Hazelnut & Fig Tartlets

Plump port-drenched dates tucked into a buttery hazelnut crust make a delicious teatime sweet. Ideal for parties or simply as an afternoon treat, these festive tartlets are perfectly paired with a medium black tea that won’t overpower the subtle balance of flavors.

Hazelnut and Fig Tartlets
Makes 12 tartlets
1 1/2 cups chopped hazelnuts, toasted and divided2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided3/4 cup light brown sugar1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1 teaspoon salt, divided1 teaspoon ground nutmeg1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup cold butter, cubed3 egg yolks3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided1 teaspoon butter flavor*2 (9-ounce) packages dried figs, finely chopped1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided1/2 cup water1 cup Port 2 1/2 tablespoons hazelnut syrup**2 eggs, lightly beaten, divided
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1 cup hazelnuts and 1/3 cup flour. Pulse until nuts are finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add remaining flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and nutmeg. Whisk to blend; add baking powder and butter.
2. Using an electric mixer at low speed, blend ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolks, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and butter flavor. Beat until moist clumps form.
3. Gather dough into two balls. Wrap one ball in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. Evenly press remaining dough into bottoms and up sides of 12 (4-inch) tartlet pans. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. In a medium saucepan, combine the figs, 1 cup sugar, water, Port, hazelnut syrup, and remaining salt over medium heat. Cook 25 to 30 minutes, until mixture thickens; cool slightly.
5. Stir in remaining hazelnuts and one egg. Spoon fig mixture into prepared crusts. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
6. Place remaining dough between two sheets of parchment paper; roll into a rectangle approximately 1/4-inch thick. Freeze rectangle for approximately 5 minutes to firm.
7. Using a 1-inch star cutter, cut stars from dough. Place about 5 to 6 stars on top of filling on each tart. Brush stars with remaining beaten egg, and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Cool tartlets completely on wire racks. Once cooled, remove tartlets from pans.
Note: Tarts can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered tightly and stored at room temperature.
*Butter flavor can be found on the baking aisle with other extracts.
**For testing purposes, our test kitchen used Torani Hazelnut Flavored Syrup, which can be found with fine coffees at specialty stores or in coffee shops.

From Teatime Magazine

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