Fresh Fig Tart with Creme Patissiere flavoured with Orange Blossom (orange flower water)

Taken from Azelias Kitchen, I havent made it yet so cant comment but looks great.

  • 1 tart tin 25 cm (9 3/4″). Don’t forget to have a rolling pin!4 fresh figs cut to quarters
  • 1 quantity of shortcrust pastry
  • 1 quantity of crème pâtissière
  • apricot jam to glaze figs
  • 1 egg yolk with tbsp of milk to glaze pastry
  • nob of butter to stop skin forming on the surface of pastry cream

Assembling the Fresh Fig Tart

Glaze – 2-3 tablespoons of jam, preferable apricot.
Oven temperature 170C / 340F / Gas 3

Once you have your pastry shell blind baked and glazed add your cooled pastry cream, decorated with fresh figs and put the tart in the oven for another 15-20 mins until the figs have dried out a little.Warm 2 tablespoons of apricot jam and sieve it, using a pastry brush glaze the fruit while the tart is still warm, you may need to re-warm the jam again to make it easier to brush.  Leave it at room temperature and can be kept until the next day, though it’s at its best eaten a few hours after making it.

Shortcrust Pastry
Making pastry is straight forward it just looks long here because I’m covering as much detail as possible to ensure you have good pastry.  Don’t over process in the machine, make sure butter is very cold, keep the dough covered with the thinnest sprinkling of flour when rolling to ensure it doesn’t stick and don’t stretch the dough when fitting it into the tart tin.If you want a smaller amount it’s half fat to the amount of flour, just hold back on the milk when adding the egg just in case the egg is enough to bring the dough together.  This is a richer shortcrust pastry adding the egg but you can just use milk, start with 2 tablespoon of milk adding a third if needed.

  • 250 grms of all purpose flour
  • 125 grms of butter, slightly salted (if making pastry in processor make sure it’s fridge cold and cut into small cubes)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons of sugar (1 tbsp is right if you don’t like sweetened pastry)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk

The quickest way is to put the flour, butter and sugar in the food processor and whizz it until you have a mixture looking like crumbs.  Add the egg and one tablespoon of milk and process until these breadcrumbs start to stick to each other.  You don’t have to wait until it forms a ball if it’s taking time as this might make your pastry tough.  Once the egg and milk is well mixed into the mixture, should only take 10-15 seconds, stop the machine pinch the dough a little and if it sticks together well enough and is a little moist it’s perfect, if it’s still dry and crumbly add the second tablespoon of milk, process again for a few seconds.Bring the dough together with both hand and gently but firmly pat it into a flattish ball.  Wrap the dough in clingfilm or foil and place it in the fridge for a good 40 minutes to cool down, making it easier to roll out.Spread a little flour over your work surface, over your rolling pin and a little over the disc of pastry.  Roll out the pastry, and after every 2 rolls of the rolling pin with your fingertips lift the dough and turn a quarter to prevent the dough sticking.  Turn the dough over at least once and lightly flour what use to the underside to stop it sticking, I do this process about twice during the rolling out of the dough.  You can shower the dough very very lightly with a little flour throughout the rolling out to stop dough sticking.  Use your hand to spread the sprinkles of flour right across the dough in an even cover, see photos below.Once you have the dough big enough for the tin loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin and gently drop it over the tin unrolling it from the rolling pin.  With your fingers gently push the dough into the edge of the tin until the dough is right up against the edge of the tin but do not stretch the dough.  Prick the base of the dough with a fork but not all the way through, this will help to stop the base gather air bubbles underneath when baking and rising the dough.  You can bake at this stage or if you want you can leave the pastry like this ready in the fridge until you are ready to blind bake.Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 156F / Gas 4Put either foil or baking paper into the tart shell, cover it with dried beans or ceramic baking beans and bake blind for about 10-15 mins.  Have a peep and see that the shell is set and started to look cooked, if it looks too raw put it back for another 5 mins.  Remove the foil or baking paper and beans and now put the shell for another 5 mins to dry out the base, before putting it back you can glaze the pastry with a egg yolk and a tablespoon of milk, or just a little milk.

Crème Pâtissière
I have been using this recipe from the Roux Brothers cookbooks for years and after having tried one of two others and not been happy I’ve always come back to this one, because it works.

Vanilla – Here I’ve added half a pod with the orange flower essence because I liked the combination with the figs, but you can just use one.  If just using the vanilla pod add the whole pod.  If you don’t want to use a vanilla pod swap it for a teaspoon of vanilla extract (not vanilla essence), you just won’t get the seeds in the custard.Milk – For the tart above I used half-fat milk because I had run out of full fat which is what I would recommend for a creamier finish, but I was surprise how reasonable it was with the semi-skimmed milk.

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 120 grms caster sugar
  • 40 grms flour (all purpose)
  • 500 mls milk (or for richer result half single cream half milk)
  • 1/2 vanilla pod split, seeds scrapped out with a tip of a knife
  • 1/2 teaspoon of orange flower water

Heat milk with a third of the sugar and vanilla pod until the milk just comes to boiling point, then turn it off.  Put the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar in a large bowl and whisk them together until a thick mixture, it will take by hand a good 2 mins, add the flour and whisk again until all the flour is well blended and the mixture is even thicker.Pour about a ladle full of the hot milk into the egg mixture and whisk it well, then pour the egg mixture back into the milk pan.  Put the pan over a low flame and keep whisking until the mixture starts to bubble up and thicken a lot, you need to cook it out for a bout 2 minutes to take away the raw taste of the flour. Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and flavour the mixture with the orange flour water.

Keeping the Pastry Cream
At this point just add a knob of butter to the surface of the pastry cream to stop forming a skin and leave it at room temperature until cold.  If you are putting in the fridge is best to put the clingfilm right up close touching the surface of the cream without adding the butter because when I added the butter and put the mixture in the fridge the butter turned into hard bits, it was fine once mixed in and baked the butter melted again but if you are serving the cream cold you don’t want bits of cold butter in the creamy mixture unmelted.

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