Don’t be afraid of making your own pastry. The key to perfect flaky pastry is to ensure everything stays as cold as possible prior to cooking. The effort is well worth it.
- 225 g (8 oz) plain flour
- 40 g (1.5 oz) ground almonds
- 100 g (3.5 oz) cold butter, cubed
- 50 g (2 oz) icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
- 1 egg yolk
- 200 g (7 oz) butter, softened, chopped
- 200 g (7 oz) icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp honey
- 200 g (7 oz) almond meal
- 35 g (1 oz) plain flour
- 8 fresh figs, halved
- 3 tbsp honey, extra, for glazing
Start by making the pastry. Put the flour, ground almonds, butter and icing sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Blitz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and pulse until it starts to cling together. Add up to two tablespoons of cold water if needed. Remove the dough, knead slightly to form a disc, then wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough in-between two sheets of baking paper. Lift one sheet off, turn over and press into a 35 x 12 cm (14 x 5 in) rectangular, or 24 cm (9.5 in) round, loose bottom tart tin. Peel off the baking paper and trim the edges leaving a little overhang. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Line the tart with baking paper and ceramic pie weights or rice and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and cook for another five minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool. Trim if necessary. Reduce the oven to 180°C (350°F).
To make the filling, beat the butter and the sugar together with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating between additions. Add the 2 tbsp honey, almond meal and plain flour and mix to combine.
Bake and serve
Spoon the filling into the par-baked cool tart shell and smooth the top. Arrange the figs, cut side up, over the top. Cook for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160 °C (320°F) and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is set. Meanwhile, warm the honey in a small saucepan. Brush the surface of the tart with the warmed honey. Allow to cool in the tin before removing. Serve with cream or whipped sweetened mascarpone.
Recipe and image from “Food For Sharing Italian Style” by Liliana Battle ($45.00, New Holland Publishers).