I came up with this recipe after a visit to the beautiful island of Corsica where I got inspired to combine some of Corsica’s most prominent products, figs and chestnuts, into this tart. If you want to stick to the Corsican theme, you might even exchange the maple syrup with Corsican honey, equally omnipresent in the innumerable shops sporting „produits corses“ that speckle the island. I do however prefer the nutty aroma of maple syrup which also combines better with the taste of the chestnuts, but that is a personal preference of course.
For the crust:
- 200 grams of plain flour
- 70 grams of butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1 pinch of salt
- 70 grams of icing sugar
- 1 medium egg
For the filling:
- 40 grams of egg yolk (approximately 2 egg yolks)
- 48 grams of sugar
- 200 grams of milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- 20 grams of Maïzena (corn starch)
- 20 grams of butter
For the topping:
- 750 grams of Adriatic figs
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped chestnuts (alternatively hazelnuts)
- 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
Preparing the crust:
- Pass the flour through a fine mesh onto a baking mat.
- Add the salt and the cold butter. Rub the butter and flour between your fingertips until you obtain a fine crumble.
- Add the sugar and the egg. Mix with a spatula and then bring together with your hands. Knead quickly until smooth.
- Wrap into cellophane and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (ideally overnight).
- At the end of the refrigerating time, pre/heat to oven to 180 degrees.
- Butter the bottom and sides of a Ø 28 cm tart pan.
- Roll out the dough on a flat surface to a round shape of approximately Ø 30 cm.
- Transfer to the tart pan and cover the top and sides. Cut off any extra dough hanging over the edges.
- Cover the bottom of the crust with a piece of parchment paper and weigh down with baking weights (alternatively prick the bottom with a fork). Bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
- At the end of the baking time, remove the crust from the oven and set aside. Remote the baking weights and parchment paper. Reduce the temperature to 170 degrees Celsius.
Preparing the filling:
- From the ingredients indicated above, produce a crème pâtissière following the steps described at: Baking Basics: Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream).
- Evenly spread the crème pâtissière over the bottom of the crust.
Preparing the topping:
- Carefully wipe the figs, e.g. with a soft kitchen towel, in order to clean them. Do not wash them, because the figs will soak up some of the water which would turn your tart watery.
- Cut off the tip and bottom of the figs, then cut into fine and even slices.
- Layer the fig slices, overlapping in concentric circles on top of the filling. Then drizzle the maple syrup over the top.
- Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. Then switch to top heat at 180 degrees Celsius and give the tart another 5 minutes directly under the heat. Remove from the oven and let cool down completely.
- In the meantime, toast the chestnuts together with the sugar in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Toss regularly and keep stirring when the sugar starts browning. When completely brown, take off the heat and quickly spread on a piece of parchment paper. Let cool down. Before use, break up the nuts again which will stick together. You can also carefully do this in a mortar, but the purpose is not to pulverize the nuts, so do not overdo it!
- Sprinkle the tart with the toasted nuts before serving – an enjoy!