Fig and Almond Tart
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Step 2: To make the pastry, tip the flour onto the bench and make a well in the centre. Dice the butter and put it and the salt into the well, then use a pastry scraper to cut the butter into the flour. Make a well again and pour in the cold water. Using the pastry scraper work in the flour and butter into the water, do not knead the dough. At this point the dough will look very lumpy, the butter still in pieces, but it should hold together. Flour your working bench, roll out the pastry to make a rectangle about one centimetre thick. Keeping the longer side of the rectangle parallel to the bench, fold both ends into the centre – it will look like an open book. Then fold one side over the other – to close the book. Cover and place pastry in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Remove the pastry from the fridge and repeat rolling and folding process above. Place into the fridge for a further 10 minutes.
Step 4: To make the frangipane, place the butter and caster sugar in to a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and creamy – approximately 6 minutes. Then add the eggs, one at a time, then the brandy. Mix for a further 1 minute and then add the flour and the almond meal, mix until well combined. Put the almond frangipane into a container and set aside until ready to use.
Step 5: Remove the pastry from the fridge. Repeat rolling and folding method. Cover and place pastry in the fridge for a further 10 minutes. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured bench until it is four millimetres thick, then cut out a rectangle 12cm wide x 30cm long. Place onto a baking tray, brushing around sides with egg glaze, then cut strips of the puff pastry two centimetres wide, from all sides and place around the edge of the tart base, to build up a slight edge. Place in the fridge for 5 minutes. Remove from the fridge, spike the bottom with a fork, then place into the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Step 6: Remove from the oven and inhibit the pastry by pressing a clean tea towel carefully over the centre, forcing all of the accumulated hot air out. Spread the almond frangipane evenly over the pastry base, brush the side with egg wash and bake for a further 5 minutes.
Step 7: Remove tart from the oven and turn the oven onto grill at 200°C. Place the prepared fig slices in a roof tile pattern on top of the almonds frangipane and brush with Fig Vino Cotto. Place under the grill for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove the tart from the grill, cut a portion and serve with Rich Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
7 large black figs, ripe but firm sliced into thirds, lengthwise
50ml Fig Vino Cotto