Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Tarte aux figues A.K.A. Fig Tart

_DSC1266Undertaking this complex tart was intimidating. But a long weekend was ahead of my husband and I, so, time was on our side. I just needed a bit of patience._DSC1238

The original recipe is from the owner of Coeur en Fleur (meaning Like a Flower), a pastry and bakery shop in Yokohama, Japan - Masaru Okuda – He actually wanted to be a movie director but life threw him some curveballs along with lucky breaks so he is now a decorated pastry chef and author of several cookbooks._DSC1242

This not-pre-baked tart lacks crispiness and I may do it differently next time. I didn’t follow his steps exactly because of missing material and ingredients but I believe I captured some sparkles.

Making of the Jewel

First step - Make pistachio paste (or use store bought paste)

  • Pistachio nuts approximately 150g – shelled and soaked in warm water for 10 minutes.
  • Olive oil 1-2 teaspoons
  1. Drain the soaked water and dry nuts with paper towel. Squeeze nuts with your thumb and pointer finger, soft inner skin should slip right off. _DSC1174
  2. Put nuts and olive oil in a food processer and stir until it becomes a gritty paste. Note: if you like smooth paste you may use mortar and pestle. 
  3. Cover with plastic wrap. Keep it in the refrigerator until needed.

Second step – Make almond pistachio cream

  • Butter 100g at room temperature
  • Powdered sugar 100g divided in half
  • Almond powder 100g
  • Corn starch 10g
  • 2 eggs beaten, at room temperature
  • Pistachio paste 90g. See above
  1. Sift together almond powder, 50g of powdered sugar and corn starch. Almond powder is tough to sift, use large mesh sieve for this. Set aside._DSC1190 
  2. Cream butter and rest of 50g of powdered sugar with whisk in a large bowl until well mixed; 2 minutes.
  3. Add almond flour mixture in two stages to creamed butter, whisk well.
  4. Add egg in 4-5 stages to butter mixture. Mix well each time. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. Add 90g of pistachio paste and mix well. Cover and put back in refrigerator until needed

Third step – Make Chocolate tart shell_DSC1131

Necessary equipment – thermometer

  • Butter 85g at room temperature
  • Powdered sugar 55g
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • Weak Power flour 150g Sift with cocoa powder three times
  • Cocoa powder 20g
  1. Cream butter in a large bowl slowly, whisk but not whip so that you don’t incorporate air into the butter. Add sugar and mix well.
  2. Warm the egg in double boiler style to 35 C. (I used a metal bowl that sits on a size smaller pan with an inch of hot water - water should not touch the bottom of metal pan).
  3. Add warmed egg in 4 to 5 stages to butter mixture. Mix well each time._DSC1140
  4. Add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture in 2 separate batches. Combine well with spatula until you no longer see the flour. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours or more._DSC1144


Forth step – custard cream

  • 400cc milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 Tablespoons cake flour or weak power flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoon butter
  • Vanilla
  1. Put milk, egg yolks, flour and sugar in a large microwave bowl. Mix well.
  2. Microwave for 5 minutes at 50% power. When it’s done mix well with whisk. Do this 2-3 times whisking each time until creamy but not runny custard.
  3. Add butter and vanilla and mix well till butter has melted.
  4. Strain through sieve for smoother texture. Place plastic wrap directly on top of custard and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Video instruction is here.

Fifth step – Fit shell in a tart ring

Necessary equipment – 18x1  inch tart ring ( I used 20x8 inch ring), cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Important tip – if you feel the dough is getting too soft put back in refrigerator.

  1. Take out tart shell from refrigerator and  put on the hard surface sprinkled with little bit of flour.
  2. Bang dough with side of wooden roller, change the direction several times, flatten to half inch thick.
  3. Roll out and cut enough to cover diameter of ring plus inch larger perimeter of ring. Place the cut out dough on the prepared cookie sheet and rest for 30 minutes._DSC1205
  4. Fit dough in the ring and mold into an inch up the side of ring with your finger. Cut off excess with knife. Prick with a fork all over.

Sixth step –Construction and baking process

Necessary equipment's – pastry bags, 1/2 inch round tip

  • 6-7 figs for filling plus 2-3 for decoration. Skinned and cut in wedges filling, slice thin for decoration_DSC1161
  1. Take the almond pistachio cream out of refrigerator 10 minutes before this process. Heat oven to 320F. Put cream in the pastry bag with round tip.
  2. Squeeze out half of the cream out to make a spiral fashion onto the unbaked chocolate tart shell.
  3. Lay wedge cut figs on top of the almond cream._DSC1214
  4. Squeeze rest of cream on top of figs and spread out evenly with a spatula._DSC1216
  5. Bake for 1 hour. When it’s done, put it on the wire rack to cool then remove ring.

