Fig and Almond Frangipane Tarts

fig tart

July is fig harvesting month in Louisiana. Almost every vendor at our weekend farmer’s market has baskets overflowing with luscious ripe figs. I am usually not disciplined enough to wait as I research recipes for cooking something new and innovative with my figs. Once they are washed and placed in a bowl on the kitchen table, my husband and I can rarely contain ourselves and demolish them in fairly short order.
On days when I am feeling a little more disciplined, I have used the figs in a few “no cooking required” recipes. Sliced figs in a green salad with walnuts and gorgonzola with a little balsamic dressing is so perfect. The hints of sharp saltiness from the cheese and sweet and acid from the balsamic vinegar and the figs are artfully balanced. I also recently posted an open faced sandwich that I made using chevre, fresh sliced figs, arugula, and a balsamic reduction. I am working on my recipe for a fig and port wine sauce that I recently served with seared duck foie gras. This sauce would also be delicious with duck breasts. I’ll share that later once I have it perfected.

During my search for a fresh fig dessert, I came across Ottolenghi’s recipe for fig and pistachio frangipane tartlets in his cookbook, “Sweet.” I decided to use the recipe for his excellent sweet shortbread crust pastry and pair it with my almond frangipane filling. There are still a few things I hope to make before the fig crop is exhausted by the end of the month. Maybe fig preserves or a fig jam. I am also looking for a good fig cake recipe using fresh figs and maybe polenta. A rich and creamy fig ice cream would be pretty darn tasty too. So little time remaining in the season and so many options for using our beautiful fresh Louisiana figs. If you have a favorite recipe, please forward to [email protected]. Merci!

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