When Gordon Ramsay came to town the other week, I was quick to get my ticket to the book signing at Cook the Books in Grey Lynn. I was going to meet the man himself and maybe shake his hand... how cool is that?
The day rolled around and Gordon's people and Cook the Books had a very efficient process in place to get us all inside, buying books and getting them signed. I had my half-minute with him - I shook his hand, he touched my arm and called me darling. I even managed to mention this wee food blog and gave him my business card (I wonder if he's visited yet?).
With my old copy of Gordon Ramsay Makes It Easy scrawled with Gordon's signature on my favourite page (chocolate fondant!) and my new copy of Gordon Ramsay's Best Menus signed, I trotted off a happy blogger indeed. (Yes, I do realise that I sound like a giddy teenager...)
Once I got home with my new treasures, I flicked through my new book. I'm naturally drawn to recipes that use the current season's produce and what do you know, Ramsay's Best Menus has a great-looking fig and frangipane tart recipe and it's fig season!
The recipe calls for some runny honey drizzled over it just before serving - figs and honey make such a d'lish combination. Since the flavour of the honey will be fairly prominent, I chose J Friend & Co's Beachwood Honeydew honey, which is wonderfully floral and earthy at the same time.
I wish that the figs that I were scrumped were as big and plump as the ones in the photo in Gordon's book. Even though my urban figs are of less generous proportions, they have a cute appeal, I like to think.
I was heading to a fun cheese lunch-slash-afternoon-tea - oh ok, it was to be a five hour eating afternoon! So along side our smorgasbord of cheese, crackers, candied walnuts and scones, we munched on freshly made fig tarts. I feel lucky that I have friends who love to eat too!
If figs aren't in season or if you don't like them, this tart would be nice with stone fruit - peaches, nectarines, apricots - fresh or tinned. I found that I didn't use all of the frangipane mixture, but it can be frozen for future use.
Fig and Frangipane tart
Adapted from Ramsay's Best Menus
450g ready-made puff pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten
lots of ripe figs or 4-6 stone fruit of your choice
100g butter, softened
100g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 egg, beaten
100g ground almonds
25g plain flour
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then slowly add the beaten egg gradually, mixing until it is fully incorporated
- Add the ground almonds and flour and fold until evenly combined and set aside
- Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is a couple of millimeters thick. Using a small plate as a guide, cut out four rounds for each of the tarts. Then score a 1cm border from the edge, making sure you don't cut right through the pastry. This will help the pastry puff up around the edges
- Put the pastry onto a lined baking tray and glaze the border with the beaten egg yolk.
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