Fresh Fig Pistachio Tartlets are one of our favorite French pastries to serve around the Christmas holidays.
Our easy Pistachio Tartlets are prepared with homemade pastry dough, filled with sweet frangipane and topped with a fresh fig slice.
Festive French tartlets are a popular dessert to serve at the Christmas holidays or during a coffee break or Afternoon Tea.
The homemade recipe features flavourful ingredients like butter, lemon, eggs, pistachio, almonds, brandy cognac and fresh figs.
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What Is Frangipane?
Frangipane is a sweet almond-flavoured custard used in a variety of ways including cakes and such pastries as the Bakewell tart, conversation tart, Jésuite and pithivier.
Originally designated as a custard tart flavoured by almonds or pistachios it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods.
The word comes ultimately from Italian, named after Marquis Muzio Frangipani. The word first denoted the frangipani plant, from which was produced the perfume originally said to flavour frangipane.
Travel to France by Baking Pistachio Tartlets at Home
I love traveling to Europe!
During my first visit to the continent I traveled for 5 months by train and plane. I had the opportunity to eat my way through Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia,Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey and Italy.
What I love most about traveling to France is the opportunity to sample unique recipes from each region. The dishes and pastries in Paris and Versailles are unique to what you might find on restaurant or bakery in Normandy, Chateauneuf de Pape, Provence, Epernay, Reims, Dijon and Annecy.
For hundreds of years French cuisine has been considered the fanciest of foods. If you’re a pastry fan, there’s no better country in Europe to eat your way through. You can eat your way through flaky croissants in Paris, cherry clafoutis in the South of France and apple and pear adorned tartlets in Normandy.
Once back home from a French holiday you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the flavours of France and can impress friends and family by making our homemade Fig & Pistachio Tartlets at home.
Where To Eat Frangipane Fig Tartlets
Pistachio Tartlets with Figs are particularly popular during the holiday Christmas season. However, many pastry chefs bake pistachio frangipane in fig tartlets year round due to their popularity.
In Toronto you may find Fig & Pistachio Tartlets at French restaurants, bakeries and pastry shops such as Maison Selby, La Palette, La Societe French Bistro, Le Select Bistro, Cafe Boulud at Four Seasons Hotel, Aloette, Auberge du Pommier, Cluny Bistro, Cafe Cancan, Coffee Oysters Champagne, Chabrol, Nadege, Bonjour Brioche and Roselle.
My Family Loves Festive Fig Pistachio Tartlets
My family loves baking during the holiday Christmas season in December.
Since I was a little kid my mother and father would prepare special festive sweet and savoury snacks and desserts for us to enjoy the weeks leading up to Christmas.
My sister and I both loved being in the kitchen during this time of year because everything that popped out of the oven was so tasty! It was fun to get our hands dirty and express our creativity by decorating shortbread cookies, lemon squares, chocolate peanut butter balls and savoury cheddar cheese cookies.
A few years ago I wanted to introduce a new Christmas baking tradition to our family’s holiday dessert menu. One of our most memorable family holidays was a road trip of France when I was in high school. We enjoyed so many delicious French pastries on our trip I thought a Paris-inspired dessert at Christmas would be a hit!
Since my family love nuts, I prepared a frangipane cream featuring a mixture of almonds and pistachio. Figs always remind me of special occasions and since they are in season in December we added a slice of fresh fig to the top of each tartlet.
These Pistachio Tartlets topped with fresh figs are a cute hand-held mini dessert, perfect for serving at a holiday Christmas party or part of a festive afternoon tea.
Pistachio Tartlets Health Benefits
Our Fig Tartlets recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.
A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, lemons help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.
Rich in monounsaturated fats and potassium, pistachios help reduce levels of bad cholesterol and reduce high blood pressure. The copper in pistachios supports healthy bones and blood, while antioxidant phytochemicals protect your eye health.
Containing more protein, fibre, vitamin E and calcium that other nuts, almonds may reduce the risk of heart disease, keep your bones healthy, and help your body absorb essential nutrients.
Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
Figs are a good source of both calcium and potassium. These minerals can work together to improve bone density, which can, in turn, prevent conditions like osteoporosis.
Wheat flour is rich in vitamins B-1, B-3, and B-5, along with riboflavin and folate. It also has more iron, calcium, protein, and other nutrients than white flour.
Tartlet Baking Tips
Festive Fig Pistachio Tartlets are fun to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time French pastry bakers!
