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Fig tarts with honeyed mascarpone and toasted almonds

By Nikki K on 30th May, 2015

Fig tarts with honeyed mascarpone and toasted almonds

Method

  1. Turn oven to 150 deg C (fan). Sprinkle flaked almonds over a metal baking tray and toast for about 10 mins until just starting to brown. Remove from oven and pour into a bowl. Return empty baking sheet to oven and increase heat to 200 deg C (fan).
  2. Take a 25-30cm square sheet of butter puff pastry. Roll it out a little thinner with a rolling pin.
  3. Use a bowl about 13-15cm in diameter, upside down and pressed into the pastry, to cut out your 4 pastry circles.
  4. Place each pastry circle on a square of greaseproof paper slightly bigger than it is.
  5. With the point of a small sharp knife score each pastry in a circle 1cm in from the edge, right round. Just scoring the surface not cutting right through the pastry.
  6. Cut off the stalky bit at the top of each fig. Slice the figs thinly, top to bottom. Discard side pieces and any uneven slices. Save 4 small fig slices to put over the middle of each tart.
  7. Put a large teaspoon of apricot jam in the middle of each pastry circle, and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon, taking care to stay within the inner circle you marked with the knife.
  8. Arrange the larger fig slices in a circle around the centre of each pastry circle, so each one overlaps half of the previous one. Place a small fig slice over the middle of each tart.
  9. Place a tablespoon of apricot jam in a microwaveable container and add a teaspoon of water. Heat for 20 seconds in microwave until melted, then stir.
  10. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the surface of each tart (fig slices and pastry) with the warm diluted apricot jam.
  11. Take hot baking tray out of oven and carefully move each tart on its greaseproof paper on to the tray. place tray in oven for 10-15 minutes until pastry has risen and started to brown.
  12. While tarts are cooking mix honey with mascarpone and beat with a spoon until desired consistency achieved.
  13. Remove tarts from oven and allow to cool for a moment, before using a fish slice to remove each tart from the greaseproof paper and transfer to its serving plate.
  14. Place a large quenelle (or spoonful) of honeyed mascarpone in the centre of each tart and a generous sprinkle of toasted almonds over it. Serve immediately as the mascarpone will start to melt quickly.
  15. Optional garnish - if you have the Persian fairy floss place a swirl on the tart as a base for the honeyed mascarpone – it means the mascarpone won't melt so fast. Then arrange a larger swirl of the fairy floss on top of the mascarpone for dramatic effect - sprinkling the toasted almond flakes over it (see photo).
     

Recipe Notes

  • If you don't have a really sharp knife try using a serrated knife so you can cut the figs thinly enough, without squashing them.
  • The Persian fairy floss makes a great talking point for a dinner party. It's available from Selfridges in a range of flavours, or direct online from Pariya
  • If you can't get hold of the Persian fairy floss you could instead add a couple of drops of pure vanilla essence (or the seeds from a vanilla bean) to the honeyed mascarpone. Mix it in thoroughly.
  • For a dinner party you can do up to the end of step 8 in advance, and just put the tarts in the fridge until you are ready to cook them (and you can also make the honeyed mascarpone in step 12 earlier).
tart  / special occasion  / nut  / fig  / dinner party
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