Fig Almond Tartelettes

August 21, 2007

Fig ALmond Tartelettes
A few many things prompted me to make this lovely "tartelette" seen in the picutures as well as a few others in the past couple of days. Last week I was given a good 10 pound basket filled to the rim with lovely figs from one of my clients' extremely prolific fig tree. "Yippee!" I scream as I love fresh figs. We started eating them fresh, the grilled with melting goat cheese, cut up in salad or with pork tenderloin. Then came the fig chutneys, fig jams, fig cakes and finaly these "Fig Almond Frangipane Tartelettes". It turns out that Sophie likes them too and B. will eat anything covered with sugar!

I was also trying to find a suitable local crop to make a dessert for Sugar High Friday hosted this month by Johanna of the Passionate Cook . It turns out that the earliest colonists from England and Barbadoes landing in South Carolina found a bounty of foods in their new land, including peaches, figs, muscadines, pumpkins, squash, game, fish, nuts, and corn. Fig trees are almost as widespread as pecan trees here (my pecans seems about ready to implode) and the tiny fruits they produce packs a punch of flavor and juice. When I think about it, I don't recall ever buying a single fig that was not from Charleston since I moved here. The common figs we get may not be the most sought after variety but they work just great for everyday life.

I make this kind of tartlets (and sometimes bigger pie) often throughout the year using different seasonal fruits. I love it with pears,apples, peaches, and plums, but quite frankly I think any fruit tastes wonderful when paired with a fragrant almond frangipane cream.

Fig Almond Tartlets

Fig Almond Tartelettes, adapted from Bon Appetit, October 1998

Makes 3 4- inch tartelettes (enough for 6 or 3 big appetites)

For crust
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons ice water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For filling
1/3 cup whole almonds (about 2 ounces)
1/3 cup sugar1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 teaspoons rum or brandy
12 ounces ripe figs, cut into halves
1/4 cup apricot marmelade

Make crust:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine first 3 ingredients in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix 2 tablespoons ice water and vanilla in small bowl. Pour water mixture over dough. Process until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Roll out on floured surface to 12-inch round. Cut 3 rounds about 5 inches big, fit into pie plate and trim excess dough. (or use shapes and molds you like) Using fork, pierce dough all over. Bake crust until pale golden, about 30 minutes (crust may shrink slightly). Cool on rack. Maintain oven temperature.

Make filling:
Finely grind almonds with sugar in processor. Add egg, butter and 2 teaspoons rum. Process until batter forms. Pour filling into crust. Arrange fig halves atop filling. Bake until figs are tender and filling is golden and set, about 25 minutes.
Melt jelly with remaining 2 teaspoons rum in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat. Brush jelly mixture over figs. Cool tartelettes. Serve at room temperature.

Pour mes lecteurs francais: j'ai demande a mes parents de me rapporter de la feve tonka, mais je ne sais ou leur dire de s'en procurer. Ils sont du cote de Versailles-Rambouillet-Paris. Quelques suggestions seraient les bienvenues. Merci.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wonderful tartlets! Very delicate looking... I'll have to buy some fresh figs.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Right, these are just every day life tartelettes! Figs and Frangipane cream . . . that's got tot be a perfect combo.

Kelly-Jane said...

These are so elegant and pretty, yum!

I'm still thinking about your ice cream cupcakes, I'm so going to try them.

Anonymous said...

Lucky you, to have someone sharing the spoils of their fig tree! I need a friend like that... ;) The tarts look lovely.

Anonymous said...

I better not let the hubby see this or he'll be begging me to make this pronto. Hm that's not a bad idea since I love figs too! But unlike you I did not get a basketful of them and they are so darn expensive...okay I'm blabbering now...
Beautiful tart!

Anonymous said...

ah so funny, I just bought some figs yesterday and was planning on making something "tarteletty" with them too ;-) delicieusement bon! Luck to have received such a bag!

Belinda said...

I agree with B, anything covered in sugar has to be a good thing! Figs are something I look forward to every year, and I love eating them freshly picked from the tree too, but you have taken their figgy goodness to a whole new level with these Tartelettes...they look so pretty, and the pastry looks like it would just melt in your mouth. :-)

David T. Macknet said...

The figs sound like they'd be strong enough to stand up to the almonds, that's certain. Yum!

Jenny said...

Very pretty! I admit, I don't know how to choose a ripe fig, so have not yet indulged in them.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Oh I love figs too and these look great! Hope you are doing well?

Patricia Scarpin said...

These look great, Helen! I have never baked with figs, these are great inspiration!

Cynthia said...

Helen, those tartelettes are dreamy, look at the perfect colour on the crust... beautiful

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration! I absolutely love your photos, descriptions and blog as a whole. I am living with family who don't eggs, but once I get the chance, I am SO making this frangipane fig tart. Especially since my blog is
Thanks again for the smile inducing posts and inspiration. You do know you could do this for a living!? People would come from far and near to buy your desserts.

Helene said...

Thank you Bri for your comments, and I do this for a living. I just got an order for 150 cupcake cones...oh my... the headache begins!

Peabody said...

I wish someone would come along and give me a bunch of figs!!!
Your tartelettes are very beautiful.

Abby said...

I'll be in Charleston this wked for a wedding. I'll have to hunt around for some figs for myself! I love them in salads, too.

Anonymous said...

beautiful and figs are just ripe now here.

Unknown said...

Our figs up in Greenville are a little small and shriveled - too much of a drought! I'm definitely getting some tomorrow and trying either this recipe or the Jacques Pepin one I have. I adore figs!

monica said...

i am so jealous! f.i.g.s are my absolute favorite food. 10 lbs, my heaven. and such a lovely tartlette!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

mmm, figs and almonds certainly make a winning combination - especially for a tartelette :0)

lululu said...

Such a brave trial!!!!!
Good job!!!

Lis said...

Looks so yummy! And I love figs :D

As always a beautiful job, sweetie!


Amy said...

What beautiful tartlets! I've never had figs before but I really want to try them.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware that figs are grown in the US. I always thought of them as a Middle Eastern food. I learned something today! Yeah! And I want to run to the kitchen and make this tartelette.

BTW - I made cupcakes with my little boy and used your frosting with sprinkles (inspired by your cone cupcakes) and he adores them!

Mercedes said...

Oh, I am so incredibly jealous of your figs! The tartlets look wonderful.

Big Boys Oven said...

oh they look so delicious.

WokandSpoon said...

This looks fantastic as well! It must really taste good with the fig-frangipane combination!

Chris said...

Fabulous tart! I would have to remember to breathe between bites if I had one of them in front of me! :)

Robyn said...

Mmmmmmmmm! I am going to try this. I have been craving figs and could not think of a way to use them. This will be perfect!

thepassionatecook said...

figs are a great favourite of mine - the almond pairing must be a winner. i will have to look out for some figs now that i am back after a long vacation... in austria, all i saw was damsons - which would probably work just as well in your tartelettes!

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Anonymous said...

I just made this tart last week, it was delicious and everyone enjoyed it!

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