Figs. Aren’t they the most amazing fruits? They’re versatile: they’re great addition to desserts, complimenting each other with honey in a perfect way and also can easily find friends on a savoury dish plate. They can be eaten fresh or dried and they’re low in calories. They are among the richest plant sources of calcium and fiber.
Also their history and cultural aspects are very interesting. Did you know they’re one of the first plants that were cultivated by humans? Since then they were used not only for humans, they were also, among other things, used to fatten geese for the production of a precursor of foie gras. They were inspiration for poets and they appear in several languages as part of idioms.
They are available all year round, but are at their best now. That’s why after visiting our local farmers market I came back with a handful of them. Cutting one in half revealed a vibrant purple flesh and it just needed to be displayed. Delicious, sweet tart, topped with pretty figs and a bit of honey – yes, I knew instantly what I wanted to bake.
1 Sweet shortcrust pastry case (I always use this recipe by Eric Lanlard, it always turns out perfect, crumbly & delicate)
100g caster sugar
100g almond meal
5-8 fresh figs, depends on size, halved
2 tbsp honey
1. Spread the pastry case with fig jam, just a thin layer if you don’t want your tart to be too sweet.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan.
3. In a bowl of electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
4. Add the egg & ground almonds and mix until well combined.
5. Spoon into the pastry case, smooth the top and place the figs.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set and golden.
Drizzle the honey over the tart and serve.
Tip: It’s the best eaten fresh. After keeping in the fridge overnight stiffens and figs lose some of their sweetness.