Monday, 17 September 2007
Figs and Tarts . . .
I was delighted to learn that Ivonne of Cream Puffs In Venice was hosting the 35th Edition of Sugar High Friday and that the chosen object of our sugary affections this month would be figs! Oh, what a wonderful challenge to come up with a fantasic dessert using figs . . . fresh, dried, preserved, what delicious concoctions will we all be creating?
I gathered all my cookbooks together and began to read through all the obvious ones, trying to come up with a recipe to use these beautiful fruits in, but could not find any one in particular that struck my fancy. Having searched and come up empty handed, I decided to wing it on my own and this is the delicious creation I came up with.
I wanted a tart that would have a lovely crisp base, but a base that would not detract from the sweet deliciousness of the fruit. The figs must be the star. I finally decided that filo pastry would give me the effect that I was looking for. I also wanted a type of custard base to fill the tart and surround the figs, but one that was not going to be overly sweet, as the figs would be sweet enough on their own. I hope you all enjoy this tart as much as we did. The only dissapointing thing about it was that it is not really a keeper. You must eat it all on the day it is baked, but then, as good as this is, that should not really be a hardship that is too painful to endure . . .
*Fresh Fig and Crisp Filo Tart*
Serves 6 to 8
This is a really easy tart to put together. Crisp filo pastry stogged full of deliciosly sweet figs, encased in a lovely almond batter. This is delicious served with lashings of clotted cream or pouring cream. Best eaten on the day baked. Resistance is futile . . .
5 sheets of filo pastry, each measuring about 14 inches by 10 inches
2 TBs unsalted butter, melted
6 to 8 fresh figs, cut into wedges
3 ounces plain flour
3 ounces golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup single cream
1/2 tsp almond essence
icing sugar for dusting the finished tart with
Clotted cream or pouring cream to serve
Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Grease a 10 inch by 6 1/4 inch tart tin well with butter. Brush each sheet of filo pastry with the melted butter and use to line the buttered tin.
Trim the pastry as necessary, leaving a bit of an overhang around the edge of the tin. Arrange the fig wedges over the base of the tart attractively.
Sift the flour into a bowl. Whisk in the sugar. Beat in the eggs and some of the milk, whisking until it is smooth. Gradually whisk in the remaining milk and the cream. Stir in the almond essence. Pour the resulting batter over the figs.
Bake for 1 hour, or until the batter is set and golden brown. Remove the tart from the oven to a wire rack to cool for at least ten minutes before serving.
Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with a dollop of clotted cream on top or a jug of pouring cream to pour over it. Enjoy!