Although figs are more commonly eaten dried, there is nothing quite like a fresh fig plucked straight from the tree. Most people love fresh, mature figs as they are very sweet with a texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh and the crunchiness of their seeds.
Ficus tree is considered as one of the world’s oldest trees and it can be traced back to the earliest historical documents. Its importance in ancient Greece is highlightened by the fact that figs were held in such high regard that laws were created to prevent their export.
Personally I love fresh figs, especially when I eat them immediately after I’ve picked them from a tree. Of course I cannot eat a lot of them and organic figs don’t last long in the fridge, so making a tart with the rest is my first choice!
This vegan fig and almond tart is very simple and healthy since it does not contain any hydrogenated fat or refined sugar. Instead the crust is made with olive oil, ground almonds for extra flavor and crunchiness, a small amount of unprocessed muscovado sugar as well as flour. I used a regular all-purpose flour this time but you can opt for whole-wheat flour.
(For a baking pan of 20-22 cm diameter)
For the crust
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup water
- 4 tablespoons unrefined muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ -2 ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
For the filling
- 1 kg of fresh figs
- 4-5 tablespoons unrefined muscovado sugar
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
icing sugar for serving (optional)
1. Prepare the dough: Blend the almonds until powder. In a bowl mix all the ingredients. If the dough is too soft, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of flour. Do not over-knead so as to get a nice crispy texture after baking. Form a ball with the dough, wrap it with a plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least half an hour.
2. Meanwhile prepare the filling: Wash the figs cut them in halves and put them into a wide bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar, the cinnamon and the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to evenly spread.
3. Take the dough out of the fridge divide it in two pieces – the one should be bigger, about the 2/3 of the dough and the second the 1/3. Using a rolling pin, roll out the bigger piece on a lightly floured greaseproof paper to a thickness of ½ – 1 cm. Use the sheet to turn the dough over into the tart pan. Press with your fingers to cover the sides of the tart pan and trim excess pastry from the top edge. Spread the filling evenly over the dough.
4. Roll out the smaller piece of dough to the same thickness and cover the tart. Trim excess pastry and with wet fingers gently press the edges to seal. With a fork make several holes in the surface of the tart or cut with a knife to 5-6 points. Bake at 175 ° C for 45-50 minutes or until your tart gets a nice golden color. Let cool.
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