The last weeks I have seen figs everywhere. As I sat trying to think of what to post next, the figs relentlessly followed me everywhere I went. As kids, mom always gave us dried figs. It was always the healthiest fruit, we got told. Rich in everything you can imagine. Mom used to soak it every night to be eaten early in the morning. In fact my sister does it for her children even today. To be honest, I’ve always hated it. The texture, the taste. Everything…
The fresh figs are the most beautiful things to look at though, aren’t they? I had never ever cut one open leave alone taste one. After being inundated with everything fig, I finally decided to make a fig tart. An easy peasy tart. It doesn’t get easier than this.
My best friend and I worked on this one together. “Eat one before you start with your pen and paper Rakhee”, he said, as I suspiciously sat looking at one. My first spontaneous reaction, “no I’ll taste it when its done.” “What kind of cook are you now?” he chided me jokingly. That always gets me going. My abilities being questioned. And doesn’t he know that!
So, I gingerly cut my first ever fig. And, cautiously put it in my mouth. I was so surprised. Fresh figs don’t taste a bit like their dried counterparts. What a wonderfully luscious sweet fruit. Its texture is quite unique. So crunchy and yet so soft. It was love at first bite for me, as my friend sat grinning at me… He’s been trying to get me to eat fish forever. If only I’d relent to fish I thought. Maybe I’d be pleasantly surprised in that too. But, that’s for another day. Today I’m going to enjoy my new discovery.
puff pastry, rolled out
2 tbsps sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 tbsps hazelnuts
1 inch fresh ginger, shredded
2 tbsps jam (any kind really)
2 tbsps honey
Preheat oven to 205°C or 400°F.
Line a baking mold with puff pastry. I used a 6 inch long rectangular shape but you could use whatever is at hand. Just remember to use a mold that is not too deep. If you don’t feel like rolling out the dough, you can also patch it together. You won’t be able to see the bottom anyway! Line all the way to the top with the puff pastry and trim at the edges, so as to remove any overhang.
Prick the pastry dough several times.
In a pan on low fire add the ginger, jam and honey and cook for about 5 minutes. Strain and set aside.
Scrape the vanilla bean to extract the seeds and mix with the sugar. Roughly chop the hazelnuts. Cut the figs in 8 parts and line up on the baking mold however you like. Sprinkle the sugar and the hazelnuts on top. Brush the sides with the beaten egg. and put n oven for 20 minutes or till golden brown.
Serve hot drizzled with the honey ginger syrup and/or ice cream on the side.