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 the goods

almond & semolina pastry
1/2 cup almond meal
1 1/2 cups semolina
4 oz / 120g butter
pinch salt
1tblspn sugar
zest of 1/2 orange, 1/2 lemon
1 egg
juice 1/2 lemon

the filling

1 cup pitted and chopped dates

1 tspn baking powder

1 cup torn, stale breadcrumbs

1 egg

3oz / 85g butter

1/2 tspn ground cardamom

1/2 tspn ground cinnamon

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1 tblspn molasses

pinch salt

zest 1/2 orange 

12 medium sized ripe figs 

active time: 30 minutes

total time: 1 1/2 hrs

you will need:

  • food processor
  • pie dish



Jocasta, the fig and date tart

Hands up who knows Jocasta?

You would have to be a true Classics scholar to meddle with this lass.

It was a fig and a date that brought about her ruin.

The date was with her son, Oedipus and the fig was the fruit that she damned the Gods with; 'A fig for your divination' was the curse she flew at them.

Anyway, this tart is quite lovely and relatively more humble than its namesake.

You can use store-bought pastry, but this easy almond and semolina dough is worth the effort. promise!

Put the meal and semolina in a food processor with the cubed butter and pulse into crumbs. Add other ingredients and pulse until a ball forms. Turn dough out onto a sheet of clingfilm, wrap and pat into a disc. Pop this into the freezer whilst you get everything else ready.

Pre-Heat the oven to 425f / 220c

Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 cup pitted, chopped dates. Add 1tspn baking powder and let sit.

Mix 1 cup torn stale breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup walnuts, zest of 1/2 orange, 1/2 tspn cardamom, 1/2 tspn cinnamon, 1 egg, 3 oz melted butter, 1/2 cup honey and 1 tblspn molasses / treacle

Roll pastry out and line a buttered pie dish with it.
Slice about 10 figs into 1/4 inch slices(from top to bottom). Brush with egg white.
Give the chopped dates a squeeze to get rid of the liquid and stir them through the bread and nut mix, pour this into the pie shell, arrange the sliced figs in a circular pattern starting at the edge of the pie and weaving into the centre.
Bake in an oven which has been pre-heated to 425f.
Bake for 25-30 mins and then brush the figs (gently) with a mix of melted butter and brown sugar (1ozbutter, 2 tblspns sugar).
Drop heat to 400f and bake another 10-15 mins until figs are caramelised.

Whew! that's quite a bit of work, huh?
put the kettle on, pop your feet up and sit back with a cuppa.