Final Polish decoration 

  • Syrup (50g of sugar, 50g of warm water mix well)
  • Fruits
  • Apricot napaju (1 Tablespoon of apricot jam, 2 tablespoon of warm water; mix well )
  • Pastry brush
  1. Brush surface of tart with syrup.
  2. Put custard cream in the pastry bag with round tip and squeeze bag to create spiral design.
  3. Decorate with fig and other desired fruits.
  4. Brush fruits with apricot napaju so that fruits will shine like precious stones and prevent from drying out._DSC1260

I did not have enough figs to decorate entire top though, I have some delicious late comer strawberries and seedless grapes from our garden. I decorated it having a image of a fancy necklace in mind.IMG_0015_DSC1166

I love, love tomatoes… The tomatoes in our garden are still quite green. It is now questionable that they ever get fully ripe before weather gets cold. Neighbor brought us beautiful tomatoes and summer squash from their garden. Nice!_DSC1120 Several days later,  we spied heirloom tomatoes at town’s Thursday market. These were also fantastic! $2 per pound but the seller give us discount._DSC1125Last Sunday at church, a lady member brought some tomatoes to share._DSC1265

My tread mill was temporarily dead. I walked for 4 miles OUTSIDE. I conquered the hill (?)!IMG_0125I stopped for a free snack.IMG_0123I was tempted but I left alone those pears (?).IMG_0127Sign of Fall is starting to show already…IMG_0124 Amazing alley of color! I almost started singing Armstrong but I was panting too much. Really prett…IMG_0126…yeeek!IMG_0101

Open house for a young man leaving for two year missionary work. HIs destination – Cancun Mexico. Hola! I brought a Charles’s gluten free cake there. Buena Suerte (Good Luck!) Amigo!IMG_0128

My husband made a loaf of bread_DSC1179_DSC1188…for Organic Bee-Nut Butter, we bought it at Thursday market.IMG_0109Nut butt(er)! As I’m saying, not bad!


  1. Amazing! わたしの中では なっちゃんのタルトがぴか一なんだけどこれも食してみたいなあ~。いつオレゴンに行こうかなあ。いつもおいしそうなレシピ付の作品を紹介してくださり、オレゴンの美しい四季と共に、楽しい語り口のこのブログは 非常に美味!ありがとう!

    1. ちーちゃん、コメントありがとう。 ほんといつsか遊びに来てね。

  2. The tart looks so complex and sophisticated! I am really impressed. It must have tasted heavenly. (By the way Coeur en Fleur would mean something like "Flower(y) Heart"... difficult to translate into English, coeur means "heart" in French and fleur "flower".)
    Your presentation and decoration are amazing. You are a woman with huge patience and special artistic skills!
    The green "pears" are quince I think (but they are still unripe judging by the colour). Have you ever had qiunce? It's delicious, but you must cook it or transform into jam/jelly (I have quince jelly recipe on my blog, in case you stumble upon these one day...).

    1. Thank you Sissi. I definitely check your quince jelly recipe soon. Thank you for the correct translation - Flowery Heart sounds so good!

  3. What a gorgeous Fig Tart! I just got some fresh figs from my In-Law's garden but they're all gone before I have a chance to "transform" them into something else. :P

    How lovely you've got strawberries and grapes straight from the garden. The look divine. I agree with you that the tomatoes take forever to turn red this year. But with the latest heat waves, they are ripen rather quickly this week. Hope yours will turn red and sweet soon before Autumn comes by. :)

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. You're so so nice!

  4. Whoa!!! If you ever decide to move to Hawaii, I will do everything in my power to force my next door neighbor to move so that you can live next to me.

    1. Ha ha ha ha! Jalna You're so wonderfully funny!

  5. Beautiful tart! I love tarts but never tried one with fig. Your tart looks really sophisticated, and I am sure it does. Nice post!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. It was fan to try new tart recipe yet I won't be making again anytime soon. I'm not kidding, it was labor intensive. I need to rest!

  6. Fantastic looking fig tart... love the chocolatey base too. Bet that's a real nice switch-up from the traditional bases. I'm so pleased you made the cake... how did it turn out? I don't think you'll ever be able to rival a traditional cake with gluten, but as a substitute I found it pretty darn good!

    By the way, I meant to ask you - I read your little bio in the top right corner of the screen... if "nippon nin" means "Japanese person", what does "nihon jin" mean? My ex girlfriend (Japanese) taught me that this meant Japanese person a long time ago... are they the same... or different, and if so, why/how?

    1. Thank you Charles. Your cake came out fantastic!

      The correct way to say Japanese person is ' Nihon jin' also you could say 'Nippon jin' 'Nihon and Nippon' both meaning Japan though more Japanese use Nihon rather than Nippon now days. Chinese character of 'jin' has two pronunciation 'jin and 'nin'. I just choose 'nin' to avoid sounding like liqueur 'gin'. I think the name 'Nippon nin' has rhythmic flavor?

    2. Aah, ok, thanks for the explanation! I agree - Nippon nin does have a nice rhyming pattern :)

  7. This tart is beatiful and must taste divine!

    I'd love to have garden where I could grow my own vegetables and fruits...