Figs can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes. In this fig tart recipe, Tom Aikens recognises the extraordinary combination of figs and pastry, serving it with a sublime cinnamon ice cream. To save time, make the ice cream and crème pâtissière ahead of the fig tart.
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For the cinnamon ice cream, place the milk and cream into a pan with the vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks. Bring this up to a low heat until it starts to steam. Remove the pan from the heat, and leave for 5 minutes to infuse
300ml of milk
300ml of double cream
2 vanilla pods
2 cinnamon sticks
In a bowl, mix the egg yolks with the sugar, cinnamon powder and reserved vanilla seeds from the pods, then whisk for 3-4 minutes
6 egg yolks
250g of caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
Pour the infused milk into the bowl with the egg mix, and whisk these together. Place the mixture back into the pan, stirring with a wooden spoon on a low heat for 5-8 minutes until thick. Once thick, tip into a clean bowl straight away to cool
Leave the cream mixture at room temperature for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, place in the fridge to cool
Place the cream mixture into an ice cream maker to churn, or place in the freezer to set. If you are placing this in your freezer it will take longer to set, and you will need to keep stirring every 10 minutes or so until it has frozen
For the crème pâtissière, put the milk and vanilla pod into a pan and bring up to a slow simmer. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar with the egg yolks and whisk until white. Add the flour and stir well, then slowly pour on the hot milk, whisking vigorously
150ml of milk
1/2 vanilla pod
30g of caster sugar
2 egg yolks
20g of plain flour
Place the mixture back in the pan on a medium heat and bring the mixture up to a simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon - the cream should begin to thicken. Cook for 2-4 minutes, continually stirring, then pass the cream through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cover the crème pâtissière with cling film and leave to cool
To begin the fig tart, reheat the oven to 220ºC/gas mark 7 with the baking tray heating inside. Take the puff pastry out of the fridge and spread with the crème patissere. Slice the figs 2mm thick and lay them on top of the cream. Dust the figs in icing sugar all over until well covered, and sprinkle with a little cinnamon powder
400g of puff pastry
160g of figs
icing sugar for dusting
cinnamon powder for dusting
Place the tart straight on the hot tray in the oven so the bottom will cook instantly and not be soggy. Bake the fig tart for 20-25 minutes until golden. Serve hot with the cinnamon ice cream
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