- 125 gram (4 ounces) cold butter
- 1 1/4 cup (175g) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1/3 cup (55g) icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
- 1/4 cup (30g) ground almonds
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon iced water
- 250 gram (8 ounces) dried figs
- 1/2 cup (125ml) boiling water
- 2 tablespoon brandy
- 1 cup (250ml) pouring cream
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup (150g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup (200g) thick (double) cream, to serve
- 1To make pastry, chop butter coarsely; process butter, flour, sugar and ground almonds until crumbly. Add egg yolk and the water; process until ingredients come together. Knead dough gently on floured surface until smooth. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 30 minutes.
- 2Grease 24cm (9½-inch) round loose-based flan tin. Roll pastry between sheets of baking paper until large enough to line tin. Lift pastry into tin; press into side, trim edge. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
- 3Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
- 4Place tin on oven tray, line pastry case with baking paper; fill with dried beans or rice. Bake 10 minutes. Remove paper and beans; bake about 8 minutes or until pastry is browned lightly. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 150°C/300°F.
- 5Meanwhile, finely chop figs; combine with the water in small saucepan. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and pulpy. Remove from heat; stir in brandy. Blend or process fig mixture until smooth; spread into pastry case.
- 6Bring pouring cream to the boil in small saucepan; remove from heat. Whisk eggs, sugar and extract in medium bowl until combined. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into egg mixture; pour custard into pastry case.
- 7Bake tart about 20 minutes or until custard sets. Cool 10 minutes. Using a blowtorch, caramelise top of tart. Cool in tin.
- 8Serve tart dusted with a little sifted icing sugar, if you like. Serve with thick cream.
Blind baking is when the pastry is partially or fully baked before the filling is added. To blind bake, line the pastry case with baking paper; fill with dried beans or rice, and bake according to the recipe's directions. Chef's blow torches are available from speciality kitchenware shops and hardware stores.
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