- If you’re making these pistachio tartlets during the busy holiday season feel free to prepare the pastry dough in advance and store it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to bake.
- We’ve used muffin tins to bake the tartlet crusts but you could also use French mini tart pans.
- Our frangipane recipe is a combination of almond and pistachio. If you want a strong pistachio flavour or almond flavour you can commit to using one of these nut varieties rather than a mixture.
- We’ve used lemon zest in the shortcrust pastry as well as the frangipane cream to flavour the tartlets. You can have fun with this recipe by substituting another citrus zest like clementines, grapefruit or blood orange.
- We’ve used St. Remy in this recipe but you could use any of your favourite brandy or cognac brands.
- We suggest using fresh fig slices to decorate these tartlets but if you can’t find fresh figs don’t fret. You can substitute finely chopped dried figs soaked in brandy. Steeping them in liquid helps soften the fruit. Rather than topping the tartlets, incorporate the dried figs into the pistachio frangipane before filling the pastries and baking.
What To Serve with Pistachio Tartlets
We love serving these Fig & Pistachio Tartlets during a festive coffee break, holiday afternoon tea or on a Christmas party dessert table.
The recipe can be enjoyed year round and is a particularly nice addition to a Mother’s Day brunch or Easter dinner dessert table.
Since these Fig Tartlets are filled with rich nuts and butter, we suggest pairing them with lighter desserts like a creamy mousse, berry shortcake or fruit salad.
Since nuts and figs are such a popular addition to a cheese and charcuterie board, we also like to pair these pistachio tartlets with a selection of artisanal cheeses.
Commit to the French theme by serving slices of Raclette de Compton au Poivre, Le Noble Brie, Le Mont Jacob, La Sauvagine, Frere Jacques, Ermite by Abbaye Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Brie Fromager d’Affinois, Vache Maigre, Morbier, Saint Paulin, Le Cendrillon, Le Riopelle de I’Isle, Tomme de Grosse-Ile, Beaufort, Boursin and Le Bleu d’Elizabeth.
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How To Make Fig Frangipane Pistachio Tartlets
Pistachio Frangipane Fig Tartlets
- Food processor
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- French knife
- muffin tin
- Rolling pin
- Cookie Cutter
- 2 1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
- 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter plus 2 tbsp, fridge-cold cut into cubes
- 1 tsp Lemon Zest
- 1 Large Egg Yolk
- 4 tsp Water
Pistachio Frangipane Cream
- 2/3 cup Pistachio blitzed in a food processor plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/3 cup Almond Meal
- 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter plus 1 tbsp, room temperature
- 1/2 cup White sugar plus 1 tbsp
- 1 tsp Lemon Zest
- 2 Large Eggs beaten
- 1 tbsp Brandy
- 6 Small Ripe Figs halved
- PASTRY: Sift together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt into a food processor. Add the butter and lemon zest and pulse a few times, until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Lightly whisk together the egg yolk and water and add this to the mixture. The dough should feel wet. Process one more time, just until the dough comes together, then tip onto a floured work surface. Lightly knead dough into a ball, cover loosely with plastic wrap and press gently to form a flat disk. Keep it in the fridge for at least an hour to help firm.
- Lightly brush the moulds of a regular muffin pan with melted butter and dust with flour, tapping away the excess.
- Let the pastry rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling out. Place on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Using a 4 inch rough cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles and gently ease into muffin moulds, pressing down to fill the molds. Refrigerate for up to 1 hour before blind-baking the shells. The remaining dough can be frozen for future use.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line the pastry in the muffin molds with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry shells are light brown around the edges. Remove the pie weights and set the shells aside to cool in the pan.
- PISTACHIO FRANGIPANE CREAM: Place the pistachios in a food processor and grind until fine. Transfer to a small bowl, mix in the almond meal, flour and salt and set aside.
- Place the butter, sugar, and lemon zest into the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachement. Beat on medium for 1-2 minutes, until light. Turn the speed to low and gradually add beaten eggs. Add the flour mixture, beat on low speed until combined and finally, add the brandy.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400 F.
- When ready to bake, use two spoons to fill the baked tart shells (still in the muffin pan) with the frangipane. It should rise two thirds up the side of the shells. Place half a fig in the middle of each tart, cut side facing up, pressing down lightly so they are slightly embedded in the mixture.
- Bake the tarts for for 20 minutes, until the frangipane starts to brown at the edges but middle remains soft. Set aside to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before easing out of the molds and placing on a wire rack. Serve warm sprinkled with ground pistachio.
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