the “How to cook” series. He had to move out of his apartment for 6 weeks or so due to the finding of mold in the building. They are cleaning the building and replacing all furnishings before he can move back in.

Bummer to go from an independent apartment back to a confined dorm room. At least the university is covering his food in the meantime.

Tyler told me he has cooked everything I posted for him so far. You would never know it since he doesn’t comment but he says he does cook. Celia asks him questions and prompts him along too. Isn’t it fun!

Since he doesn’t have a kitchen right now, I get to play with other posts. I have 54 ideas in draft that need photos or fleshing out. You would think I could get them finished so that is a goal to complete before the end of the year. That being December, not next August.

Over the last year, in my spare time, I have:

  • White Dinner Desserts

    Started “White Dinners in Charlotte” events

  • My TV show, “Charlotte Cooks” has been picked up by PBS
  • 120+ posts have been and published for Spoon Feast
  • picked up a professional camera and learned how to take better photographs
  •  set up a photo studio in my home and intend to keep learning how to take better photos
  • developed a nearly fool-proof no-knead sourdough recipe
  • kept the sourdough culture alive and thriving and shared literally gallons of it

One blogger I follow Kathryn Dawson The Art of Letting Go, has great photos and had the honor of being Freshly Pressed recently. It was fun to recognize a blog I was following on FP. Kathryn takes beautiful photographs and the recognition is well deserved.

I keep thinking it would be nice to get Freshly Pressed recognition but it seems random and not likely.

So, I’ll just keep writing about food things. It would be lovely if you would join me or even just stop by once in a while.

Happy Anniversary Spoon Feast!

In honor of the 1 year anniversary, the appearance of the blog changed to a much simpler look.

Do you like it?