Though many of you may lament the cooler weather, Autumn is welcomed by me as my favourite season. The golden sunlight and colours of the trees never fail to impress me and seasonal produce available this time of year is wonderful to cook with.
Currently hazelnuts are being harvested and figs are ripe & plump on the trees. My favourite figs come from Turkey and Bursa is the most famous region for the highest quality figs available. The best hazelnuts in the world come from Piedmonte in Italy. We only use these in the business as the flavour and quality is second to none.
To celebrate these wonderful ingredients, I have brought them together in this month’s seasonal recipe, a fig and hazelnut tart. This dish is fantastic on its own but I adore eating it freshly baked with a generous dollop of crème fraiche.
This recipe is from my book Patisserie by Jacqui Small Publishing.
Makes Two Tarts, each serving 8-10
15 fresh figs cut in half
Clear runny honey
Clarified butter for brushing
Light soft brown sugar
2 x 14cm tart rings
500g plain flour (sifted)
20g caster sugar
300g cold unsalted butter cubed
40g egg yolks (about 2 eggs)
- Put the dry ingredients directly into the mixing bowl or onto the work surface. Add the cubed butter and rub together until no lumps of butter remain.
- Make a well in the centre, add the wet ingredients and mix to form a smooth, homogenous mass.
- Shape the dough into a block and wrap it in cling film. Put the dough in the fridge to rest for 2–3 hours.
- Place the two tart rings onto a baking tray lined with non-stick paper.
- When the dough is rested, roll out the pastry to 3mm thick and line the prepared tart rings. Prick the base of each with a fork and trim the edges. Rest for at least 1 hour before finishing and baking the tarts.
125g Unsalted butter (Softened)
125g Caster sugar
125g Ground hazelnuts
25g Flour (Sifted)
- Put the butter and caster sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Gradually beat in the eggs and mix until combined.
- Fold in the ground hazelnuts and the flour and mix until smooth.
- Fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe a spiral into the prepared tart case until approximately half full.
TO ASSEMBLE & BAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
- Finishing the tarts by placing the figs on top of the crème noisette then brush the figs with the clear runny honey.
- Brush the figs with the clarified butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.
- Bake for 25–30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Carefully remove the tart from the tart ring and place onto a serving plate.
- Warm the apricot nappage in a saucepan and use it to glaze the top of the tarts. Sprinkle with the Hazelnuts