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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fig and Hazelnut Tart with Frangelico

Sweet and nutty, laced with Frangelico with a crunchy top and creamy center...Just my kind of Sunday treat to end my weekend on a happy note.  This is a Bakewell tart and legend has it that the source is English and the buttery spongy center is much like a frangipane.  My recipe comes from inspiration from my friend, and fellow blogger, Susan at My Mother's Apron Strings and her recipe for Bakewell Tart.  Susan is an amazing baker and I know that recipes she shares are tried and true.  Just like her!  :-)

I wanted to make something with Frangelico, the Italian hazelnut liqueur that I first discovered in my mid 20s while on a business trip in Seattle.  There were a bunch of us working up at Boeing facilities and dinner out was always an adventure.  We discovered a great Italian restaurant that served Frangelico warmed in a small snifter.  Such elegance, such warmth...We always slept well after a long day at work, a great dinner, much laughter and our Frangelicos.  Ah, those were the days!

I have never roasted and removed the skins from hazelnuts.  I'm not really sure whether I will do that again, although the pay-off is pretty damn sweet!

I hope you try this tart.  It's really easy and you can make it in all sorts of combinations...Some of the few that Susan and I discovered: strawberry or raspberry jam with almonds and Chambord and peach or apricot with almonds and Amaretto.  Choose your favorite jam, nut and liqueur and you're sure to please just about anyone! 

(P.S. I've learned to make collages on PicMonkey...Yay!  I would very much like to thank Ashton at Something Swanky for her AWESOME tutorial.  Very Cool!!!)

I'm sharing this over at Cake of the Week's Baking with Spirit Challenge for May: Fruit and Alcohol (booze or hootch around these parts...). Please visit Janine's blog to see ever more great baking creations with booze! 

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First, if you are using raw hazelnuts, you will need to roast them and remove the skins.   That's place on a sheet pan and roast at 325F for 20 minutes.  Let cool and place between 2 clean dish towels.  Now RUB! 
It's okay if not all the skins come off, but you want them to look like these, which I chopped up for the topping.  I also ground some up with almonds for the filling.

Two other KEY ingredients for this tart are Frangelico (duh...) and fig jam.  My fig jam is very special as it was given to me a few years ago from a friend at work.  I've saved this just for such a special occasion.  I'm sure you can find it in stores...It's Italian!
Make your pie dough.  I used this recipe, or you could use one that is sweeter.  It's important to chill it before baking.  Prick the dough all over so it doesn't puff up.  Line the dough with foil or parchment paper and use pie weights (I use beans). 

Blind bake as directed.  Blind baking is when a crust is baked before filling.  It's done when the filling isn't baked, like a lemon meringue pie, or when you don't want a soggy crust.  We are shooting for the latter and it was PERFECT!
Remove shell from the oven and cool it while you make the filling.  Lower the oven temperature to 350F.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, as directed.
Add the almond extract and Frangelico.  Add the ground nuts and cake flour and mix just until incorporated.
Spread the jam on the bottom of the tart, all the way to the edges.  Spoon the nut mixture onto the jam layer and spread this out to completely cover the jam layer.  Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on top.
Bake on the parchment lined baking sheet as directed.  As you can see, the Ugly Truth is that I DIDN'T use the parchment paper...(And I used too much butter...oops!)...Looks awful on the pan, but the end result was AMAZING!  The crust was perfect, even with the run over.
You can see the layers: crispy butter crust, sweet fig jam, creamy Frangelico-scented center, and crunchy hazelnuts.  You will LOVE this tart!  Please trust me...
Fig and Hazelnut tart on steroids...Just sayin'.  :-D

Fig and Hazelnut Bakewell Tart with Frangelico
Makes 1, 9-10” tart


1/3-1/2 cup fig jam (or your favorite jam)
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts
1/3 cup cake flour
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts for the topping

Preheat oven to 400F.  Make your favorite pie dough.  Use a 1" x 9-10" removable bottom tart pan.  Chill before baking.  Line the dough with foil or parchment paper and use pie weights.  Place the tart pan on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, and blind-bake the tart shell for 10 minutes. 

Remove the tart shell from the oven and allow the shell to cool while you prepare the hazelnut filling.  Lower the oven temperature to 350F.

In a small bowl, mix the ground nuts and cake flour.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each.  Add the almond extract and Frangelico and mix to blend.  Add the ground nuts and cake flour and mix just until incorporated. 

Spread the jam on the bottom of the blind baked tart to cover completely.

Spoon the nut mixture onto the jam layer and spread this out to completely cover the jam layer.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts on top.  Bake on a baking sheet for 45 minutes until golden brown on top and the center is set (a tester should come out almost clean).  Start checking at the 35 minutes mark.

Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving, if desired.

I waited to cut a piece until the next day, which is today.  I wanted the filling to "set" as much as possible.  Since I believe it's very much like a pecan pie, the filling really needs a good amount of time to set.  I was handsomely rewarded for my patience...I didn't even wait for my coffee this morning, either...
And, patience does not come easy to me..."Patience" is one of my karmic lessons in this life.

Cheerio, ya'll.

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  1. Look at you...learning more blogging things! :) Nicely done. (And the tart looks nice as well!) Happy Sunday, my friend!

    1. Wow, Mel...That was super duper fast on the comment! This is a great tart. And, so many combinations. For our next dinner and dessert? Have a great weeke, my friend! :)

  2. Oh. My. God. That looks amazing!!! I've never had frangelico but now I want to go buy some. :)

  3. Frangelico is one of my favorite after dinner drinks (or before dinner drinks, but who's keeping track?). This tart looks amazing!

  4. Thank you for the compliment! This tart looks amazing--when are we opening our bakery:-D

  5. I need to come up with more dinner parties and the like so I have a reason to make all the great things you are coming up with. This one is amazingy like a "Calgon Moment". You put this in your mouth and seriously all your worries seem to just drift away....

  6. I am so glad I own a tart pan and even happier that you shared this recipe. I wouldn't even thin k of attempting this but your directions make it sound so easy. I don't have any Frangelico but I do have Amaretto. And I think I have some Apricot preserves in the fridge still. Off to check.

  7. Amazing! I definitely need to buy some Frangelico so I can make this. Thank you for joining and sharing on Thursday's Treasures. I hope you will join each week. <3 and hugs! Open all week.

  8. The tart looks really good. I love how you tried all those combinations; it must have been a success! Thanks for finding a recipe to enter BWS, I appreciate it.


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