August 18, 2009

Black Velvet Apricot and Fig Frangipane Tartlets

You'd think with a name like What the Fig?, something fig-like would've made an appearance by now (or stories of WTF moments in the kitchen at the very least), and after almost a year since I've started this blog (where did the time go??), I give you these Black Velvet Apricot and Fig Frangipane Tartlets.

On my way home a few weeks ago, I walked by a produce stall in Chinatown selling 12 count boxes of fresh figs for $5. Normally, the quality of the produce at this stall is questionable at best, but these figs looked promising enough that I waited in the queue for some time before I got my greedy hands on two boxes of them. I'm sure you'd see the crazy in my eyes if you had seen me that day.

And the Black Velvet apricots! After some hesitation at the price ($3.99/lb at Whole Foods), I caved in and bought some and never regretted it. I do regret not trying them earlier, since I think they're out of season now. At least, I don't see them anymore, but I'm definitely picking up loads next year.

This is one of my favorite desserts I've made so far. The combination of the fruit, the almonds, and the buttery tart shell is pure heaven.

Black Velvet Apricot and Fig Frangipane Tartlets
Crust adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2009
Frangipane cream from Tartelette
makes one 9-inch tart or about 5-6 tartlets


7 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
pinch of salt

Frangipane Cream
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup almond flour
seeds from one vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla paste/extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream

fresh figs, black velvet apricots - 3 total, more if making 9-inch tart

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the salt and flour. Transfer dough to a 9-inch diameter tart pan and press the dough evenly onto the sides and bottom of pan.

Bake until golden, about 18 minutes. Transfer crust to rack and cool.

Lower the oven temperature to 350ºF.

Frangipane Cream:
Whisk the butter, sugar, almond flour, vanilla, and eggs until smooth. Stir in the cream instead of whisking or it will emulsify and rise while baking.

Pour the frangipane into the 9-inch tart shell or spoon into the tartlets, about half full. Slice the figs and/or apricots in half and place them gently on the frangipane. Bake for 35-40 minutes (less for the tartlets), until the frangipane has set.