Monday, March 28

fig & raspberry bakewell tart

As much as I miss my dear friends and small family, there are certainly perks of living in a new, larger city. An abundance of choice of farmer's markets is one of those perks, and one that I'm not taking for granted. I know it's a much more common thing to buy directly from the supplier these days than what is was five years ago for many people. I also know that the whole city-farmers markets 'trend' has been written about to no end, so I won't go there. What I love the most is how it's changed the way I bake. I'm searching for recipes to utilise what produce I'm buying, rather than lusting over a recipe and letting it dictate what I'm buying. I don't feel as swept up in chasing ingredients. There are elements of calm in cities.

On a tangent, I must stress how much I have fallen in love one particular new ingredient, not sourced from any farmer's markets - ground. vanilla. bean. Having faith in Equagold, and experiencing low stocks of vanilla bean paste, I purchased this far superior product from a local deli. Needing only 1/4 tsp to substitute a whole vanilla bean, it's incredibly economical. It's flavour is also intense, and oh-so-perfect in shortcrust pastry. I've been putting it in almost everything I'm baking over the last few months, and am still so giddy with lust for it. If you are lucky enough to encounter it, buy it.

This recipe utilised a bounty of figs and fresh raspberries purchased at a recent farmer's market visit. It's wonderfully simple, requiring only a food processor to mix the pastry and the filling. Rasberry coulis is not essential, but you'd be crazy not to.

Recipe from December 2010/January 2011 issue of delicious.

For shortcrust pastry:
1 2/3 cups (250g) plain flour
40g icing sugar
1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean, or 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
125g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
1 egg yolk

For filling:
100 gms unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
100 gms almond meal
1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean or 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup raspberry jam
8 figs, halved
125 gm punnet raspberries, plus extra to serve
1/4 cup icing sugar
Double cream, to serve

For the pastry, place the flour, icing sugar, vanilla seeds and butter in a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons iced water, then whiz until the mixture comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out pastry and use to line a 33cm x 12cm rectangular loose-bottomed tart pan, trimming to fit. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C. 

Line tart with baking paper and fill with pastry weights. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove paper and weights. Bake for a further 5 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool in tin. 

Place butter and caster sugar in a food processor and whiz to combine. Add egg, almond meal, vanilla seeds and 1 tbsp brandy, then pulse to combine.
Spread half the jam over the base of the pastry case, then top with the almond mixture. Arrange the figs, cut-side up, on top of the filling, gently pressing down. Scatter fresh raspberries on top if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is set and golden. Cool slightly. 

Meanwhile, blend the raspberries to a puree. Place raspberry puree in a pan with the icing sugar, 2 tbsp brandy and remaining jam, then cook over low heat, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Cool slightly. Garnish with extra raspberries, and when ready to serve, to with raspberry puree and a dollop of cream.

Recommended baking soundtrack: Alela Diane - To Be Still


  1. i LOVE figs at the moment! this tart looks delish xoxo

  2. markets are amazing, aren't they!?

  3. Oh, Betty! I'm terrible... but will be updating this week! I'm glad you're back on the scene, too :)