Maple, Fig & Pecan Tart

March 4, 2014

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.

Pastry //

1 1/2 cups plain flour
115g softened butter
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg

Filling //

100g softened butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
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)

Method // 

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. 


You can serve it warm, cut into big slices with whipped cream or wait until it has cooled and eat it like a slice. It didn't last a day in my house! 

21 comments:

  1. I LOVE figs but never really know what to make with them!! Thanks for this Alanna :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here Stace! I'm also keen to try it with apples or pears - how divine would that be!

      Delete
  2. Alanna, I totally get tiny red hearts in my eyes when I look at your work. So excited to see what you share every month over here! (And um, of course this looks ridiculously good).

    ReplyDelete
  3. This looks wonderfully easy! Not a huge fan of figs but maybe I'll like it better with the pecan & maple. Thanks lovelies!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yum yum yum! I love figs and I love tarts!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. this might just convince me to give figs a second go!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Dee, I just bought myself 2 trays this afternoon - going to definitely give this one a go! Hubby loves figs so can't go wrong ;)

      Delete
  6. Thanks for another blog suggestion! I am loving Alanna's blog already,.. So many great recipes!! And her photos are so pretty!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't they beautiful?! I never tire of scrolling down through her blog just to see those wonderful photos!

      Delete
  7. I wish figs were easy and accessible where we live but unfortunately it's not!! I'll just have to make it with apples :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Perfect! I have been dreaming of baking a fig tart lately, & this one looks beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I made one today Jess & it is delicious! I think my pastry could've been a bit better but it tasted great nevertheless!

      Delete
  9. So excited to be a part of your blog, Nia. And all you readers are so kind! Can't wait to keep coming up with delicious things to share :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't you tell WE'RE all excited to have you here?! Can't wait to see what other yummy treats you come up with lovely! x

      Delete
  10. I love Alanna Rodgers' baking tips! Will definitely give this a try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Sid! She's a great teacher! x

      Delete
  11. Lovely recipe, looks delish

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can't wait to try this recipe, I have only recently discovered that I LOVE figs, where have they been all my life? I have 30 years of making up to do and will start with this recipe

    ReplyDelete