Fig and almond tart with honeyed ricotta

This tart sings of Autumn to me, as it’s when the fig tree is full of ripe fruit ready for picking by the bucket load. I make fig jam every year and this tart makes good use of it but you will have some leftovers to smother onto your toast too, and just as well ‘cos it’s totally delicious. Top it with some of that honeyed ricotta and brekky has never tasted better.

What you’ll need:

250gm unsalted butter, softened

250gm caster sugar

4 eggs

60gm (⅓ cup) plain flour

250gm almond meal

2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur (optional)

1 ½ cups fig compote, recipe below

4 ripe figs, trimmed and quartered

¼ cup flaked almonds

Sweet shortcrust pastry

100g unsalted butter, softened

100gm icing sugar

1 egg

200gm plain flour

Honeyed ricotta

300gm fresh ricotta mixed with 2 tbsp honey – I use a blender to get a really smooth consistency.

What to do:

Grease a deep 23cm loose-bottom tart pan with butter, then dust with flour and shake out the excess. For the pastry, place the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat followed by the flour. Form the dough into a disc shape, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for two hours. Roll pastry out between two sheets of baking paper to about 3mm thickness and refrigerate for another 15 minutes to firm up again then use to line the tart tin, trim excess pastry.

Preheat oven to 170°C Fan Forced.

For the filling, beat butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy, gradually add eggs one at a time; fold in the flour, almond meal, a pinch of salt and the amaretto. Spread the fig compote over the base of the tart, then spoon over the filling and smooth the top. Arrange the fresh figs on top, cut-side-up (don’t push figs into mixture), and scatter over the flaked almonds. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden and set. Cool completely and serve with a dollop of the honeyed ricotta and a dusting of icing sugar.

Serves 8-10 people


Fig Compote – makes about 3 cups

1kg fresh figs, trimmed and roughly chopped

500gm caster sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tspn vanilla paste

1 cinnamon quill

In a medium saucepan, place the figs, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and cinnamon and bring to a boil then cook, stirring often, uncovered over a medium-low heat for about 45 minutes until figs have broken down and the compote is thick and dark. Remove cinnamon quill and cool slightly before sealing in sterilised jars. Compote will keep for up to three months.

Recipe, Food styling and Photography by Karen McFarlane.

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