On the weekend my Dad brought home a huge box of figs from the markets. Taking the opportunity, I found a recipe on the Gourmet Traveller website for a Fig Crostata which I used as the base. It seems like my measurements may have been slightly wrong in the recipe as my pastry mixture was too wet for a short cut pastry. In the end my Crostata did not form as nicely as it should, but it still tasted amazingly good. Ill explain throughout the recipe where I think things may have gone wrong.
8 medium sized figs quatered
2 tbsp caster sugar
Raspberries for serving
Vanilla ice cream for serving
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
150gm cold butter, coarsely chopped (seemed like a little too much butter)
100gm caster sugar
40gm egg (approximately 3/4 of an egg whisked)
50gm pure icing sugar
50gm almond meal
1tsp plain flour
20ml dark rum
1. Starting off with the sweet pastry, combine the plain flour and butter in a food processor and freeze until well chilled. I did this by hand since I do not have a processor (Reason # 1 as to why my pastry flunked).
2. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, egg and 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl, whisking together until the sugar dissolves (Reason # 2, I guesstimated the 40gm of the egg, probably put too much)
3. Process the flour and butter mixture from step 1 in a food processor until course crumbs form (Reason # 3, I grated this mixture int0 course crumbs instead, but I did read that that you could do that in another recipe so I think that may have been ok??)
4. Gradually add the chilled egg mixture to the flour mixture until combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and bring the pastry together with the heel of your hand. (Reason # 4 I tried to do this , but because the mixture was too wet already it just kept sticking to my hands, I just wrapped it in the cling wrap and put it in the fridge to rest for 2.5 hours).
5. Roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking paper to a 30 cm diameter and place on the oven baking tray, then refrigerate over night. (Reason # 5 I didn’t read the refrigerate overnight bit when I started on the recipe. Being impatient I skipped this step..dont think that was a good idea).
6. Preheat the oven to 170 degree celsius. To make the frangipane mixture, beat the butter until it is pale and fluffy. Combine the icing sugar, almond meal and flour in a separate bowl and gradually add to the butter until it is completely combined. Add the egg and beat well until all combined, slowly add the dark rum.
7. Spread the frangipane mixture in the centre of the pastry, leaving a border.
8. Lay the figs on top with the inside flesh facing upwards. Fold in the pastry border, pleating it as you go. Scatter the top with the 2 tablespoons of caster sugar for a crunchy sweetened top.
9. Bake until the tart is lightly golden, this took about 40 minutes.
Once my crostata was in the oven, it looked like it started to melt, all of the pastry melded in with the frangipane and the figs. Although I didnt get the presentation that I wanted, the crostata still tasted fabulously, with the frangipane mixture being sweet and moist, the pastry crisp and buttery and the fresh figs now baked and tender in flesh.
I served up a slice with some vanilla bean ice cream and a few fresh raspberries on the side.
I suggest if you are going to try cooking this at home, to definitely use the original Gourmet Traveller recipe found here and follow it word for word. I have definitely learnt, that when it comes to pastry….FOLLOW the recipe.