fig hazelnut frangipane tart

The front cover of Danielle Alvarez's new recipe book, Recipes for a Lifetime of Beautiful Cooking, features a beautiful looking
fig and hazelnut frangipane tart. Whilst I've made many fig frangipane tarts before, 
Danielle's recipe uses hazelnut praline as the base for the frangipane filling. I was intrigued and decided to give this a try.

I find the flavour of roasted hazelnuts a bit overpowering, so I decided to use a combination of hazelnuts and almonds. My little mini food processor doesn't have enough power to turn nut brittle into praline, so I ground the brittle into meal and used that instead of regular almond meal.

I used my regular recipe and I didn't think the end result would differ so greatly, but it did. The frangipane filling is quite intense. Next time I'd add a layer of fig jam to the base before topping it with the hazelnut almond frangipane filling just to amp up the figgy quotient. It's what I'd planned to do but the figs I'd bought weren't quite ripe enough to make into jam. They were however a week later and I now have 2 pots of fig and earl grey jam lurking in my pantry. If you don't have fig jam, apricot jam would also be a lovely addition.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a 10 x33cm recatangular tart. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Fig hazelnut frangipane tart - makes one rectangular tart
¼ cup icing sugar 
¼ cup almond meal
1⅓ cups plain flour
Pinch salt
110 g (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
Cold water

Hazelnut and almond praline
50g blanched hazelnuts
50g blanched almonds
50g caster sugar
1 tablespoon water

100g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 quantity hazelnut and almond praline
1 tbs plain flour 
Pinch salt
2 tsp rum

8 small figs, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon sugar
Apricot jam to glaze

To make the pastry, combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor, and whiz for a few seconds until well combined and free of lumps. Add the cold butter and whiz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and sufficient cold water and whiz until a soft dough just starts to form around the blade. Remove the dough from the food processor and gather the pastry into a ball; flatten slightly before wrapping in plastic and placing in the fridge. Refrigerate the pastry for 30 minutes. 

Roll out the pastry thinly on a floured board then line a rectangular tart tin with the dough. Ease the dough into the flutes and trim the edges before returning the tart tin to the fridge while you prepare the filling. You won’t use all the pastry but it freezes well so just wrap any remaining pastry in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. 

For the hazelnut and almond praline, preheat the oven to 170°C, conventional. Place the nuts on a baking tray and toast them for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Line a baking tray with baking paper and set it aside. In a small stainless-steel saucepan, heat the caster sugar and water over a low–medium heat, stirring occasionally using a heatproof spoon or spatula, until it has turned a deep shade of amber. Add in the nuts and stir to coat. Carefully tip the praline onto the baking tray, spread it out, and allow to cool completely. Once cool, break the praline into pieces and process the pieces in a small food processor until it forms a fine meal. Increase the oven temperature to 190°C, conventional.

Cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla together until pale and fluffy. Mix in the egg followed by the flour, salt, the hazelnut praline and the rum. This should form a soft batter. You can also do this step in the food processor.

To assemble the tart, remove the tart shell from the fridge. Cover the base of the tart with the frangipane filling. Smooth the top with a knife. Place the figs on top, cut side up, then sprinkle the figs with the sugar. Place the tart on a baking tray to catch any spills before placing in the preheated 190°C, conventional oven. Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hours or until the filling is set and the pastry nicely browned. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

When cold, glaze the top of the tart with some thinned, warmed apricot jam if desired. Unmould and cut into slices to serve.

I enjoyed my slice with a dollop of cream then the next day I took the tart into work. Despite the absence of the fig jam, tt disappeared quickly, which is always a good sign. 

See you all next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



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