Sunday, September 2, 2012

mini fig & frangipane tartelettes

Labor Day weekend.

End of summer.

And fig season!!!

It's been years since we've paid for a basket of figs. We are so lucky to live next door to a little old Greek lady who has a fig tree in her front yard. She lets us pick the fruit when they're ripe or sometimes she'll ring our bell to give us a bag full of figs she has picked herself. 

This Sunday morning we were greeted with a bag of these.....

Figs are delicious eaten as they are. 

With a little goat cheese. 

Cooked into a jam/compote.

Or baked into a tart with almond cream.

I just LOVE bite-sized treats and since a half of fig is a perfect bite, I was inspired to turn a fig & frangipane tart mini.....

Mini Fig & Frangipane Tartelettes
inspired by the recipe from ChezPim
Makes 20 - 24 bite sized tarts
12 figs - cut in half
pastry crust

75 grams almond flour ***I cheated and used Trader Joe's Almond Meal and toasted it in a dry cast iron pan - over medium heat stirring/tossing so that it didn't burn.***
75 grams sugar
75 grams unsalted butter @ room temp
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
pinch of kosher salt

In a medium bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and almond extract and mix to combine. Add toasted almond flour and salt. Mix into a smooth almond cream. Store the cream in an airtight container and refrigerate until needed. Can be kept in the frig for a couple of days or frozen up to a month.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of kosher salt
4 tablespoons (half a stick) unsalted butter - cold and cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/8 cup ice cold water

***There are a few ways to make pastry/pie crust. In a food processor, with a pastry cutter, two forks, your fingers tips. Use whatever technique you feel comfortable with.*** 
This recipe makes such a small disk of dough that I just dumped the flour, sugar and salt onto my cutting board and cut the butter and shortening in with a bench scraper until it resembled course crumbs. I slowly folded in the ice cold water and gently gathered it into a disk, wrapped it in plastic and placed it in the frig to rest for 30 minutes.

After the pastry dough has rested for 30 minutes, roll out the dough (1/8 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Using a circle cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough and gently press them into a mini muffin tin.

Place your tin of mini tart crusts into your freezer while you preheat your oven to 400° or for 15 minutes.

By this time your frangipane is cold and ready to use. Drop a little dollop (roughly a little less than 1 tablespoon) of almond cream in the center of mini pastry crusts.

Place a half a fig, cut side up, onto the almond cream. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden - both frangipane and pastry crust.

Carefully remove tartelettes from the mini muffin tin and place on a wire rack to cool. These fig & frangipane tartelettes are best eaten warm.

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