Makes one 10-inch tart
Pâte Sucrée or sweet tart dough (see recipe here)
10-12 organic figs halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons turbinado or other raw organic sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting
1 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons or 1 stick of organic unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
Rolling the Pâte Sucrée:
Butter a 10-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. Place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
This dough can be a bit tough to roll out because of the butter. This however is what makes this dough so scrumptious. An easy way to do it is to roll out the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap. Place plastic wrap on preferably cool surface, such as marble or the counter top. Place dough in the middle of the plastic wrap and top with the second piece of plastic wrap. Roll out the dough turning it often a quarter turn and flipping it so you can roll out the other side. Check and lift the plastic wrap often to make sure you are not rolling it into the dough or wrinkling it. If the dough becomes too warm while rolling it, put it into the refrigerator for 10 minutes to cool.
When you are finished rolling out the dough, remove one sheet of plastic and center the exposed side down over the tart pan. Remove the top sheet of plastic and press the dough into tart pan. Roll the rolling pin over the edge of tart pan to remove any excess dough. If the dough has splits or cracks, use the excess dough to patch it (you can moisten the excess dough with a small amount of water to bring the dough back together). Let dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhille start the almond frangipani.
To Make Almond Frangipani:
Process nuts with 3 tablespoons of sugar in a food processor until finely ground.
Using a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar on medium speed until soft, smooth and creamy (mixture should be homogenous and show no signs of separation or any particles such as sugar) and pale and fluffy. This will take about 2 minutes. Add yolk and egg and mix another 2 minutes. Add nut mixture, flour, vanilla seeds and salt. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Baking the Pâte Sucrée:
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Line the crust with a circle of parchment paper and sprinkle with dried beans or rice to use as pie weights to bake the crust.
Bake the crust 20 to 25 minutes or until crust has a very light color. Remove parchment paper and pie weights and bake another 4-6 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a rack and cool.
Assembling the Tart:
Spread the frangipani in the pie shell. Arrange figs cut side up on top of frangipani pressing gently. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the top figs and tart. Bake until golden and bubbly about 45-50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.
Chef’s note: As always use as many organic ingredients you can find for optimum flavor and health benefits.
To learn more about organic figs, read This Season’s Harvest: Organic Figs.