Baking| Fresh Fig & Frangipane Buckwheat Tartlets

“If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony.”

Ferdinand Point

Fruit in baking continue to hold my interest. I knew I had to get some fresh figs back from our visit to Pune as we don’t ever find them here in North India. Bought some from a roadside stall while driving down from Mahabaleshwar, and the old lady gave me MANY instructions to protect this luscious fruit after she asked me where I was from. Figs must be allowed to ripen fully on the tree before they are picked. They will not ripen if picked when immature. A ripe fruit will be slightly soft and starting to bend at the neck. Fresh figs do not keep well and can be stored in the refrigerator for only 2 – 3 days.

These fruit are highly perishable and once back I had to figure out what to do with them soon as they were threatening to perish in front of my very eyes. I had earlier made this very delicious Fresh Fig Frangipane Tart that we all loved, frangipane being a great fave at our place. The kids however are not fans of fresh figs so it was time to think. It was back to my old obsession … buckwheat and experiments with recipes, and this one thankfully worked fine too.

 

Frangipane is a filling made from or flavored like almonds. This filling can be used in a variety of ways including cakes, tarts and other assorted pastries. An alternative French spelling from a 1674 cookbook is franchipane with the earliest modern spelling coming from a 1732 confectioners’ dictionary. Originally designated as a custard tart flavored by almonds or pistachios it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods.

The pastry recipe which I use for tart shells, galettes etc is a pretty versatile one, and works well with minor changes. Here I substituted buckwheat for cornmeal.  I bravely went a step further and added some buckwheat to the frangipane too, as a substitute for the flour. You can use plain flour if you like though.

Worked pretty well in the frangipane, but that’s maybe because it’s just a small quantity and doesn’t make a major difference. I think I’ve seen some frangipane recipes that don’t use any sort of flour at all. Well, whichever way, the end result was delicious and pretty too. Looking at the vibrant colour the fig slices took on after being baked, I often wish that we got fresh figs here in North India too ! Maybe one day ….

Fresh Fig Buckwheat Tartlets with Vanilla Scented Frangipane
Makes 1 8-9″ tart, or 6 small 3″ tartlets
Tart Pastry
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
Pinch salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/8 cup vanilla/granulated sugar
1/8 cup buttermilk (may need 1-2 tbsp extra to bind dough)
Vanilla Scented Frangipane
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/3rd cup vanilla sugar
1/3rd cup clarified butter, melted (or unsalted butter)
1 tbsp low fat cream
1 large egg
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1/8 cup buckwheat flour (or cornmeal)
2-3 tbsp strawberry vanilla preserve
About 6-8 figs, sliced
Vanilla sugar for sprinkling

Method for pastry:

Place both flour and salt in processor and pulse 2-3 times.
Add butter and pulse 4-5 times, or until mixture resembles coarse meal. With the processor running, slowing pour the buttermilk through the chute, processing until the dough forms a ball.
Remove the dough ball and adhere any remaining pieces of dough to it, then wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Refrigerate for 30-35 minutes. (I did it for almost an hour because the weather was HOT)
Preheat the oven to 180C.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry as thin as you like and line tartlet tins, or tart pan. I like my pastry quite thin (1/8″).
Line the fitted tarlets tins with foil, place pie weights/beans on base, and bake blind for 10 minutes, until light brown and crisp. Remove weights and cool on racks.
Frangipane:
Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and place them in the oven. Roast them for about 10 minutes, or until slightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature.
Place the almonds and sugar in the processor and whiz till ground. I like the almonds coarsely ground.
And the clarified butter, egg, scraped vanilla seeds, cream and buckwheat flour and whiz again till mixed uniformly.

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Assembling the tartlets:

Brush the base of the pastry with melted strawberry preserves and divide the frangipane equally among the 6 tartlet shells. Level out with an offset spatula. Top with slices of fresh fig and bake for 30 minutes, until lightly browned and knife inserted in centre of frangipane comes out clean. If you find the pie crust browning too soon, slide a sheet of foil over loosely.
Serve warm, at room temperature or even chilled. I like them served chilled with a dollop of unsweetened cream, sliced fresh figs and pistachio slivers. Enjoy!!

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Comments

  1. Divina Pe says:

    Am I the first one to comment? Hope so. I absolutely love this. I love figs but they're not available here. So seeing this post is a torture for me. I was thinking the same thing for the past few days about the combination but maybe with strawberries while we still have it. Love it.

  2. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Delicious tartlets! I love your choice of flavors!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. MaryMoh says:

    Looks absolutely delicious. I can have this everyday for my tea time.

