Sunday 2 September 2012

Fig & Raspberry Tart

Opportunistic eating. The figs are now just ripening (which I don't entirely understand, as they were harvesting them already several weeks ago up in Belforte, and we must surely be warmer down here in the plain, and therefore you'd think we'd be ahead in terms of fruit-ripening... ), and the raspberry canes continue to crop generously. Dessert planning is done on an adhoc basis at this time of year, and tends to be a process of deciding what needs to be picked and eaten immediately. Hence this tart. Prepared entirely in advance, it works well for entertaining. If raspberries aren't available, follow the recipe and merely omit them; the end result is a different thing, but equally as good in its own way.

For two individual tarts.

Ingredients: 2 pre-baked phyllo shells, made with a sheet of phyllo, 15g butter, and a sprinkling of slivered almonds between the layers of pastry; 4 medium-sized, ripe green figs; 2 tablespoons grandmarnier; 2 generous tbs apricot jam; half a cup of fresh raspberries; icing sugar, to dust the finished tarts before serving.


1. Cut the tips from the figs, and discard. Cut the fruit into half-centimetre dice, and put into a small bowl along with the grandmarnier to macerate for an hour or so.

2. After maceration, drain the grandmarnier into a small saucepan; add the apricot jam, and heat gently, until the solid fruit in the jam is entirely liberated. Carefully remove the solid apricot from the liquid in the pan and use this to make a layer in the base of the two pastry shells. (In the last batches of jam I made, I didn't chop the fruit at all, and so the process of heating the jam leaves large chunks of apricot in the bottom of the pan....if your jam doesn't have fruit in it, then you'll have to use it purely as a glaze, and omit the stage of putting the solid fruit into the base of the pastry shells).

3. Pile the diced figs into the pastry shells, and carefully arrange the fresh raspberries over the the top. 

4. Heat the remaining jam and grandmarnier until it visibly thickens, stirring all the time, and then spoon this carefully over the tarts. Allow to cool completely, and dust with icing sugar just before serving.