Cakes have the reputation of being unhealthy, but they don’t have to be. This Fig and Buckwheat Tarte Tatin from Farmacy Kitchen cookbook has no refined sugar or dairy. It is also gluten free, yet it doesn’t compromise on taste. The fig topping is naturally sweet and rich in flavours, especially now that figs are in full season.
Earlier this summer I received a copy of Camilla Fayed’s Farmacy cookbook, a book that follows on the success of the Farmacy Kitchen restaurant in Notting Hill. I heard good things about the restaurant, which offers an array of plant-based dishes to supports both a vegan and vegetarian diet, free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals.
I eat pretty much everything, so it’s fair to say I am not the target audience of a vegan restaurant. But to me it doesn’t matter what type of cuisine or diet a restaurant follows: as long as they cook well with good quality ingredients, I am sure the food will be delicious!
I was curious to receive the Farmacy Kitchen book and try a few recipes. As I flicked through it, I immediately located the puddings and found myself wanting to try every single dish. Especially the raw chocolate tart, the white macadamia cookies and the dragon fruit tart… The chocolate wheels (layers of fruity chia jam, coconut marshmallow and chocolate) look incredible.
In the end, it was the fig tarte tatin with buckwheat flour that I decided to make for a dinner party. I love figs, but I only ever eat them at this time of the year, when summer gives away to autumn. It was the perfect time for this tarte tatin!
In addition to being DELICIOUS, figs are a rich source of minerals, including magnesium and calcium and are also powerful antioxidants.
But I digress. What I also love about this Fig & Buckwheat Tarte Tatin is how it is made: an upside down tart where the fruit is layered first at the bottom of the pan, together with a good helping a sugar, and then topped with the pastry dough.
About the dough: it is completely gluten and dairy free and vegan (no eggs). It is made with buckwheat flour, which gives a naturally nutty taste. The eggs are replaced by flaxseed meal (rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fibres) which keeps the mixture together without crumbling.
The Farmacy Kitchen recipe calls for coconut butter and coconut sugar, which you should use if you want this cake to be free of refined sugar and dairy.
As I said, I eat everything so I wasn’t too strict about following the recipe. I couldn’t find all the ingredients at my local supermarket and I didn’t have time to order them online or go to a specialist food store. I replaced the coconut butter with unsalted butter and the coconut sugar with demerara sugar. I whipped up a cream using regular dairy to serve the tarte tatin to my dinner guests, rather than making a coconut cream as recommended in the cookbook.
For the crust
- 175g buckwheat flour
- 85g ground almonds
- 115g coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 2 1/2 tbsp water
- 70g coconut butter
- 3-4 tbsp almond milk
- zest of 1 lemon
- pinch of salt
For the topping
- 1 tbsp coconut butter
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 450g figs, quartered
For the coconut cream
- 400ml full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Combine the buckwheat flour, almond flour and coconut sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well. Mix the flaxseed with the water and add to the bowl along with the coconut butter, then slowly pour in the almond milk. Stir until the mixture has a doughy consistency. Wrap the bowl in cling film and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Smear a round 30cm dish (note: the recipe calls for a clay dish, but I used a steel pan) with the coconut butter. Pour the coconut sugar evenly over the butter to coat the dish. Arrange the figs in rounds or a spiral shape over the base.
Spread a little buckwheat flour over a clean surface and roll out the dough until it is about 8.5mm thick and a little larger than the dish. Slice the dough into quarters and place them on top of the figs until the fruit is covered. Then, smooth the pastry quarters into each other and tuck the edges down the side of the dish.
Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes until golden brown on top. When you are ready to serve, place a plate on top of the dish / tart pan, holding it firmly against the dish, and turn the dish upside down so the figs are on top of the tart.
Make the coconut cream by blending all the ingredients together until well combined.
To serve, cut into 12 slices and drizzle each with coconut cream.