I have always wondered about fresh figs. My only experience with figs at all has been in Newtons, and while I liked those, I couldn’t imagine the fresh fruit being particularly special. Finally, when cruising through the grocery story for other ingredients I decided to pick up some fresh figs. When I got home I cut one open and gave it a taste. I get it, they are yummy, though nothing in their flavour really stands out for me. The skin has a bit of a tart punch, but I wish it was more, and the flesh is slightly sweet but really muted. Overall I enjoyed it, but I really did want to make something special. So here we go, a torte with almonds and figs. I made a fairly standard almond torte, then whipped up a small batch of frangipane, an almond cream (of sorts) that elevated the figs and the almonds in the torte to a whole new level. Now, I did slightly burn the outside of my torte, sigh, but that is a product a poor pan, the centre is crumbly, buttery, perfection.
Fresh Fig and Frangipane Torte
Inspired by Orangette.
- 1/2 cup whole almonds
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup almond meal (make your own by pulsing whole almonds in a coffee grinder until they are fine, not too long though or you will make almond butter)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp dark rum (I went with The Kraken, no surprize, but you can use any liquor you like here, or vanilla)
- 2 eggs
- 4 to 5 ripe figs, quartered
- Frangipane: Heat the oven to 350°F. Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature.Put the almonds and the sugar into a food processor and process until fine. Add the butter and the egg and pulse until well-combined. Set aside.
- Turn the oven to 375 F. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
- Take 1 cup of whole almonds and in small batches, grind in a coffee grinder until you have a fine powder. Be careful not to over process. Empty into a measuring cup until you have 2/3 cup of almond meal. Remove and reprocess the large chunks of almonds.
- Whisk together the almond meal, flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy.
- Add the rum, the dry ingredients, and the eggs. Beat well until everything is incorporated.
- Scrape the batter into your prepared pan and spread it out until even across the base of the pan.
- Dollop your frangipane in 5 parts on top of the cake batter and gently smooth in an even circle across the centre, leaving 1/4 inch at the edges.
- Arrange the fig pieces on top and bake for 40 minutes or until the top of the cake turns golden brown. A toothpick test should also come out clean.
- Run a knife along the edge of the pan and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Flip the cake onto a plate, allowing it to come out of the pan. Then, place a rack on the bottom and flip it back over to cool for another 10 minutes.
- Serve alone or with a dollop of mascarpone whipped cream.