8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
3 tablespoons ground unblanched almonds
Butter a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom, set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F.
Place sugar in a mixing bowl and pour in cooled melted butter and extracts and stir to blend. Add flour and salt and stir to moisten. (Don’t overmix–you want a crumbly mixture.) Pour mixture into prepared tart pan and press mixture evenly up sides and bottom of pan. Bake on middle rack of the oven until slightly puffy and barely set, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle ground almonds on the crust.
1 1/2 lbs. fresh figs, washed and halved lengthwise, left unpeeled
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons raw, flavorful honey (e.g., orange blossom)
1 tablespoon superfine flour (Wondra)
Arrange the fig halves in the lightly baked tart shell at a slight angle in concentric circles starting on outer edge and moving to center. In a medium bowl, combine cream, egg, extracts and honey and whisk to blend. Whisk in flour. Pour cream mixture over figs in tart pan. Place tart on a sheet pan and place on middle rack in oven. Bake at 375°F for about 50 minutes, or until filling is firm and pastry is golden brown.
Cool slightly on a rack.
If desired, melt 1/4 cup of apricot jam with 1 tablespoon of apricot brandy (or other fruit flavored brandy) and brush onto figs to glaze. (You will not need all of mixture). Remove from tart pan and serve.
SOURCE: First Place Winner, Adult Division, Penelope Kenez, Harvest Festival 2006