A few weeks ago a new friend in the neighborhood dropped around a gorgeous Blood Peach & Frangipane Tart. From the first bite into the flaky pastry I knew I had to recreate it – albeit in a sourdough pastry version (if you don’t have a sourdough starter I have included a variation in the recipe). So out came my trusty chef training bible – Practical Professional Cookery – combined with a little channeling of my inner traditional baker to create light and buttery, ever-so-slightly-sour, pastry perfection. I suspect this rustic tart will officially become my go-to dessert using all manner of seasonal fruit and nuts.
The gorgeous figs (look at the size of that bowl) for this tart came from my Dad and his wife’s amazing garden over the hill from where we live. They have created a literal Garden of Eden on the property I grew up on, and luckily for us produce way more fruit than the two of them can possibly eat alone. The fig variety is called Brown Turkey and what they are lacking in colour they make up for in taste! Although we do have a fig tree of our own, it only produced a breba crop (wintered over fruit that ripens once the weather warms up) this summer, which were sadly rather tasteless. This year we are going to try thinning off the wintered over fruit in hope for a more flavoursome harvest in autumn next year.
The pastry and frangipane quantity makes enough for one large tart or 2 smaller ones (one small tart is pictured here). Extra pastry can be saved for another day - use within 4 days if kept in the fridge or freeze for up to a month. The addition of the sourdough starter or yogurt creates an amazing light and flaky pastry with a slightly tart flavour. The natural lactic acid in the sourdough also assists to predigest the starch and gluten, especially if left overnight, therefore making it more digestible.
1 cup unbleached white flour (I used white spelt)
1/2 cup wholegrain flour - wheat, spelt or buckwheat
1 tablespoon sugar of choice (I used rapadura)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
150g cold unsalted butter, cut into roughly 1 cm cubes
3 - 4 tablespoons bubbly sourdough starter or natural unsweetened yogurt
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins rubbed off as much as possible
1 tablespoon flour
60g room-temperature butter
1 heaped tablespoon honey
1 small free range egg
pinch of salt
approx. 8 ripe figs (or other seasonal fruit)
honey to drizzle
- Make the pastry: Place the flours, sugar and salt in a bowl and use a whisk to combine. Add the cubed butter and use your fingers to quickly rub the butter into the flour until rough pea-sized balls are formed - it can be quite rough. Spoon over 3 tablespoons sourdough starter or yogurt and use a spatula to mix into a shaggy-ish dough. Don't over mix or worry too much about lumps the main thing is that the dough holds together. Shape into a flat rectangle, place in a lidded container, and then into the fridge for 20-30 minutes for the butter to firm up.
- Remove the dough from the fridge. Lightly dust the bench and a rolling pin and roll the dough out into a large rectangle approx. 5mm thick. With the long side facing you, fold in the left side and then the right side to make a three-layer fold (like a business letter). Repeat this rolling and folding 2 more times finishing with a three-layer fold. Place back in the lidded container and chill for minimum 30 minutes, ideally overnight and up to 4 days. If leaving overnight or longer remove the pastry from the fridge approx. 30 minutes before using to soften for rolling.
- Make the Hazelnut Frangipane: Place the hazelnuts and flour into a food processor and blitz for 1 minute until the hazelnuts are finely ground. Add the room temp butter, honey, egg and salt, and blend until creamy.
- Preheat the oven 210C. Place a baking tray on the middle rack of the oven. *If you have a pizza stone or large ceramic tile, place it in the oven to bake the tart on so to cook the base from the bottom up.
- On a lightly floured bench, roll out the pastry (cutting in half first if making two tarts) until 3mm thick. Place onto a sheet of baking paper and rustic-ly fold and squeeze the edges to make a rough border (see the uncooked tart above to see how I did this). Use a fork to prick the base several times. Spread the frangipane onto the base (using half if making a smaller tart) and arrange quartered figs evenly over the frangipane. Drizzle with honey or scatter with a little sugar. Slide onto the baking tray or pizza stone and bake for 15 minutes. Check that the base is golden, if not, bake for a further 5 minutes (especially if not using a pizza stone to ensure the pastry is cooked). Remove from the oven, cool a little then cut into wedges and eat immediately. The tart is best served warm but very edible cold too, enjoy!