I received the Jamie’s Italy recipe book from my brother in 2006, but (& this is so embarrassing to admit) I haven’t made a single recipe from it! Being a Jamie Oliver AND a recipe fanatic, this is quite unusual for me. Sure, I have spent hours & hours paging & reading the recipes. Admiring & salivating over the incredible dishes. The only problem is that – unlike other Jamie books – I find these recipes long & often complicated. Until now.

It is fig season, so I was looking for fig recipes. Then I remembered this lovely fig tart & I’m so happy that I made it. Although this recipe is not hard, it is very time consuming, so my advice is to allow at least five hours to get the entire tart ready. Or just ensure that you plan your time well and/or take a few short cuts (like the ones I suggest below*).

my fig tart

crostata di fichi (fig tart), serves 8

15 whole figs

30g caster sugar

2 tablespoons water


for the shortcrust pastry: 

125g unsalted butter

100g icing sugar

a small pinch of salt

255g plain flour

1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways & seeds removed

zest of ½ lemon

2 large egg yolks, preferably organic

2 tablespoons cold milk or water


for the frangipane:

255g ground almonds

55g plain flour

255g unsalted butter

255g caster sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways & seeds removed

Grease a loose-bottomed 28cm tart with a little of your butter.

[If you’re using ready made pastry, then skip to the third paragraph.] To make your pastry, cream together the butter, icing sugar & salt & rub in the flour, vanilla seeds, lemon zest & egg yolks – you can do all of this by hand or with a food processor. When the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs, add the cold milk or water. Pat and gently work the mixture together until you have a ball of dough, then flour it lightly. Don’t work the pastry too much, otherwise it can become elastic and chewy, not flaky and short as you want it to be. Wrap the dough in clingfilm & place in the fridge for at least an hour. Remove it from the fridge, roll it out & line your tart tin. Place in the freezer for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C & bake the pastry for around 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven & turn the heat down to 170°C.

To make the frangipane, mix the ground almonds with the flour. Now blitz the butter & sugar until light & creamy. Add this to the almonds with lightly beaten eggs & the vanilla seeds & fold in until completely mixed & smooth. Place in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up. Remove the stems from the figs, score each one on the top in the shape of a cross, then using your thumb push up from the base to open them out.

Spoon the chilled frangipane mixture into the pasty case, then lightly push the figs into the frangipane with the scored side up. Heat the sugar with the water & drizzle this syrup over the figs. Bake in a preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until the frangipane mixture has become firm & golden on the outside but still soft in the middle. Allow to cool for about 30 to 40 minutes.

The end result? My tart vs Jamie's. Not bad, in my opinion.

The end result? My tart vs Jamie’s. Not bad, in my opinion.

Now, have a slice or two (or three) with a dollop of mascarpone or crème fraiche. Oh dear…so delicious.

Yolandi ♥


* My suggested short cuts to save time:

*Use ready-made short crust pastry or even better: buy a pastry case that is already baked. This will save lots of time.

* Make your pastry the night before & cover in cling wrap once it is completely cool. You can then make the rest of the recipe the following day.

* The original recipe calls for you to grind your own almonds. I simply used ground almonds.

* You can even make the frangipane & chill it for longer, but make sure you leave it outside to become a bit softer before spooning into the pastry case.



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