The pomegranates are beautiful on the trees soaking up the Mediterranean sun and will surely be ready to cut next week.
I am baking a tart for tea today and am using a fig compote I made in August when figs were abundant and I preserved them is all forms imaginable. I think everyone loves figs and they are a crowd pleaser. I am including a recipe for a fig compote that can be made using dried figs found in any food store so that you are able to bake this tart at any time of the year. I am using chopped hazelnuts in the pastry shell and you should end up with a crunchy yet soft cookie crust topped with gooey figs…
You will need :
A loose bottomed 10 -12 inch tart tin
Pre heat oven to 170C
For the sweet hazelnut pastry :
480g plain flour
300g butter or margarine
2 eggs, beaten
2 spoons water, you may not need to add this
A few drops good vanilla essence
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts and extra chopped hazel it’s for sprinkling on top of the tart
Pinch of salt
Sieve the flour and add the butter or margarine cut into pieces
Rub in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
Add the sugar, pinch of salt, vanilla and lemon zest and mix
Add the beaten eggs and bring together with a knife
Add a few drops of water if necessary to achieve the right consistency.
Add the hazelnuts and knead into the dough
Wrap in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for half an hour.
Roll out on a floured surface and line the tart dish. There is no need to grease it as the pastry has a high fat content.
Pierce the pastry evenly and there is no need to bake it blind.
For the fig compote
500g dried figs, chopped up, I like mine in large chunks
Zest and juice of one lemon and orange
1 spoon sugar or 1 spoon honey
1/2 cup wine, whatever is available white, red or rose
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh time, do not use the dry variety, simply leave out if not available
Soak the figs in wine with bay leaf, thyme and citrus zest for an hour or overnight in the fridge if you prefer
Place in a saucepan over medium heat with the sugar or honey and water
Stir and keep an eye on it so that it does not stick to the bottom. Add water if necessary, you do not want it too dry.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat and leave on a gentle boil for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Spoon the cool compote into the pastry shell. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts and bake in a moderate oven at 170C for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes check the oven and move the dish to achieve an even colored crust.
If you have left over compote its delicious with oat cakes and a blue cheese such as Roquefort or Gorgonzola.
This is delicious served hot or cold and can be stored in an airtight container for a week and in the freezer for three months. We like ours fresh !