  4. What a lovely recipe Deeba!1 But whats that fancy contraption in the pic!!

  5. Peter M says:

    Oh my, I'm going to have to bookmark this for when I'm in Greece in August and the figs are at their peak.

  6. Love figs and would love a slice of this!!

  7. Federica says:

    wow sono una meraviglia!!!!! bravissima!!!! complimenti!! ciao!!

  8. A cupcake or two says:

    Fresh figs are just divine. Deebe your tart looks delicious.

  9. Carolyn™ says:

    They look divine. Figs are my favourite fruit, unfortunately the season is over here but I will keep this for next year.

  10. Mark @ Cafe Campana says:

    These figs look delicious. Yum.

  11. tasteofbeirut says:

    OMG! Deeba, you are always creating little masterpieces! I wish I could run to the store or the farmer's market and get these figs! Niet, nowhere to be found! I am gonna have to wait till fig season in Lebanon.

  12. bunkycooks says:

    I will remember to make these beautiful tarts when figs are in season here!

  13. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    How ambrosial and luscious Deeba! I know what you mean about frangipane and I think adding vanilla is a great idea :D Hmm I'm going to be thinking about these tarts for a long time methinks! :P

  14. Dear Deeba,
    As always,your posts bring something FRESH.
    Please,this time,write a post on how do you store fragile fruits, like figs and strawberries, for long.Besides your recipes, I in particular, need to know about these tips sinc I live in a place where I have to store stuff brought back from big cities.

  15. Lazaro Cooks! says:

    Beautiful post. The tartlets are fantastic, love the use of figs here. Fantastic quote by FP. I just had an article published on the topic of plating food.

    Here's the link, if you'd like to check it out.

    http://blogcritics.org/tastes/article/inspiration-the-creative-wind-beneath-our/

  16. Madhuli says:

    The tartlets look absolutely divine!Here the markets are flooded with figs during season of course!I didn't know it was not avaialble in NI; always took it for granted that it must be available everywhere in India.Njoying 'the last of the season'figs..Love your tartlets!

  17. penny aka jeroxie says:

    It's fig season and I like it as a main ingredient in a pie or dessert. Love it!

  18. Alex T says:

    I've been rapaciously collecting and bookmarking fig tart recipes since I aquired my own fig tree last year and the signs for this years crop are encouraging. Your recipe is currently at top of the list, can't wait.

  19. Bellini Valli says:

    Good choice on what to do with some of your figs Deeba. These tartlettes look scrumptious.

  20. Aparna says:

    I love figs, dried or fresh and they're magic with frangipane. I baked some too and posted them last week but with a different crust.

    You don't get fresh figs there? I get them here, every year! :)

  21. Jamie says:

    Really beautiful, Deeba. Too creative and tasty and I'm not nuts about figs but these are magnificent and I'd certainly eat some of it. You gorgeous photography and creative baking never cease to amaze.

  22. shayma says:

    deebs, i admire you so much, youre so talented. you can turn anything (even figs which your kids dont like) into something gorgeous and luscious. i'd love to come over and have one with you, with a cup of chai. x shayma

  23. Barbara Bakes says:

    Love the quote. I really need to serve more meals with ceremony. Too often we inhale our food and move on to the next thing on our to do list. This definitely looks like a tart that needs to be celebrated.

  24. peasepudding says:

    Beautiful combination of fig and frangipane, two of my favourites. I have planted 2 fig trees this year since we don't seem to get many figs in NZ.

  25. Aparna S Mallya says:

    heavenly!

  26. Heavenly Housewife says:

    Gosh, this looks so yummy. You've created another masterpiece! Your family are so lucky to have you cooking and baking for them :D
    *kisses* HH

  27. Tangled Noodle says:

    How fantastic! So far, I've only used dried figs which simply don't have the same vibrancy of color as fresh. Your tarts look like they're adorned with budding flowers – so beautiful!

  28. Curry Leaf says:

    GORGEOUS.I WISH I KNEW MORE WORDS TO DESCRIBE THIS HEAVENLY CREATION.

  29. Veggie Belly says:

    I love the buckwheat tart! cant wait to tryit!

  30. Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] says:

    Ahh I love fig desserts! And this one looks delicious!

  31. Sarah, Maison Cupcake says:

    I LOVE this fig tart, I would definitely choose that out of a bakery window. Fresh figs are so difficult to get here and they're expensive even in season. I'll never forget a holiday eating breakfast under a fig tree and they were dropping to the ground all around us!

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  1. [...] in buckwheat, so I enjoyed perusing a number of buckwheat-based recipes, like some delightful fig tarts. Previously, I wrote a little about why buckwheat is an excellent alternative [...]

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