Despite the long description this dessert is not difficult to put together. And it can be done in stages over the several days. But the flavor is absolutely amazing and the result is definitely worth the efforts.
Makes one 9-inch tart, 12 servings
For the crust:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup finely ground toasted almonds
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 stick plus 1 tbsp (9 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and frozen for 20 minutes.
2 large egg yolks
For the filling:
1 tbsp honey, warmed
1 cup salted pistachios, shells removed (Buy salted nuts in their shells, then remove the shells and measure 1 cup. Salted shelled nuts which are sold in the stores are too salty.)
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 ½ oz (5 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
¾ to 1 pound fresh ripe figs (about 7-8), cut in half vertically, stems cut off
For the glaze:
¼ cup apricot preserves
1 tbsp Amaretto
For yogurt to serve the tart with:
1 cup whole fat yogurt, preferably organic
1 tbsp good quality honey or to taste
pinch of salt
1/8 tsp orange blossom water or to taste
Prepare the crust:
Sift the flour, icing sugar and salt, put them in a food processor, add the ground almonds, pulse to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the flour mixture and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. Stir the egg yolks and add them a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the yolks are in, process in long pulses until the dough forms clumps. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead very lightly just to incorporate any dry ingredients that have escaped mixing.
Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Now you can simply press the dough into the pan or you can roll it between the parchment paper (the dough should still be cold and possible to roll) and then transfer it into the tart pan. Dock the bottom crust with a folk and freeze it for at least 30 minutes. If you are not planning to bake right away, wrap the crust tightly and keep in the freezer until needed. Do not defrost before baking!
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of foil and fit it, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. Fill with dry beans or pie weights and bake for about 25 minutes, until set. Transfer the crust in its pan to a cooling rack and carefully remove the foil. Cool to room temperature.
Preparing the frangipane filling:
Grind the pistachios with ¼ cup of sugar in a food processor or a blender (sugar will prevent the nuts from becoming pasty). Put the ground nuts into a bowl, stir in the flour.
Beat the butter with electric beaters until smooth, add ¼ cup of sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, mixing well, then add vanilla and almond extract. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the nut mixture. The filling can be prepared in advance and kept in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
Assembling and baking the tart:
Brush the bottom of the crust with warmed honey, spread the frangipane filling evenly. Place the fig halves, cut sides up, around the outer edge of the tart, leaving about 1 inch of space between them and lightly pushing them into the filling. Form another circle of figs in the center.
Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 40-45 minutes, until the filling is puffed and light golden.
Remove the tart from the oven and place on a rack.
Glaze the tart:
Put the apricot preserves in a small bowl and microwave until hot, add Amaretto and strain, pushing through as much of the pulp as possible.
Lightly brush the top of the tart with the glaze. Don’t apply a thick glaze which looks unappetizing.
Remove the sides of the tart pan before serving. Serve the tart warm or at room temperature with chilled yogurt.
Make the yogurt:
In a bowl whisk together yogurt, honey, pinch of salt and a tiny splash of orange blossom water. Taste, add more honey and/or orange flower water if you want. Chill.
The tart can last up to 3 days in the refrigerator, tightly covered. Bring to room temperature before serving.