Ficonero Fig Tart_4764_wm_1x1

Ah, the onset of autumn.  It’s arrived here in Melbourne, but it’s not yet fully arrived.  It doesn’t quite feel final yet.  We have that mish-mash of weather that’s downright confusing but also comforting in that we can enjoy a few more warm, sunny days before the summer is truly over.

What does this mean?  Fig season is in full swing.  This year figs are abundant and literally dropping off their trees … well, there are plenty of them about, at any rate.  Who can resist a perfect, ripe fig?  Not me.  Probably not you.  Figs are a wonderful fruit!  It’s possible there is no culinary feat that could not accommodate a delicious fig to make it better.

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So I thought it high time I share my fave fresh fig tart with you.  Smack in the middle of fig season.  OK, for some of you, there’s another five or six months to wait, but hey, better early than late or not at all.  Something delicious to plan and look forward to, with anticipation 🙂

A while ago, the amazing folk over at the live with ILVE blog invited me to contribute a guest post.

Say what?   Huh?   Exactly.

How totally cool?  If you haven’t checked out their blog, and you are somewhat obsessed by major kitchen appliances (aren’t we all?), you should.   They make the most amazing stovetops and ovens, don’t they?  Totally schmick and covetable.  Lots of news and information as well as featured recipes from some well-known chefs and gorgeous cookbooks … and now Chocolate Chilli Mango!

When you post your recipes on your blog, you do it to share the love you have for, in my case, baking, patisserie, chocolate, and some crazy detours into the experimental world of protein cookery.  It’s fantastic to get comments back from you about recipes you’ve tried, loved, maybe even hated ( :-/ ), or improved upon for the benefit of us all.    To be noticed in the huge sea that is the blogging community is then always rather humbling.  Especially by a crowd that usually feature only proper chefs and their amazing recipes on their own blog.   What? This little blog?  But …  but it turns out ILVE took a shine to the recipes here at CCM.  So, with a happy dance and a little humble pride, the fig tart is the recipe I thought would be a great one to feature on my guest post there.

You can check out the post at  live with ILVE.

You can also find details on the ILVE Facebook page  and on Twitter.

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Crostata di Fichi e Ficonero

Makes: 1 x 23cm tart

The Ficonero in this tart is a recent addition and is entirely optional in the recipe. The tart is wonderful with or without it. It does add an extra dimension to the tart, however, as it has such a beautiful flavour.

Ingredients

    Pasta Frolla
  • 175 grams plain flour
  • 50 grams Rapadura sugar*
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 125 grams unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Crema al Ficonero
  • 300 millilitres cream (35% fat)
  • 60 grams Rapadura sugar*
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 teaspoons Ficonero
  • Topping
  • 5 – 6 medium to large purple figs
  • 15 – 20 grams Rapadura sugar*

Directions

Pasta Frolla
  • A good tip for making pasta frolla is to have the ingredients chilled (yes, even the flour on a hot day!).
  • Heat the oven to 190°C.
  • Line the base of a 23 cm loose bottomed tart tin with a circle of baking paper.
  • Place the flour, salt, baking powder, and Rapadura sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to aerate.
  • Add the chilled butter, cut into cubes, and process for a few seconds just until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  • Add the egg yolk and process just until the mixture comes together to form a ball.
  • Be careful not to over-process the dough in the processor as the machine will heat the dough and the result will be tough rather than short and flaky.
  • Place the pastry onto a clean surface sprinkled liberally with flour. I tend to roll it out between two sheets of non-stick baking paper, sprinkled with flour, as this helps to easily lift the pastry for lining the tin.
  • Flatten the pastry slightly and roll it out to a thickness of about 3-4mm. Using the rolling pin and baking paper to support the pastry, roll it up and gently unroll it over the tart tin.
  • Press the pastry into the tin, patching any tears or holes. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tin to remove excess pastry.
  • Cover and chill in the freezer for 30 mins or in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Bake the pastry blind at 190°C for about 20 minutes, until the edges are just starting to colour. Remove from the oven and set onto a wire rack to cool slightly (carefully remove the weights and lining).
  • Crema al Ficonero
  • In a large bowl, combine the cream, Rapadura sugar, egg yolks, vanilla bean seeds, and Ficonero.
  • Whisk until well combined.
  • Cut each fig into quarters and arrange in neat circles on the base of the crust, with the cut sides facing upwards.
  • Carefully pour the cream mixture around the figs.
  • Lightly sprinkle the extra Rapadura sugar over the figs. This will help caramelise them a little as they cook.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes or until the custard filling is set.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • This tart is best served at room temperature.
  • Leftovers will keep for several days, stored in the refrigerator.
  • Notes

    *Rapadura sugar is an unrefined sugar made from evaporated cane juice. It has a lovely toffee flavour. It is available through organic and health food suppliers and some specialty supermarkets. You could substitute a good light brown sugar or coconut sugar.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://chocolatechillimango.com/2012/03/28/crostata-di-fichi-freschi-e-ficonero/

    Ficonero Fig Tart_4790_wm_2x3

    Disclaimer:  I do own an ILVE oven however the people at the live with ILVE blog were not aware of this fact.   The views expressed here are my own and I have not been asked to provide any reviews nor have I been remunerated in any way by ILVE or any other party.