A couple of months ago, one of my girlfriends introduced me to whom she referred to as "a friend with an AMAZING blog". My friend wasn't lying and ever since then, I've been crushing on this blog.
Petal and Pie has a bit of everything that brings joy to life - lots of baking, decorating and plenty of early trips to the flower market. Alanna Rodgers, who runs this blog, is as sweet as the pies she bakes and creates some of the most gorgeous flower bouquets I have ever laid eyes on. Oh, and she makes the best parcel partner too. I mean seriously, check this out.
I was super excited when she replied to my email saying that she would love to contribute monthly recipes here at Life & Co! Actually, excited would be the biggest understatement. I was jumping for joy and maybe even let out a loud girly squeal - no exaggeration there. So, over to you Alanna...
Figs - I adore them! So, naturally, I was delighted when I went to the grocery store the other day to find figs on sale as they're quickly going out of season. But it's not too late to hurry out and track some down! Otherwise, you can definitely replace them with some other less seasonal fruits and it would be a different kind of delicious - think thin slices of apple, pear, or quince.
This is a frangipane based tart - which means the fruit and nuts are cushioned in a soft, gooey layer of sweet almond mixture. For the longest time I thought frangipane was related to frangipani - which was obviously very perplexing. Just how did they turn those tropical white flowers into the base of a tart?! But no, it is not floral in the least, just made out of the humble almond.
1 1/2 cups plain flour
115g softened butter
1/4 cup caster sugar
100g softened butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g sifted ground almonds
1/4 cup maple syrup
4-6 fresh figs
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
(whipped cream to serve)
Starting with the pastry; cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Can I just say, it took me years to master the whole light and fluffy thing. The secret is to beat for a good 3-5 minutes and starting with butter that is actually soft! Who'da thought?! Being the last-minute baker that I am, I've learned that you can quickly turn cold butter into soft butter by grating it with a cheese grater. Easy!
Beat in the egg and then mix the flour through thoroughly.
Turn it out onto a floured bench and knead it just slightly until it is a smooth consistency. Wrap in cling-wrap and store it in the fridge. Oh, and preheat your oven to 180°C.
Prepare your frangipane by again creaming the butter and the sugar until airy and soft - just a couple of new adjectives for ya!
One at a time, beat in the egg, vanilla, ground almonds, and maple syrup until well combined. It's ready to go, so just set it aside until the tart cases are ready.
Roll out your pastry so that it's about half a centimetre thick and roll it into the dish. If you'd like it to be a free standing tart, line it with baking paper first so you can lift it out easily or use a spring form tin for a quick release. I used a long rectangle tin, but a regular 9" pie dish or cake tin would do just fine.
Fill the unbaked pastry case with pastry weights, rice or beans (so it doesn't bubble or collapse) and bake until it just starts to brown.
Slice the figs into quarters or halves, or if you're using a harder fruit like apples or pears, and slice them thinly.
Once the pastry is partially baked, take it out, remove the weights and allow it to cool slightly.
Spoon in the frangipane until the pastry is about half way filled. Press the pieces of fig gently into the frangipane and sprinkle with the pecan pieces. You can drizzle a tad more maple syrup over the top to help the fruit to caramelise.
Return to the oven for another 30 minutes or so. It will be done when the pastry is golden brown and the frangipane has set.