Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fig and Raspberry Bakewell Tarts

I saw this recipe on The Kitchn last month, and because my grocery store still had fresh figs, but I didn’t know for how long, I decided to make the tarts. I have recipes that are similar to this already; I love the combination of almond frangipane and fruit jam, not to mention how versatile this dessert is. I stuck pretty close to the original recipe, even adding lavender flowers to my raspberry jam – though of course, you can use just about any jam you want. I thought the figs were great when the tarts were freshly baked, but they gradually got tougher and chewier as the tarts got older. You could omit them or use another fruit instead. Bakewell tarts are easy to make and not too sweet, so I thought they were a perfectly reasonable way to end a meal.

For the crust
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ½-inch pieces (you could use frozen vegan margarine)
2 Tbsp. to ¼ cup ice water

For the filling
2 cups almond meal
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) vegan margarine (or if you want, unsalted butter at room temperature)
2 large eggs
2 tsp. lemon zest
¼ cup raspberry jam (the Kitchn write used raspberry-lavender jam)
3 or 4 figs, cut into 12 (¼-inch thick) slices
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

For the crust
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the food processor running, slowly add ice water until the dough just holds together. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap tightly, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 °F and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 12 (4-inch) circles and place them into the tin. Prick the bottoms with a fork and chill for 10 minutes.

Fill each crust with beans or weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove beans or weights.

For the filling
Combine almond meal and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and process until smooth. Add eggs and lemon zest and process into a uniform, smooth paste.

Spread 1 teaspoon of raspberry jam at the bottom of each crust. Fill each cup just to the top with the almond mixture and smooth it with the back of a spoon. Gently press a fig slice into the top.

Bake for 40 minutes until set and golden. Cool in pan on rack, then use a small offset spatula or knife to lift each tart from the pan.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

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