My workplace is not different from any other. There are good days and bad days, nice people and not so nice people. But I am lucky in the sense that people at work love to share. They bring over cookies, cakes, cheesecakes, ice cream, you name it… One of my coworkers sometimes brings me beautiful bouquets of basil and puts them in a vase on my desk. I then make luscious emerald-green pesto with it, and bring some back to work in a cute glass jar to share with her.
Yesterday someone brought a great big bowl of fresh ripe figs that had just been picked, and left a sweet note giving ideas as to how to enjoy them (on toast with goat cheese or as is). I grabbed a few and decided to make individual fig and frangipane tarts. These tarts are so easy to make, especially if you use store-bought puff pastry or pie crust. I had some apricots at home, so I also made some apricot tarts. The frangipane is made with toasted hazelnuts instead of almonds which gives it a deeper flavor.
Hazelnut Frangipane Tarts Topped with Figs and Apricots
1 pie crust or puff pastry crust (store-bought or your favorite recipe)
5 ounces peeled hazelnuts, toasted and cooled
2/3 cup sugar
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch dice
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons flour
8 medium ripe figs, sliced
4 small apricots, cut in wedges
4 teaspoons turbinado sugar (optional)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.
2. Prepare four 4 by 1 inch tart pans. Roll out your crust and cut 3 circles to fit your tart pans. You will have to re-roll the scraps for the fourth crust. Fit your pans with the dough. Cut off any excess with a rolling-pin or your fingers, trying to have a bit extra dough on top of the border of the tart in case the dough shrinks some during baking. Store in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
3. Place the hazelnuts in a food processor, process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add in the sugar, pulse to distribute. Add the butter, and pulse until just blended. Add the eggs and vanilla, pulse to blend. Add in the flour, pulse to blend.
4. Fill the tarts with the frangipane. Arrange the fig slices and apricot wedges on top of the frangipane. Sprinkle the tops of the tarts with turbinado sugar, if using.
5. Place the tarts on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes at 425°F.