I have been consuming many many figs recently. Though very tasty on their own, I wanted to try making a tart with figs and pastry cream. Searching online I only found recipes for either fresh tarts or tarts combining figs and frangipane. I thought that frangipane would overshadow the figs, so I decided to try it with pastry cream anyway and see what happens.
The tart shells were both blind baked at 190°C for 5-10 minutes, and then uncovered for another 5 minutes until slightly brown. The one to be used for the fresh tart was baked a few minutes longer, as it was not to be baked again. The oven was then lowered to 160°C.
Next, I filled both tarts with pastry cream and figs. I should note here that perhaps I should have used the same slice size for both tarts.
The baked tart was placed back in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the figs darkened just a little bit and the cream appeared to be stiff. I would have liked to bake it longer but was afraid that the cream would be ruined. The tart was allowed to cool a little and then they were both examined.
The results are clear: 1 of 1 participants agreed that the baked tart was superior.
Baking the fig intensified its flavor, which was accompanied by a velvety bed of cream. On the contrary, in the fresh tart, the figs were almost non existent and everything was overshadowed by the buttery crust.
All in all a great way to conduct science.