Despite the heat on the Australia Day holiday (around 33 degrees Celsius), I couldn't help myself and I baked. On the weekend, I had found fresh figs that were reasonably priced, and I knew exactly what to do with them.
Ages ago, I had seen a newspaper article on Jamie Oliver's Fig Frangipane Pie. Alas, this recipe is in a book that I do not have, so after trawling the Net for a while, I found that Hungry Oyster had posted the recipe, which you can find here. Hooray! (I was keen to have exactly this recipe, because the last fresh fig tart I made did not light my fire - primarily because I like my fresh figs to be cooked.)
Here are the figs pre-transformation - aren't they lovely?
This is my pie pre-baking - note the open, flower-like fig arrangement:
Unfortunately, during baking, some of my lovely fig "flowers" closed up, pushed together by the frangipane - oh well.
Here's a peek inside at the finished product:
And the verdict? Delightful! Delicious! The pie shell dough was difficult to work with, and I ended up having to roll it between two sheets of baking paper to stop it sticking and tearing, but the icing sugar in the recipe gives the pie shell a lovely flavour. The frangipane is smooth, creamy and delicious, and the fresh figs drizzled with sugar syrup and sprinkled with lemon zest, chopped almonds and thyme, then gently baked, are out of this world! I loved this pie.
Unfortunately, my work colleagues may not have loved this pie as much, as by mid-afternoon, there was still one piece left. (Perhaps they were scared off by the whole fig sitting plumply in the middle of this slice?) However, I rejoiced, wrapping it up and having that piece for morning tea the next day.
This is a great special occasion dessert (or, if you are like me, any occasion). The flavours in the pie are magnificent - exotic, smooth and creamy. The pie also presents very elegantly. Love it!